"Tradional checks on estate agents no longer valid" - Bill Rawson

The number of estate agents in South Africa has dropped from over 90,000 to just above 30,000 in three years.

This, says Bill Rawson, could just possibly result in this relatively small group being very much in control and could lead to their being unwilling to give the service that clients have, over the years, come to expect from an estate agent.

Recently, he says, he was approached by a young couple with ample means who were looking for a home in a specific area and in a specific price range. They had contacted no less than eight local estate agents (none from the Rawson Property Group, which is not working in that area) but they had been disappointed with all of them.

"It became clear to this couple," says Rawson, "that none of these estate agents was going to come back to them as regularly as they had expected nor would they provide the sort of information and feedback that would have been expected of an estate agent four or five years ago. They therefore approached me to ask, 'How does one go about finding the right agent?'"

A decade or so ago, says Rawson, home sellers or home hunters would have begun their search for a suitable agent by scanning through the property advertisements to see who was most active in their area, and visiting show houses, apparently as potential buyers but in reality to see which estate agents they related to best and to check on how they were presenting their homes for sale.

In some cases, he says, they might have gone the easy route and simply re-contacted any reasonably satisfactory estate agent with whom they had dealt with previously - perhaps when buying their current or another home.

They might then also have motored around the district and checked out which estate agencies had the most boards up - or they might have talked to friends about their experiences with local estate agents.

"Today," says Rawson, "most of these traditional checks would be unlikely to prove wholly satisfactory. The choice will often have to be made by means of one-on-one interviews with those estate agents trying to take on the mandate - or help the buyer with a purchase.

"In such interviews," he says, "perhaps the most important characteristic to look for in the estate agent is enthusiasm - the seller has to ask himself 'Does this man or woman love what they are doing? Would I, if I were a seller, entrust my home to him or her?"

It is, adds Rawson, also important to assess how the estate agent sees his role. Is he there to serve his own needs or yours? Is he egocentric or service-orientated?

While weighing up these factors, says Rawson, it is also crucial to find out just how much ? or how little ? area knowledge the estate agent has, how long he has been operating there and how successful his performance to date has been. In answering these and other questions, he says, the agency's website can be very helpful.

"The quality of the photographs, the layout and the text will," he says, "give unmistakable evidence as to how well run the business is. Good groups back up their franchisees with on-going, state-of-the-art promotions, information, advertising and marketing material. Bad groups neglect or cut back on these aids, often because they simply cannot afford them."

Once you have selected a good estate agent, says Rawson, it pays to give him a sole mandate.

"It is no accident," he says, "that almost all the Rawson Property Group's most successful agencies are operating wholly or mainly on sole mandates. The system has undeniable advantages."

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 24 Nov 2017
      Demand for secure estate living in Hout Bay has risen sharply in recent years, precipitating a spike in development with estate homes now accounting for 20.24% of the property landscape with the launch of an exclusive new gated development on 26 November adding 20 more units to the existing 1250 estate homes.
    • 24 Nov 2017
      There are some things that money can’t buy – spectacular views from Mouille Point to the V&A Waterfront and a trendy and lively neighbourhood that encapsulates the very best of the Cape Town lifestyle.
    • 24 Nov 2017
      Tshwane’s four-bedroom Mayoral mansion, nestled among ambassadorial residences in the upmarket suburb of Muckleneuk, fetched R5.1 million after spirited bidding at High Street Auctions’ final sale of the year.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said that the Monetary Policy Committee had once again decided to let the interest rates remain unchanged with the repo rate at 6.75%, and the prime lending rate at 10.25%.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      As the holiday season approaches, most of us are counting the days until that year-end bonus hits our account. There’s nothing quite like a little bank balance booster to get us in the holiday spirit.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      The Adelphi Centre (now entitled “ARTEM") in Sea Point, Cape Town, is being extensively renovated, and once complete will offer an ultra-luxurious galleria style shopping centre unlike any other seen on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Cape Town.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      If you are looking to sell your home in today’s real estate market, there are certain things that you need to include both inside and outside your house. Today’s generation of home buyers is looking toward a more eco-friendly, energy and water conscious home, and if your house stands out then you are more likely to be able to sell it.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us