Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic

 
Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic
Vendor Perceptions
of Real Estate Agents
New Zealand
Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic
Contents
Executive summary����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4

Reasons for selling, sales methods and final results�������������������������������������������������10

How vendors selected their agent����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12

Vendor knowledge and market awareness�������������������������������������������������������������������14

How well agents know the market����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15

The skill levels of agents������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 16

Vendor satisfaction levels with the price achieved���������������������������������������������������� 18

How vendor feelings about agents changed across the sale period�����������������20

The importance of vendor recommendations about agents�������������������������������� 22

How vendors rated their overall experience���������������������������������������������������������������� 24

Preparation and the impact of data on the quality of vendor
experience�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 25

Male and female agents: is there a difference?���������������������������������������������������������� 26

What did agents do that delivered impressive service?����������������������������������������� 28

What agents did right���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 29

What vendors say agents should do better����������������������������������������������������������������30

Other ways to improve��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31

What vendors will do differently the next time they sell a home����������������������� 32

Next time I sell������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 33

     6 behaviours that improve service����������������������������������������������������������������������������34

     8 behaviours that offend vendors����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 35

Conclusion��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������36

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Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic
Executive Summary
The 2018 Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents
New Zealand survey gathered both quantitative and
qualitative data about the quality of customer service
offered by real estate agents from more than 900 survey
participants who had all bought and sold properties
recently.

The data reveals that while the majority of vendors had a
positive experience (64%) with their agent, there is room
for improvement.

The survey finds that overwhelmingly, agents are
excellent practitioners of the practicalities of their craft.
They receive high scores on how they present properties,
their marketing materials and their sales patter. But
where improvement needs to occur is in empathy,
relationship building, communication, delivering on
promises and just plain listening. Only 35% of the industry
truly excel in this area.

The survey reveals that sale time is when vendors feel
hugely vulnerable – the future of what is generally their
biggest asset hangs in the balance, major life decisions
                                                                                                                                 64%
are in the process of being made, plus there’s the stress                                                                        of vendors
and work involved with getting a property ready for
sale. The data shows in these instances, too many agents
                                                                                                                                 rated the overall
focus on the skills required to win the listing in the short                                                                     experience of
term, rather than winning the relationship – and all the
referrals that the relationship will bring them over the                                                                         selling their home
long term.
                                                                                                                                 as positive.
The survey reveals that agents regularly throw away more
business than they need to. Dissatisfied vendors number
two in every five, leading to low referrals to friends
and family and even lower repeat business. Yet it is on
these latter elements that agents are overwhelmingly
judged – and it is this gap that damages both individual
reputations, businesses, and the industry as a whole.

Seen in the context of potential technological disruption,
over the last 12 months to 31 June 2018, across New
Zealand there were 91,176 sales at a gross value of $58.3
billion. The survey reported 18% of vendors experienced
poor or disastrous service. Put into market context,
this represents 16,412 sales or $10.5 billion annually and
(based on 2%) commission just short of $210m. This is a
market sizing that any disruptor would be glad to win.

To avoid commoditisation, the industry needs to
move permanently away from being product-led in its
outcomes (getting a property sold which can be easily
delivered as a technology) and towards the delivery
of sales service excellence (providing a trustworthy
and valuable advisory relationship that makes selling a
property for the best price stress free).

What is also clear from the data is just how simple it is for
any under-performing agents to lift their game.

                                                                                               CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 4

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Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic
Key Statistics

                                                                 70% of vendors sold for their expected
                                                                 price (or above it).

                                                                                            42% sold in less
                                                                                                                                                                     41% of agents
                                                                                            than 30 days, with a
                                                                                                                                                                     had more than 10
                                                                                            further 27% selling
                                                                                                                                                                     years experience.
                                                                                            in under 45 days.

35% of vendors accessed a property report.

                                                                                                                                                                     17% of vendors
                                                                                            38% of vendors                                                           said commission
                                                                                            interviewed just a                                                       was not important
                                                                                            single agent.                                                            in their decision
                                                                                                                                                                     making.

                                                                 61% of vendors said they would recommend their
                                                                 agent to family or friends.

                                                                                                                                                                     35% of vendors
                                                                                            56% of vendors                                                           said their
                                                                                            chose their agent                                                        experience selling
                                                                                            after seeing them                                                        their home was
                                                                                            successfully sell a                                                      excellent, while
                                                                                            local property.                                                          29% said it was
                                                                                                                                                                     good.

66% of vendors felt they were well prepared before the
sales process, but only 44% felt their agent gave them
great guidance.

                                                                                                                                                                     37% said they
                                                                                                                                                                     expected to stay
                                                                                                                                                                     in touch with their
                                                                                                                                                                     agent or use them
                                                                                                                                                                     again.

                                                                                              CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 5

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Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic
8 lessons for service excellence

The key finding of the
perceptions survey was that
the majority (64%) of vendors
reported experiencing good or
excellent service from their agents, while
36% said the service levels had underwhelmed
or even angered them.

