Are you considering Property Advocacy as a career but don’t know if it’s for you?
Are you ready to go out on your own but you’re not sure what’s next ?
Buyer and Vendor Advocacy is here to stay! Here are some pointers for you to consider if you are thinking of transitioning into this side of the industry and/or starting your own property advocacy business.
Being your own boss in the Buyer and Vendor Advocacy sector of the industry offers some fantastic rewards. Helping clients to secure a fantastic outcome is always a thrill, however it can give you the freedom to work flexibility, earn more money, have more independence and a better work life balance.
It’s not for everyone however and there are elements of this role to carefully consider before you jump in.
1 What experience do you have to be a Buyer and Vendor Advocate ?
To succeed in property advocacy, you need to be a high performer with a proven track record of success. You need to have a very clear understanding of how the industry works, via practical experience as a sales agent. Additional experience as a property manager is a bonus !
Taking an online course on how to be a buyer’s agent or vendor advocate simply won’t cut the mustard.
To join this sector of the industry as an inexperienced agent is a danger to consumers, who are reliant upon advocates having proven knowledge, insight and expertise. It’s also very risky for the novice agent, as they will be the ones who get sued when something goes wrong.
It’s imperative to understand that clients rely on buyer and vendor advocates having not just a comprehensive understanding of the property market but also of how estate agencies and agents work.
This is critical to business compliance, negotiation and securing outcomes for your clients.
If you want to be an exclusive buyers or vendors advocate who is always dedicated to representing the best interests of your clients, you need to be;
- a specialist
- completely independent from all selling agencies
- professional with a high level of education and expertise
- experienced with established processes and referral networks
- ideally accredited by the National Buyer’s Agents Association (In Australia, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) is the national body representing Exclusive Buyer’s Agents).
2 Do you have a reputation as a good operator?
Your past clients will be happy to transition with you if you have developed a good reputation while working for them. It helps to have as many contacts on your database as possible for lead generation when you start in advocacy from scratch. It takes time to build up networks and referral relationships and a track record of client case studies and testimonials will go a long way.
3 Are you an area expert, home expert or investment expert?
As a sales agent did you prefer selling new property, established property, working with investors , developers or home buyers? This may be the path you choose to go down as a specialist buyers and vendor advocate.
The hours can be equally as long as those when working as a selling agent, so make sure you find a niche that you enjoy given the time commitment you will be making in your new career direction.
4 Are you willing to unlearn being a selling agent and relearn how to succeed in Buyer and Vendor Advocacy?
While many agents may balk at the idea, if you don’t learn, you can’t grow. Advocacy is a totally different way to working than selling and its important that you understand the nuances and differences, as this will absolutely determine your success and successful outcomes for your clients.
If you are willing to be open minded, securing ongoing mentoring is important to your personal and professional development .
5 Do you have high levels of emotional intelligence, motivation and are driven to help others?
You will be dealing with clients who view property with their own personal filters, so its important that you have a high level of emotional intelligence and are able to empathise with clients while working to secure them outcomes.
Ask yourself why you want to be an Advocate? What will motivate you to get out or bed as a self-employed advocate and do this job ? For me it was about protecting consumers , ensuring they make smart and profitable decisions and knowing that I made a positive difference in their lives. Being clear on this will help you endure any tough times while you develop your mettle.
6 Are you patient?
Property Advocacy can require patience. There can be times where none of the stock on or off market meets your clients brief, or times where you miss out on a property and need to go back to the drawing board and repeat the process. The average client brief could take 6 – 12 months for home buyers and up to 3 months for investors. Knowing that in advance will help you manage your cash flow and volume expectations.
- Make sure you have a minimum of 2 years real estate experience before becoming a property advocate
- Ensure your reputation is stellar and you have a database of clients to work
- Determine your niche before starting as an advocate and focus on that niche
- Be open to unlearning the known and learning a new way of working and how to be an Advocate.
- Be prepared to deal with and manage emotional clients. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. You will need to fall back on it!
- Be prepared to be patient. Some client briefs can take many many months to fulfil.
Miriam Sandkuhler, CEO Property Mavens and Property Mavens Franchising, Industry Thought Leader