Why become a Property Advocate?

What are the benefits of converting from being a selling agent to a buyers and/or vendor advocate?

The current real estate business model is dying, and the industry is undergoing rapid transformation.  Disruption is not just in the way in which Covid19 has caught agencies unprepared and many ‘with their pants down’. It’s also in the use of technology and the way in which customers are inadequately serviced.

Today’s customers expect hyper personalised service and real estate agents just aren’t meeting the mark * . Thanks to the technological breakthroughs introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the pace of customer expectations is evolving at an unimaginable rate.

Those who have recognised this and put their customers at the epicentre of their business by using imaginative, collaborative and hyper-personalised new business models have thrived.

Think Uber, Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, online retailing and F45 – boutique gyms which offer high-intensity training styles and personalised instruction.

Closer to home, mortgage brokers have carved out a niche in the finance industry to become a recognised and licensed profession, winning 60% share of new business today, after only two decades. With service that revolves around providing genuine, lawful and professional advice to customers, the future for the broker channel remains bright.

Every industry across the world is being disrupted. The velocity of change is undeniable. The real estate industry is no different.  However, while forward-thinking businesses across different sectors are already prioritising customised rather than a one-size-fits-all service, the reality is much of the service model offered by the property industry remains stuck in the 20th century.

The Real Estate Industry – Undergoing Involuntary Change

The industry is out of date, out of touch and training is lagging. Covid19 has caused substantial disruption and forced many agencies to adapt and  manage teams based working from home.

In addition, savvy real estate buyers and sellers are turning to the internet to do their research and due diligence. Sadly, they are often better informed than their (old-school) agents.

Market disrupters such as Open Agent, Rate My Agent and Next Address have entered the marketplace, reducing commissions and taking market share. And it won’t stop there.

The Covid19 chaos and business-as-usual approach is likely to lead to agencies retrenching staff or closing, reducing commissions, poorer conditions and fewer leads. In addition, the big players (established franchise groups) continue to commoditise the industry and dictate how real estate is transacted.

The great news is that all these factors points to an inevitable fact: the industry is ripe for radical change,  and is now undergoing it involuntarily due to the Covid19 virus.

Those most likely to thrive in the new environment are high-performing agents willing to venture into unknown territory. They’re open to change and retraining. They know there must be a different way to reinvent themselves and their career. They’re ambitious and are willing to work hard to succeed.

Shifting to a New Paradigm … Property Advocacy

So, what does the Fourth Industrial Revolution look like when applied to the property industry? And how can you participate successfully in it?

In this new world, forward-thinking and adaptable real estate agents start to re-think their profession and industry, moving away from transaction-based services (focus on the property) to relationship-based services (focus on people).

Rather than viewing Covid19 and technology-based disruption as a threat, they’re excited to embrace technology to move to a new paradigm – a more intimate personal service. They know the nature of the industry’s current approach to buyers and vendors needs to radically shift.

They are ready for a reality that puts people before property. In other words, their clients’ best interests come first.

The old way versus the new way 

Today, agents have two choices. Be an employee of an old-school estate agency with an outdated and inflexible operating model designed decades ago, and endure ever-diminishing fees and conditions. Or work for yourself and earn more money.

For emotionally intelligent experienced real estate professionals, one of the most effective ways to future proof their career in these times of rapid change is to transition into a new model based on consultative services: property advocacy.

To be clear, a property advocate is a buyer and/or vendor advocate, so there is no direct selling involved. So for some (particularly selling agents), this transition would require a massive mindset and behavioral shift, as old habits can die hard. The role is to advocate for your client when they are buying or selling, and to advise them with their best interests at heart.

Advocacy is about protecting, looking after, guiding and supporting your clients. It’s a model that’s already hugely popular in the US and UK, and one that’s gaining traction in the Australian property industry.

The buyer advocacy market is steadily increasing with 300+ advocates in Victoria alone as at 2019. Similarly, vendor advocacy is already entrenched overseas in countries like the US and the UK, with enormous scope to increase here in Australia.

Don’t go it alone!

Don’t go it alone, but don’t be fooled either by spruikers promoting expensive online non-industry accredited courses. Often these promise large incomes and fast, easy money. Advocacy is much harder than selling, but very rewarding and easier for those who enter it with the right intent. You will also need  the essentials of established systems, processes, platforms, a recognised brand, digital marketing and support to succeed.

Going it alone is very very tough indeed and has a high failure rate!

I believe authentic Advocacy is what consumers are crying out for. I live by my philosophy of being valued for the positive difference I make in my clients’ lives, not just the volume of property I have transacted or commission I have earned.

Taking this approach has resulted in many more word-of-mouth referrals, more goodwill, incredible job satisfaction, repeat business and greater income.

Do you have what it takes to become a skilled Property Advocate?

Could this be your ‘new normal’ in real estate ?

Click  Property Advocacy  for more information on our  agent business opportunities

Miriam Sandkuhler, CEO Property Mavens and Property Mavens Franchising, Industry Thought Leader

“Property Mavens is a multi-award winning and industry recognised Property Advocacy agency, dedicated to providing our clients with independent and unbiased evidence-based advice.

*(Core Logic 2015/2016 Buyers and Vendor Reports).