Mak­ing the cor­rect de­ci­sion

Find out how to ask all of the right ques­tions when it comes to choos­ing the per­fect real es­tate agent to sell or man­age your prop­erty

The Courier-Mail - Property - - MARKET OUTLOOK - REIQ chair­man Rob Hon­ey­combe

CHOOS­ING a ser­vice provider is al­ways chal­leng­ing.

Whether it’s a plumber or a real es­tate agent, you can’t as­sess the qual­ity of their ser­vice be­fore you buy, as you can with a prod­uct you can touch and see. It’s so much eas­ier if you’ve dealt with them be­fore or have the rec­om­men­da­tion of a friend.

But with­out them, choos­ing a real es­tate agent to sell or man­age your prop­erty can be daunt­ing.

So how do you look past the pitch, be­yond the prom­ises, to make sure you’re hir­ing a prop­erty pro­fes­sional?

It’s now an old say­ing that “suc­cess leaves clues”. So too does pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

A prop­erty pro­fes­sional is hold­ing them­selves ac­count­able to a higher stan­dard than the law re­quires.

For ex­am­ple they’re a mem­ber of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land (REIQ), agree­ing to be bound to a code of con­duct and com­mit­ting to manda­tory train­ing each and ev­ery year.

They’re rais­ing the bar for them­selves and their pro­fes­sion, recog­nis­ing you en­trust them with your largest as­sets. They’re call­ing on gov­ern­ment to tighten ed­u­ca­tional re­quire­ments for real es­tate agents, not shy­ing away from greater ac­count­abil­ity and scru­tiny.

The kind of agent you want is one who’s mak­ing a ca­reer in prop­erty. Long term think­ing will set them apart when it comes to those crit­i­cal mo­ments.

When they make one ex­tra call to a buyer to ask for more money on your sale. When they do that ex­tra ref­er­ence check on the ten­ants for your in­vest­ment prop­erty.

Those ex­tra steps taken, not be­cause they have to, but be­cause they know it’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween OK ser­vice and great ser­vice. And great ser­vice leads to rec­om­men­da­tions and re­fer­rals.

Mar­ket knowl­edge is also crit­i­cal to you. Your agent needs to be “plugged in” to trends and ahead of the mar­ket to help guide you.

They’re up­dated, in touch and in­volved, seek­ing out new data and read­ing the latest sta­tis­tics on their area.

They’re sub­scrib­ing and di­gest­ing, en­sur­ing your sale price and rents are max­imised.

Ask them what sources they use.

How do they stay on top of the latest in leg­is­la­tion? Ask them. We have a whole new Act gov­ern­ing agents in Queens­land and they need to know it in­side out. Ten­ancy is­sues change regularly and can have big con­se­quences for you as a land­lord.

The agent you want at­tends in­dus­try up­dates and train­ing regularly. With­out this, they’re sim­ply swing­ing blind.

The great agents have pride in their ca­reer. Ask them – “are you proud of what you do for a liv­ing?” The great agents want to be seen as a prop­erty pro­fes­sional and they’re se­ri­ous about greater pro­fes­sion­al­ism in real es­tate. You’ll see this demon­strated in their in­volve­ment in our pro­fes­sion’s peak body, the REIQ.

Next time you’re hir­ing an agent, give these ideas some thought. The agent you want is do­ing so much more than “just turn­ing up”. A few, well-cho­sen ques­tions will soon set them apart from the crowd.

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