Why property investors should establish good relationships with real estate agents

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a property, Charles Tarbey—chairman of one of Australia’s largest real estate networks, Century 21—believes that it is important for a property investor to establish a good relationship with a real estate agent to get ahead of the ever-changing property game.

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According to him, for both agents and investors, there are barriers to property investment that are better crossed together with a good understanding of each other’s capabilities and limitations.

“At the end of the day, the agent does act for the seller, [but he’s] still going to have a relationship with a buyer. You can’t go out and negotiate with a buyer to get the best possible price for your seller without having first established a relationship with them. There are barriers you can’t cross,” he explained.

“We really need to make sure that any agent builds a relationship with a buyer, but they’ve got to make sure that any offer they take to the seller is the highest possible offer because otherwise, you’re just wasting everybody’s time.”

A good relationship between a property investor and a real estate agent makes the process of buying and selling easier and more efficient for all parties involved.


He shares the benefits of the so-called “method of introduction” in property investment, and how property investors can get the best out of their agents:

How does a good relationship between an investor and an agent change the process?

Charles Tarbey: At the end of the day, if you got a relationship it makes it a lot easier. If you’ve had an investor you’ve dealt with over a period of years, it’s going to be easier to guide them. I know with my clients, some of them would say to me, ‘I’d like to sell my home for x amount.’ I’d say, ‘Don’t waste my time, don’t waste your time.’ You cannot genuinely say that to someone you’ve never met before but you can tell that to somebody if they’ve got a relationship with you and you’ve worked with them over the years.

Can property investors use this relationship to negotiate?

Charles Tarbey: I think they key—[as] we always say in our organization, ‘If you build a relationship, the conditions can become negotiable… At the end of the day, you can bring all parties together and it works.’ I’ve had circumstances where I’ve taken a person to a home and that person may have treated the seller differently—they may have ignored them or been slightly rude to them. That buyer will offer a full market price and the seller won’t even take it because it’s interesting how sellers still have a relationship with their homes. [They can think], ‘It’s my home, and even if I’m selling it, I don’t want that person’s family living in my home.’ It’s a very interesting process.

How can investors start forging a relationship with a real estate agent?

Charles Tarbey: Don’t expect the agent to call you… If you want to build a relationship with an agent, if you want to get the best out of the agent, you should be [the one] calling that agent. You should be walking to their office with a coffee once a week if you’re an investor. Sit down and say, ‘Here’s your coffee. What’s news?’

Is there a particular benefit to this relationship for buyers?

Charles Tarbey: I know, as a real estate practitioner, who comes to my mind first if I see a property… Before I even look at my database of who I think might suit this property, and the person that’s in my face most of the time is going to be the one that’s most prominent in my thinking.

How does the “method of introduction” work in property investment?

Charles Tarbey: If I wanted to sell a concept to a [company], I can walk to their foyer and I could ask the security guard if I can see the chairman. Now my chances of getting to the next step are pretty thin, but if I had a relationship with the chairman or if I knew somebody who knew the chairman and I utilized that relationship to get my message down, I’m going to get a much better opportunity to get the job done. That’s no different than an agent that has a good relationship with their seller or a group of buyers. They’re in a better position to make things happen.

That method of introduction, that relationship between all parties, is the key to making something happen quickly and effectively for everybody.

What would be your best advice for property investors?

Charles Tarbey: [I have] lived by the philosophy that anything is possible when you don’t know what you’re doing, which I think is a good way of looking at things. Too many people are far too educated today and they don’t make any decisions at all because they can talk themselves out of it. Sometimes when you can’t talk yourself out of a decision, it’s quite often a great experience.

Tune in to Charles Tarbey’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the secrets to negotiating with real estate agents to secure the best outcome for your property portfolio.


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