What makes a seller choose an agent to sell their house? Ask most real estate agents and they’ll tell you that commission is one of the most important deciders for sellers on who they’ll use or that they opt for brands that make them feel secure.
But new research from ActivePipe shows that both of these assumptions are way off the mark and that the truth is actually something much more important and — happily — easier for agents to control.
The Trust Report recently released by ActivePipe reveals that when deciding to use an agent, fees were only important to just 4.6 per cent of sellers, while the reputation of the agency brand was selected by 11.3 per cent.
The research involved a combination of surveys and deep-dive interviews with 124 sellers, buyers, people doing both, and property owners. The findings turn on their heads long-held views about sellers and reveal just why it is so important to get your marketing right.
The Trust Report shows 24 per cent of sellers chose their agent based on their personality. Liking the agent and feeling they could work with them was really important to this group of people. In addition, 23 per cent said the reputation of the agent individually influenced their choice, while 21 per cent said they chose their agent based on past results.
But the single most important factor that influenced a seller’s choice was that they had used the agent in the past — and, importantly, had a good experience with him or her.
ActivePipe data shows 61 per cent stated they wanted to use the same agent as they used last time and the dominant reason for that from 55 per cent said “it just made the transition easier”.
Of those who chose to use a different agent, 36.4 per cent said it was because they received poor service from their last agent, while 27.3 per cent said they went with a different agent because they’d lost touch with their last agent.
These are really important insights because they reveal how strong the desire for repeat service and long-term relationships are in real estate and the volume of potential leads that are sitting in your database if you nurture them appropriately.
The way to build trust is to stay in touch meaningfully with clients, understand their needs (and worries!) and to do what you say you will do (like following up after an open for inspection).
The ActivePipe Trust Report is part of a growing body of evidence that shows that in a transaction as big as buying or selling a property, consumers increasingly want to deal with someone they can trust.
Just like a doctor, dentist or lawyer, they want a relationship with “their” agent because selling or buying a home can be overwhelming and scary and they want to feel they’re in safe hands.