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How to find the right Agent for you – Sometimes the old-fashioned approach is the best.

By Margaret Black

It wasn’t all that long ago that if you wanted to know who your best local real estate agent was you would have asked your friends and people in your local community for a recommendation. “Who’s a good agent in the area?” you would have asked. The answers would have been based entirely on personal experience or the agent’s reputation in the community. The answers would have been reliable. Consequently, a poor agent would have suffered a bad reputation and would struggle to get new clients as a result.

Fast forward to 2018 and that person-to-person conversation has been largely digitised and commercialised. Instead of asking friends, many of us now ask Google. Google will serve up a series of commercial aggregators to tell you who is the best local agent. Google and those commercial agent rating sites are not our friends, so we must query how impartial and accurate they are as an information source.

There are some questions a discerning vendor or investor should ask of these digital recommendations before embarking on a relationship with an agent. How do these sites work? Is there a paid agreement between the agent and the site? Does the site treat all agents equally irrespective of a financial contribution from the agency? Does the algorithm used by the site pass the common sense test, for instance does this agent actually sell enough properties to be considered experienced? Are these sites selling customer leads to agents?

Ray White Atherton is listed (as at March 2018)

No.1 for sold properties and listings on Realestate.com

No.1 for new rentals and leased properties on Realestate.com

No.1 for sales on Domain.com

No.1 for Rentals on Domain.com

My Office does not use Companies such as rate My Agent. Sellers often believe this is a free service but they actually charge the Agent for providing the leads to them. The sales team do all of the work but has to forfeit a share of their commission for a simple lead.  Many sites will give differing data and as we know the system will only produce reports from the data that has been entered. My Office uses a number of well know sites; other Agents do not use Realestate.com or Domain etc. other do.

It is a “jungle out there” but at the end of the day check the Agents actual sales and their profile. As I started by saying Sometimes the old-fashioned approach is the best.

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