Whether you’re a salesperson, property manager or you already own an independent agency or franchised agency, choosing an Australian real estate brand to partner with can be stressful.
Brands are meant to support your business with training, systems and infrastructure. Beyond that, they should position your agency as trustworthy and help bring business to your door but can you confidently be sure they will? It all depends on how consumers perceive the brand and whether they can distinguish it from others. So, if you're shopping for a network to support your business, you’ll be very interested in Canstar Blue’s 2017 review of real estate agents in Australia.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 customers across the country to find out which estate agents are living up to expectations across a range of important variables, relating to factors including their customer service, communications and value for money. Depending on your personal circumstances, not all factors will be relevant to you, but consider this a helpful insight into what you could expect from the seven real estate agents compared in this review.
For the second year in a row, First National Real Estate has been rated highest overall, achieving five stars in all research categories.
That’s an outstanding result, especially considering that no other company recorded top marks in any specific category.
Estate agents don’t always enjoy the best of reputations, so it pays to do your research before making any big decisions about which network you join. More than two-thirds of customers surveyed (67%) have experienced poor communications from an estate agent, while only 61% would recommend their agent to a friend. So how do you go about picking an estate agent in the first place?
To help you decide which real estate brand might be best for you, let’s review the important factors discussed in this year’s review.
Whether you’re a landlord or renting a home, buying or selling, you can be sure a few problems are going to crop up along the way. For renters, this could be maintenance issues around the home, while for landlords it could be maintenance problems caused by the tenants! Whatever the case, it’s the role of the estate agent to act as an intermediary and to solve the problems to everyone’s satisfaction. That’s much easier said than done, so an estate agent that manages to keep all parties happy with have earned their money. Our 2017 ratings on problem resolution mirrored those for overall satisfaction, with First National coming out on top with five stars.
Communications & advice
If there’s one sure-fire way to frustrate your customers, it’s through poor communications. No matter what type of real estate service you’re involved in, being kept in the loop is an absolute must. Whether you’re buying or selling and expecting an important call, or a tenant enquiring about a lease renewal, timely and professional communications from your agent are the very least you should expect. It’s also important that customers are treated as individuals and not just a number. Are emails addressed personally to you, or are you just sent the same generic correspondence as everyone else? Good communicating is not rocket science, but it seems that some agents have work to do. First National earned five stars in this area.
You can tell a lot about a company by the way it handles contracts and other important details. Is your estate agent a stickler for detail and accuracy, or just keen to get the contract signed so they can move on to their next task? Taking care of the contracts associated with your sale or tenancy is arguably the most important thing a real estate agent has to do – mistakes are not an option. This involves communicating the finer details to all parties concerned and ensuring everyone is happy before proceeding. First National rated five stars for its contract handling.
Value for money
When you’re buying or selling a home, agent fees can quickly add up. Even if you’re just leasing a home through an agency, ongoing charges become important. These will be necessary costs to pay for the service you receive, but it’s always worth asking yourself if you’re really getting value for your money. Is your agent easy to deal with? Do they return your calls in a reasonable timeframe? Do they always have the answers to your questions? This rating is not a comparison of who provides the cheapest real estate services, but instead who offers the best overall value for money! First National was the only firm to receive a five-star rating in this area.
If you want to sell your home, or find tenants for your property, they need to be able to find it. Once they find it, they need to be given a good impression. Marketing is a crucial part of a real estate agent’s job, so you’ll need your agent to put their money where their mouth is and also do their homework so they can answer any questions people might have. First National was the only firm to receive a five-star review on its marketing.
In addition to helping you buy or sell your home, or rent a property, many estate agents also try to assist with the moving process. Getting you in your new home is one thing, but how about all of those essential services you’ll need, like electricity and broadband? Estate agents commonly help movers set up these types of services, taking away some of the stress that can come with the territory. First National rated five stars in this area.
So, there's no doubt that First National Real Estate has the capacity to help more customers choose your agency with the confidence that they will be amongst the most satisfied customers in Australia.