Barak Geffen calls for two-tiered commissions

With record numbers of agents operating in South Africa there is a call to tier agent’s qualifications and earnings so they correlate directly with experience and the level of service they deliver.

Barak Geffen, executive director of Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR), operated by Lew Geffen, who recently returned from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conference in the US says, “It goes without saying that an agent who has been in the game successfully for 10 years is going to provide a higher calibre of service then someone who has been selling for 6 months.

“They will have a bigger grasp of property values in their particular area and a better feel for the housing market. Buyers and sellers are far more likely to have confidence and feel secure with an agent who has a solid knowledge of the industry.”

Geffen notes that low entry barriers into the industry have made it exceptionally accessible, however it has simultaneously given the industry a disreputable name. As the property market tightens and becomes more competitive, there is now a greater need for increased professionalism.

“In my opinion there needs to be a two tiered system of qualification that allows firstly for entry and then a second qualification, after a certain amount of experience, aimed at differentiating the seasoned professionals from the fly-by-nights.

“It seems fair that agents with more experience and higher strike rates in terms of selling, should earn higher commission and possibly also deal with more expensive properties which often take longer to sell. Selling these properties requires more skill in terms of relating to the clientele and in negotiation and marketing.”
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