Ask the Principal

Gordon you have worked for some of Australia’s major real estate groups?


That’s correct over the past 20 years I have been a top performing agent within 4x of Australia’s largest property groups.

Are there any advantages of selling with a particular brand or a large group?

Large groups will tell you it’s an advantage because of their network but in reality each office is independent and that’s how they operate.
Other agents will tell you they have a large sales team and several offices in the area working together but rest assure they are lying straight to your face when they say this because anyone that has worked in real estate knows this is nothing more than a listing tactic and far from the truth. In reality each agent and office are on there own and a brand is nothing more than a perception.  So the answer is definitely no.

Why do agencies no longer carry out team group inspections?

Experienced agents basically run their own business within the business. You might list with a big agency or group but the only agent you’ll ever get to see is the listing agent. There is no such thing as teamwork or sales team these days all agents focus on selling their own listed properties to maximise their commission. Listing with a large or small agency is exactly the same because the truth is you only get the listing agent working on your property anyway.

So you mean to say selling via a larger agency has no advantages?

That’s exactly what I am saying. Larger offices focus on selling your home quickly so they can move onto the next one. Such agencies are all about revenue.  Smaller or medium size agencies have more time to dedicate toward your property which usually leads to a better end result.

If a listing agent has more than 10 listings isn’t that good for the seller?

That seems logical but it is in fact not good for the seller because I can tell you that handling more than 5-6 listings at one given time is extremely difficult. To sell a property well, you need to follow up on buyers and provide quality service. You simply can’t handle that amount of listings without cutting corners. How can you do 10 plus open for inspections on Saturday? It’s impossible! This means you must have an assistant do half of them for you. As a seller, I would personally want the agent I appointed to sell my house, carry out my open homes.
Assistants have little or no negotiation experience and will often say the wrong thing which ultimately leads to a lower sale price.

Is having a shopfront in a shopping centre advantageous when it comes to selling a home?

It was many years ago but today a shopfront has absolutely no advantages. Technology has changed the industry and buyers no longer go to offices and search for a home. Everyone uses the internet these days to search for property. The office website is now the true shopfront of any real estate business!

So why do some offices still have shopfronts?

To create a presence and get “walk in customers”. Some sellers will walk in and ask for a property appraisal this is the only direct advantage of having an expensive shopfront.

Why do offices no longer display property in the window?

These days agencies rarely have property displayed in the window because today’s offices are "show fronts" to attract sellers not buyers.
The big disadvantage is such shopfronts cost a fortune to maintain which means they need to charge you a much higher selling fee.

Is it true that estate agents work out of the office?

They did years ago but today most agents work from home on their laptops during the week. Typically, there is one meeting per week where agents might go to the office but after that most don’t see the inside of an office until Saturday when they go pick up keys.

Selling with West Pennant Hills Realty is less expensive but are there any disadvantages?

Absolutely none! In fact, there are many solid advantages.

Such as?

We are open 7 days a week and our marketing is superior to that of our competitors. Just take a look through the galleries in our recent sales on our website. Our photography and property presentations are second to none. Not to mention, our service is around $17,000 cheaper based on an average home.

What do you say about sellers that prefer to sell with a traditional agency?

I say it’s their home and ultimately their decision who they sell with. However, I would personally never want to throw away $15,000 - $35,000 depending on the value of the property.
I 'd much rather use the money for other things.

What is the trend in real estate?

I personally think that over the next decade, the vast majority of offices will eliminate their shopfronts to be able to compete.
It’s like insurance we don’t walk into a store and buy it we compare online and then we buy online.
It is undeniable that real estate is also heading that direction.