What do you really think about real estate agents? Part 2 – Kylie Davis

What do you really think about real estate agents? Part 2 – Kylie Davis

Perceptions of Real Estate Agents – what you really think about real estate agents – is a study that has just recently been released by CoreLogic following some research done by Roy Morgan Research. I was talking earlier in the show to the head of Real Estate Solutions at CoreLogic, Kylie Davis, about the report. We continue today.


KevinPerceptions of Real Estate Agents – what you really think about real estate agents – is a study that has just recently been released by CoreLogic following some research done by Roy Morgan Research. I was talking earlier in the show to the head of Real Estate Solutions at CoreLogic, Kylie Davis, about the report. We left the conversation at this point.
Kylie:  There were four or five key behaviors that an agent does or doesn’t do that will determine if they are excellent, okay, or not great. Those four or five behaviors are things like providing regular feedback. They’re all communication and empathy-based – they’re around providing regular feedback, following up on leads, negotiating strongly and handling the process and managing the expectations of the vendors in a really positive and proactive way.
What came out of that is that the female agents were inevitably stronger in it than a lot of the male agents. They, overwhelmingly, were more excellent at it. Maybe that’s rooted in that whole stereotype that women are better at the softer skills than guys are, but that’s what came out.
Kevin:  You call them softer skills. I call them communication skills and empathy. The two words you use – communication and empathy – are really what it comes down to. I think a lot of males are probably too quick in the conversation, whereas females get a lot more in touch with the feelings or the emotions.
Kylie:  What we took out of that is don’t hire an agent just because they’re a woman; that’s not going to mean that they’re better at this sort of stuff. What it means is really look at the importance of these key behavioral traits and find an agent who is good at that regardless of what sex they are. It’s possible that they are more likely to be female, but not necessarily. Look for an agent who is warm, is human, who you enjoy sitting down with…
Kevin:  …Who you can relate to.
Kylie:  …Who you can really relate to, and who you feel is going to do the right thing by you and that you can see from their website and from the way they run their business, is a good, strong way to run their business.
I think one of the issues consumers have when they’re trying to choose an agent is that it always tends to be a bit like speed dating. You combine that idea that you’re selling the most important asset and valuable asset you have with that whole speed dating element of “Gosh, I have to find an agent really quickly.” That’s always a recipe for a bit of a disaster.
What the insights showed us was that taking the time to get to know someone, seeing someone in action, finding out if they run a good business, if they’re a decent human being, all of those things will really help ensure that your experience with your agent and selling your home is a very positive one as opposed to just ordinary or disastrous.
Kevin:  I’m talking to Kylie Davis, head of Real Estate Solutions at CoreLogic. This is the Perceptions of Real Estate Agents report that has just been released. Kylie, how important is years of experience?
Kylie:  It’s a bit of a two-edged sword, we found. Most of our respondents had around the ten-year experience mark, but a lot of the people who we surveyed – and we asked for comments the whole way through the survey – those people who have been in the industry ten years or more, if you think about what the market has done over the last decade, have had some great times and have had some bad times.
The fact that an agent has a lot of experience might mean that they’re a little bit jaded. Again, it comes down to “What are their human skills like? What’s their EQ – rather than their IQ – like as an agent?”
We also had a lot of agents who had very young or inexperienced agents who did a brilliant job. The reason those agents did a brilliant job is because they weren’t burdened by the sheer volume of what’s happened in the past and carrying all that with them. They were very enthusiastic and they were very keen to connect with their clients and get those clients a great result. The fact that they didn’t have a huge amount of experience meant that they were working so much harder for that client.
Kevin:  One of the most incredible findings for me in the whole survey was the fact that there is a decline in confidence that consumers have in their real estate agents that they experience as they go through that sale process. Can we have a quick look at that?
Kylie:  This was one of the really key insights that came out of it. We asked the survey respondents a lot of questions and asked them for a lot of feedback around what happened. What came out of that is that at the beginning of the process, when you’ve just signed up, you have just decided that you’re going to use an agent and you’re really excited and enthusiastic about what the process is going to be.
58% of those that we surveyed said that they were confident that their agent was going to do a great job just before the sales process began, just after they had signed up. What happened then, though, was that during the process, that number dropped to 50% in the middle of the sale process, so 8% of people suddenly weren’t feeling that confident about their agent anymore. Most of those people were becoming dubious about how their agent was going.
By the end of the process, after the sale had gone through, only 41% were confident and happy that their agent had handled the process exactly the way that they were expecting at the beginning of the whole thing.
When we delved deeper into those numbers, what we found was that, again, communication, empathy, doing what you said you would do, all of those things are completely behind that fall off of confidence.
At the beginning of the process, the agent has said, “Yes, I’m going to call you after every open for inspection. I’m going to report back on what the feedback is. I’m going to do all these things to make you feel secure.” Agents who did not do that completely lost people during the process.
The whole discussion around “You told me at the beginning that my house was worth $500,000. Now you’re trying to get me to take an offer of $360,000. What happened?” That’s not so much a play at the moment while the market’s hot. But agents who are out of communication with their clients or avoiding communication with their clients, who are not proactive about informing them every step of the way, engaging with them, and understanding where their heads are at during the process, lose the confidence of their clients very, very quickly.
The reason that’s important or terrible for agents is that those people then don’t recommend those agents, and as we discussed at the beginning, recommendations by people or seeing an agent do a great job is the most important way for an agent to get new business.
Kevin:  There were certainly some fabulous lessons in here for agents, but I can tell you equally, great lessons for anyone who is looking at maybe selling or buying a property, too. It’s a great report. It’s put out by CoreLogic RP Data. It’s called Perceptions of Real Estate Agents.
We’re going to make that available on our website. Have a look for the link. Have a look for this interview that I’ve just done with Kylie, and we’ll have it attached to that, as well.
Kylie David, head of Real Estate Solutions at CoreLogic, thank you so much for your time.
Kylie:  Thanks, Kevin. It’s been great.

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