Real estate agents often find themselves dealing with a number of investors or buyers for a single property, working to land the best deal. While most agents really do take time to go through the pack, some often look to their "priority list" as part of their business strategy.
Gavin Rubinstein tells Smart Property Investment that building a good relationship with agents is more important than most people think. According to him, having an agent know your profile on the get-go makes for a smoother, more efficient transaction.
"Put effort and time into building rapport with agents. If you think about some regular clients I've got who I look out for, we've built rapport through just doing transactions and deals together. And I know certain things about these guys... like, they're cashed up, they're ready to go, they move quick, they're not difficult in terms of when we get into contracts, making deals over things that are kind of immaterial... You know, genuine, real buyers, ready to move. And ready to move at a decent price," he explains.
Trust and honesty also play big roles in a transaction with a real estate agents. Buyers and investors should know that good agents follow the "Honesty is the best policy" rule, and that they expect the same from all parties involved.
He said: "I'm not there to rip anyone off. I'm there to get the best price... So often, I'll have a conversation with an investor or someone who comes in and says we really want to buy it, and my simple answer is honesty is the best policy. I don't sugar-coat things. If you want to buy it, this is the price, you can buy it at that. If you don't want to buy it, let's find you something else."
"If you make the process smooth for the agent, and he knows you want more, frequency builds trust. Naturally, that's going to build and kind of evolve over time. And I've got plenty of clients who I'll call straight away and give the heads up on things to come through at the start," the agent added.
Rubinstein applies the same principle when dealing with homeowners who want to sell their property. As in transactions with buyers, real estate agents expect straightforward conversations from sellers to help them satisfy their expectations and make the most out of a deal.
Absolute transparency is another one of his guidelines — say what you need to and say it the first time you are asked. After all, in most cases, time is money and nobody wants to be wasting any of it, especially real estate agents.
The real estate agent warns: "Don't ask, don't get. I learned that from a very, very young age. I'm not scared to ask any questions, to a seller, to a buyer, to an agent, doesn't matter. So I always want to ascertain if I'm buying for a client, why are these guys selling? Are these guys dipping their toe in the water? Are these guys going to waste our time, send us down an emotional rollercoaster? Or, a time-wasting rollercoaster if you're an investor, and not end up doing the deal.
"So it's important to know what's the motivation here. From there, I'd want to understand what's written on the agency agreement. From there I'd want to understand how many contracts are out, which doesn't necessarily mean anything, but from there I would want to know, if this property were to go to auction tomorrow, how many of those contract-holders would actually turn up at auction and put their hand up. Right?"
"Just be blunt about it... Time is money. Time is the most important commodity, not only to agents, to everyone. So why are you going to waste it? I constantly harp on about how important time management is, productivity is, and I find when you fluff, or when you muck around, or when you talk s**t, you just waste time. So just call it how it is. A lot of agents will," Mr Rubinstein concluded.
Tune in to Gavin Rubinstein's episode of The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about how you can get the most out of working with your real estate agent.