Friendly competition

The nature of our business is to be competitive. Competition both internally between sales staff and externally between companies is one, if not the, driving force behind our business. It keeps us sharp and on our toes and helps us do better for our clients.

I am therefore often astonished to meet clients who have signed with agents on a ‘sole agency’ basis for more than 2 weeks. In my opinion, unless you are offering an amazing, bespoke and expensive marketing campaign what is the appeal? Sole agency agreements merely encourage a lazy service with the agent in full knowledge that you can go nowhere else. If they really are as confident that they can produce the required results, then 2 weeks should be ample time to do so.

My advice- don’t do it!  As bizarre as it sounds, I usually recommend that Landlords/Vendors instruct 2-3 agents every time. Competition encourages agents to be pro-active and this ensures that the clients best interests are always looked after (and not the agents)!

If your estate agent wants you to sign a sole agency agreement for a long time- what is the justification for this? There are bona fide reasons so do ask and make your own call- but unless they are very good you should always look to instruct more than 1 agent.

If, however, you have a particular agent that you have developed a strong relationship with and don’t want to risk damaging this- talk to them. Agents operating in the same area, particularly independents, often share properties on a shared commission basis (‘split commission’). This can mean that you get the same great service/agent that you like but with several agents working on your behalf.

An agent that is afraid of competition has something to hide- usually that they are not very good at their job. Don’t fall for this, remember that your needs as a client are foremost and not the agents’.

Kristjan Byfield at Base property services

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