It’s been a frustrating week for me. In fact it’s times like this that I wonder if the reputation and trustworthiness of the Real Estate Industry will ever rise above that of the Sex industry. That’s right; for about 3 years running an independent survey revealed that Real Estate Agents are thought to be less trustworthy than the world’s oldest profession.
Based on my experience so far this week I also have to question why some people actually choose to work in Real Estate. Its not for the fame so one could naturally assume that it’s because they have a desire to service their clients well and make some good money along the way.
Well forgive me, but so far this week I’ve yet to see even an adequate level of service manifest itself amongst ‘some’ agents in my area.
A few times a year I’m asked by a Seller client to help them buy their next home. It’s not something I normally do because I prefer to concentrate my efforts on servicing my clients during the sale process. I sometimes make an exception for clients who are either intimidated by the buying process, may have had a bad experience previously or because I’ve become really close to them.
Even though I’ve chosen not to work as a buyer’s agent I always encourage other agents to call me if they have a suitable Buyer for my client’s home and I’m only too willing to share my selling fee (Commission) with them.
This is known in the real estate industry as Conjuncting or a Conjunction Sale.
So this week I began the search process for some people whose home I have recently sold. They are lovely people. I’ve known them for about a year; they have a new baby and not much time left until their house settles. No problems I thought; I’ll find them a dream home and make a few bucks in conjunction fees along the way. They identified several properties that they like and asked me to make contact with the agents on their behalf. It should be a simple process but as many Buyers know, nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is that after 2 days the process has proven to be frustrating and anger inducing. I’ve experienced un-returned calls, refusal by agents to work with me, excuses why they can’t conjunct (generally self indulgent) and emails which have not received a response. No wonder Buyers hate us!
So out of 6 homes so far, only 2 agents are happy to see me and my clients. The rest… well they couldn’t be bothered.
So is it critical that your agent conjuncts with agents from other offices and brands?
Well to be honest; early in my career I would have said NO. I naively thought that eventually the Buyer will find my clients property, give me a call and I’ll sell it to them… Happy Days!
WAS I WRONG!
I learned very quickly that it’s absolutely essential that I conjunct with other agents.
Why? Because despite the protests from some in the industry, some Buyers only work with certain agents. It’s sounds odd but it’s true.
We all know that SELLING a home is extremely stressful. BUYING a home can be equally demanding. Great agents who provide brilliant service naturally develop sound relationships with their clients. So it’s not at all unusual for a Seller to ask their selling agent to help them with the purchase and negotiation process of their next home. They make a conscious decision to work with them exclusively because they have proven to be trustworthy.
In nearly every situation when an agent has introduced me to a Buyer this has been the case.
And it’s here dear reader is where the undiscovered gold lies for Real Estate Agents and Home Sellers alike.
Great agents understand this. Great agents work hard at developing sound relationships not only with their clients but other agents in the area. Great agents realise that sharing their selling fee with a colleague will not only get their clients home sold faster but often for higher price.
Great agents also realise that it’s their sign that ends up with a SOLD sticker on it and that this leads to other sales. In other words, Great agents don’t care where the Buyer comes from because they want what’s best for their clients.
Note: Conjuncting does not mean that another agent will show your property. Your agent always remains in control of the inspection and negotiation process. However it’s not uncommon for the Buyer’s agent to accompany them while your agent shows your home to the Buyer.
So whats the best conjunction rate?
It varies. General practice in my area is 60/40, (60% to the Seller’s Agent and 40% to the Buyer’s Agent) however some offer 70/30 or even 80/20. I don’t think it matters. What’s important is that your Agent demonstrates a willingness to work with other Agents in the area and incentivises them accordingly.
The only thing that should matter to your agent is that which is in your best interest. Anything else is hot air.
So does Mark Kelly conjunct?
I sure do! I conjunct at the rate of 60/40 or as reciprocated. “As Reciprocated” means that if an Agent offers me 70/30 on their properties, I reciprocate in kind. It’s transparent and every agent in my area knows that I’ll happily work with them.
To reinforce this I post the following line at the bottom of every one of my property ads,”MARK KELLY WELCOMES ALL CONJUNCTING AGENTS”.
This is my open invitation to all other Agents to call me about their Buyers. As far as I know I’m the only Agent in Queensland, (possibly Australia) who does this.
There is nothing that any Real Estate Agent can say that will convince me (or you) that not conjuncting with other Agents is in anyone’s best interest other than their own. It’s greed. Plain and simple. Demand that they they work with others and conjunct on your property from day 1.
If they refuse, find an agent that will.