Agents breaking with convention to demonstrate their success

by Alistair Helm in

A few weeks ago I posed the question in an article as to “Just how competitive is real estate in NZ” - citing the factual comparative advertising shown in the UK. At the time I suggested that factual comparative advertising was not regarded as appropriate in NZ within the industry.

Well I was wrong. What is more, I have found it alive and well right on my doorstep in my local community newspaper in Devonport, the suburb in which I live.

The local comment newspaper “The Flagstaff” is a great collection of news, letters, profiles and historical insights, very conspicuously supported by the real estate industry in the community - 1 in 5 of the pages is a real estate advert for an agent or a listing. Not unusual, as I am sure such local community papers exist around the country and are widely patronised by agents to reach out to the community.

This week's paper had two full page adverts from individual agents both of which typify the traditional approach taken by agents to promote themselves.

One approached the advert in a traditional manner - full photo and a biography of past achievements and involvement in the community, talking of "bringing energy and confidence to the real estate process", of "real estate expertise and real world experience and success through hard work" - all laudable attributes of an agent.

The other chose to let her clients speak for her with a glowing testimonial, extolling her capabilities and commitment to go the extra mile and her passion and positivity. Oddly given the industry’s love for profile pictures I was surprised that this advert does not have the ubiquitous agent photo and personal contact number - merely the office details.

Both of these adverts are what I am sure we are all accustomed to and would be likely replicated around the country by many hundreds of agents each week. There is no implied criticism in these adverts, they serve a purpose in raising the respective agents profile.

However turn the page in this community magazine and I was surprised by this advert.

This advert is direct, factual, compelling and has an arresting capability to attract attention and get people talking.

This agent makes a statement of performance that leaves the other agents struggling to catch their breath. 

In past 2 years in the suburb of Devonport this agent is responsible for selling 46% - virtually half of all the properties sold in the suburb for over $2 million. That is 23 sales out of 49 in the past 2 years and this is by one agent. There are, as she states 42 agents in Devonport - she is one of them and she alone accounts for close to half of all sales above $2m. The suburb has a median price of around $1m - Wow!

You have to say, if you owned a $2m house in Devonport you would have to think twice about why you would not use her or at least get her to pitch for the business.

This is without doubt smart advertising. Its factual. It is absolutely relevant and clearly it is true and it blows out of the water the subjective differentiation other agents seek to establish around ‘pillars of the community’ and working ‘that bit harder’ - after all what counts is results.

Maybe what the real estate industry needs is to expose more of the facts and let people choose agents based on their performance and let their performance track-record speak for itself.

More insights on the property market and property buying

by Alistair Helm in , ,

In addition to my articles here on Properazzi I am also working with John Bolton at Squirrel, the property and mortgage experts. I am contributing some regular articles on subjects of interest to property buyers and sellers.

I thought I would highlight my most recent articles which I think are of value especially to buyers at this time and state of the property market: 


What does a Real Estate Agent actually do?

Love them or hate them real estate agents are as much a part of the real estate market as lawyers, mortgage brokers and open homes!

Each year around 80,000 properties are transacted in this country by licensed real estate agents as compared to around 9,000 properties being sold by their owner without the assistance of an agent.

The word agent is the colloquial term used to describe a group of professionals, legally known as licensed salespeople (as defined under the 2008 Real Estate Agents Act that governs and regulates the industry). What you and I call an agent, are salespeople who are required to work under the control and administration of a qualified licensee.

Read more.... 


Accepting the need to compromise is one of the lessons of property buying

As a prospective home buyer you are probably aware that there are three basic criteria that govern your choice of a house. No it is not the time-honoured and often quoted, Location, Location, Location. It is Price, Location and Size. These three criteria are equally as important in driving your buying decision; yet sadly it is often not possible to optimize for all three at the same time. So dealing with this dilemma is one of the keys to smart property buying.

The driver of location; where to live is often the most important decision for buying a property. This often results from the need to live close to work, or more commonly these days as a function of school zoning. We all naturally want to live in a great suburb or town; a safe environment with great amenities and friendly neighbours. Going on at this rate will make you believe that Wisteria Lane might actually exist and those Desperate Housewives may turn out to be your neighbour!

Read more.... 


Making sense of property data to help you know when to buy or sell

Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. That is how Wikipedia speaks to statistics and I sense that it is also a perspective that many people take when it comes to property data.

We seem to be constantly being bombarded with the latest set of data for what we are told is the true picture of the property market in New Zealand, however given the multitude of sources and names attributed to these statistics it is often difficult to know what statistics matter and what measures you should use to tell you when it is a good time to buy or sell.

Read more....