Property is often the biggest asset people have. So, when the time comes to sell or have it managed as an investment, the right agency is critical. Knowing what to look for in an agent can be a challenge but according to James Harvey, Principal of Sternbeck's Real Estate, it doesn't need to be.
"It shouldn't be a difficult task but with so many options available how to 'separate the wheat from the chaff 'can become confusing. Here are my tips; "
"Look to see which agencies are active in your area. Start with those who have been in the community for a long time - they have proven their ability to produce results time and again.
"You need to be comfortable with your agent. Knowing that they will tell you straight and be proactive with their advice, enables you to make decisions based on facts. The last thing clients need is an agent giving 'airy fairy' guesses or 'ear tickling' about what is happening with their property."
Harvey goes on to explain that the selling or management process for your property should be easy to understand.
"They must provide evidence of pricing and should be able to answer any question you have on the local market conditions. Selling costs should be openly discussed.
"Right from the start, the level of customer service you receive from the agency you are dealing with should be positive and proactive. After all, you are after someone who understands what 'you need' and they should work with you to secure that result.
"Have they got main street presence? It has been proven time and again that the shop front window still draws enquiries. Agencies operating without a window display or from hidden offices hidden are missing a vital method for promoting property.
"Do they advertise in the local newspaper? Promoting local properties through local newspapers gets results, as does local knowledge. Community involvement from your agency means greater exposure for your property through those local connections."
"An online presence is vitally important in promoting property, but it is not the only means of promotion. All agencies have access (at a price) to promote properties on mainstream websites - it's not unique.
"You need the best agency working for you and so they need to know their stuff. Ask what training they have undertaken to ensure they have the skills to deliver the best possible result for you."
Katrina Radnidge (pictured) a sales rep at Sternbeck's, is a great example of this, as a recent winner at the Cessnock Customer Service Awards, she is testament to the expertise that Sternbeck's cultivate in their team members.
"Experience and service will always be the best vehicle for securing great results."