Top 5 relationships every real estate agent should have

As a real estate agent or salesperson, you play a key role in helping buyers and sellers achieve their property goals. 

While you may, quite literally, hold the key to unlocking their home ownership dream, it’s important to remember that buyers and sellers need to surround themselves with a network of professionals before they can pop the champagne on settlement day. 

We understand that agents work hard to establish client relationships built on trust. So, when a buyer or seller asks who you’d recommend to do their conveyancing or carry out a building report, it’s important for you to be able to pass on a name that you trust. 

Here are five relationships every agent or salesperson should have. 

1. Lawyer or conveyancer

Whether buying or selling a home, it’s a good idea to get legal advice early on in the property journey. If a client comes to you and doesn’t have a lawyer (or conveyancer) yet, giving them the name and number of a trusted local firm will save them time. 

While a client or customer might already have a family solicitor, home buyers and sellers should ideally engage with a lawyer that specialises in conveyancing. Suggest that your client or customer speak to their lawyer about clauses that might need to be included in a sale and purchase agreement, or whether they’re happy to submit an unconditional offer. 

Having these conversations early will save time down the road, helping you to ensure a smooth and speedy sale, which keeps all parties happy. Encouraging your clients to seek legal advice early on also helps position you as a true professional. 

2. Mortgage advisor or bank

Almost everyone requires finance to get into a house, whether it’s a first home or a rental investment. It’s a good idea to build a relationship with a broker or banker in your area who goes above and beyond to provide stellar customer service and financial advice. 

A broker or banker with a good understanding of things like KiwiSaver withdrawals or the HomeStart grant can be the difference between a first home buyer getting finance – or not. In turn, if it’s a farm or commercial building you’re selling, a different set of expertise is required. 

A buyer who receives good financial advice is more likely to actually be able to buy the house you’re selling, so pointing them in the direction of a knowledgeable broker or banker is a win-win. 

On the other hand, vendors may require advice about things like bridging finance, if they purchase a property before selling their current house, so having a reputable broker or banker to refer people to is helpful for both your clients and customers. 

3. Building inspector

Again, a building inspector is a handy contact you can pass onto both vendors and buyers. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for sellers to get a building inspection of their own before a home even goes on the market so that the agent or salesperson can pass this onto potential buyers. 

Accompanied by documentation like the council LIM, this can help speed up the sale process because potential purchasers can be supplied with helpful information that usually takes time (and money) to gather up. 

Getting a pre-listing building inspection can also uncover issues with the house that the vendor might not have been aware of, giving them time to repair or disclose the fault, instead of getting a nasty surprise once the home is listed and the problem is revealed by a buyer’s building inspection. 

A good agent or salesperson should consider having a couple of names up their sleeve, as buyers may still want to order an independent building inspection of their own from a different firm. 

4. Property manager

If a house is being purchased as an investment property, most major lenders will require a written rent appraisal to be submitted alongside the loan application.

If you believe a house you’ve listed will appeal to investors, it can be a good idea to get a rent appraisal from your agency’s rental division, or a local property manager. This is one less thing for a potential buyer to arrange and, again, is a way that you can go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.

Property managers also have fantastic relationships with a network of local investors and can be a valuable source of knowledge when it comes to selling a home with investor appeal. You never know - your next buyer might just be on their books.

5. Builder 

If you’re listing a property that has some obvious issues, it can be valuable to get a builder in to give you a quote for the work. Your vendor might decide to undertake the repairs before the home goes on the market. If not, you can at least give potential buyers an idea of the price to remedy the problem – and the number might not be as scary as they first anticipated. 

Getting a builder in doesn’t just help paint a picture of the repair work a house may need – they can also help you identify the true potential of a property. For example, if a plot of land could be subdivided and on sold, this might drive up the appeal of a property amongst your potential buyers. 

It’s worth noting that, when asked for a referral, more and more agencies are choosing to provide two or three recommendations. This gives your clients or customers options and the opportunity to obtain quotes, while also preventing you from appearing to be playing favourites with any particular supplier or service provider. 

Just as with your clients and customers, it’s important to value the relationships you build with other local professionals. While great agents and salespeople build these networks in order to better serve their buyers or sellers, it’s natural that these relationships may result in referrals coming your way, too. Show appreciation for their work and don’t forget – a phone call or a quick email to say ‘thanks’ goes a long way.    

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