When we examined the types of behaviour that made
vendors delighted, key themes that all agents could
benefit from were identified, including:

01 Be Professional                                                   04 Know Your Market                                                    06 Be On Their Side
The number one behaviour                                             Vendors felt confident they were                                       Vendors felt championed by
highlighted by vendors as                                            in good hands when agents                                              agents who negotiated hard on
essential was professional                                           demonstrated their market                                              their behalf and managed the
behaviour demonstrated by being                                      expertise, showed them the data                                        headaches created by difficult
proactive, pre-empting their needs                                   that they had used to determine                                        buyers.
and delivering as promised.                                          price estimates, took the time
                                                                     to explain market behaviour                                            07 Be Thoughtful
02 Regular Feedback                                                  and showed they had good                                               Vendors were impressed by agents
Vendors stressed highly the value                                    connections and relationships                                          who demonstrated thoughtfulness
of agents who were proactive                                         locally.                                                               and recognised their stress and
about communication, who                                                                                                                    anxiety around the sale and took
delivered a transparent sales                                        05 Provide Advice And                                                  steps to alleviate that.
process and who used data-                                           Support
based insights to support their                                      Vendors highly valued advice on
processes.                                                           presenting their homes in the best                                     08 Consistent Service
                                                                     possible light, especially when it                                     Many vendors flagged they felt
03 Listening And Empathy                                             was supported by recommending                                          dumped by their agents as soon
Vendors appreciated agents being                                     and helping coordinate tradesmen                                       as the listing was signed, while
easy to talk to and with whom                                        or through personal touches from                                       those whose agents delivered
they felt safe to ask questions at                                   the agent.                                                             consistent service were more
any time, and who understood the                                                                                                            likely to use the agent again and
stress of what they were going                                                                                                              recommend them to friends.
through.

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Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents - New Zealand - CoreLogic
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Who took part in the survey?
                           “We sold to help invest in our company, but we also had to
                           relocate for family reasons.”
                           – Survey Respondent

The 2018 Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents Report New Zealand is based on the responses of 912
vendors who sold properties across the country. Each region was represented, with a high volume of responses
received from vendors in Auckland and Wellington.

Respondents were sourced from promotions via the QV.co.nz website, emails and social media, with 716 fully
completed surveys received.

The majority of respondents (53%) had sold within the past two years, with 33% selling their home within the
past 12 months and 20% having sold in the past six months, ensuring their experiences with agents were fresh
in their minds.

How long ago did you sell your home?

 Within the last 6 months                                  6 - 12 months ago                                       1 - 2 years ago                             More than 2 years ago

               20.4%                                                12.8%                                             20.4%                                               46.4%

The final report was written highlighting the stories within the data. To make the report easier to consume, the
data focuses on the results that deliver insight for the industry.

All percentages in this research have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

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In which region did you sell your home?

                                                                                                            3%
                                                                                                            Northland

                                                          33%
                                                          Auckland
                                                                                                                                                 6%
                                                                                                                                                 Bay of Plenty
                                                          7%
                                                          Waikato

                                                                        3%                                                                                                    0.6%
                                                                        Taranaki                                                                                              Gisborne

                                                          2%                                                                                                           3%
                                                          Nelson                                                                                                       Hawke’s Bay

                                                                                                                                                     5%
                                                 1%                                                                                                  Manawatu-Wanganui
                                                 Tasman
                                                                                                                                          17%
                                                                                                                                          Wellington
                             0.1%
                             West Coast
                                                                                                               1%
                                                                                                               Marlborough

                                                                                                   10%
                                                                                                   Canterbury

                                                                                          6%
                                                                                          Otago

2%
Southland

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Reasons for selling, sales methods
and final results
                     “We wanted to get out of Auckland. We couldn’t stand the
                     traffic any longer.”
                     – Survey Respondent

The most common reason stated by respondents
for selling was to ‘upgrade’ (23%), with ‘family                                                            Which of the following influences
reasons’ cited by 20% of respondents, while 13%                                                             helped you decide which agent to
were investing and 12% were downsizing.                                                                     choose?

What was the main reason for selling
your home?
                                                                                                                               Recommendations                                             43.1%

                                                                                                                               Seeing the agent successfully
                 Upgrading                                                  22.8%                                              sell a local property                                      55.7%
                 Making the most of strong
                 prices in my area                                            5.8%                                             Newspaper advertising                                       4.9%
                 Moving for work                                             10.5%                                             Seeing the agent’s website/
                                                                                                                               listing on a real estate portal                             19.5%
                 Downsizing                                                   11.9%
                                                                                                                               Local signboards                                             7.0%
                 Family reasons                                              20.1%                                             Seeing the agent on social
                                                                                                                               media                                                        3.0%
                 Investment decision                                         12.4%
                                                                                                            Speed of sale was notable with 42% of those
                                                                                                            surveyed selling in less than 30 days and 27% selling
                 Other                                                       16.6%                          within 30 and 45 days, followed by 17% taking
                                                                                                            between 45 and 90 days. Only 15% of respondents
Making the most of strong prices was cited by just                                                          took more than 90 days to sell their property.
6% of respondents while an additional 10% were
moving for work. In all, 17% cited ‘other’ reasons for
selling. An analysis of the responses showed mainly                                                         What was the final result
lifestyle reasons including retirement, divorce,                                                            of your sale?
getting away from neighbours or Auckland traffic,
moving overseas or moving away from earthquake
prone areas.                                                                                                22.2%                     48.1%                   24.8%                    4.9%
                                                                                                            Sold above    Sold for                            Sold below               Did not sell
The majority of respondents (65%) chose to sell by                                                          your expected around your                         your
private treaty/normal sale while auction was the                                                            price         expected                            expected
preferred method for 23% of respondents. A further                                                                        price                               price
12% of vendors sold by tender.

Sales results were good or excellent for 70% of
those surveyed with 22% stating they had sold
above the expected price, while 48% sold for
around their expected price. A total of 25% said
they sold below their expected price, while 5% did
not successfully sell.

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How long did it take to sell your home?

                                                                                                                1 YR                         1-3 YRS                            >3 YRS

     Less than                       30 - 45 days                      45 - 90 days                      Between 90                            1 - 3 years                        More than
      30 days                                                                                            days & a year                                                             3 years

     42.3%                              26.7%                              16.7%                               9.5%                               3.5%                               1.2%

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How vendors selected their agent
                     “We first tried to engage our agent a year ago and she
                     told us to wait for the market to rise. I reckon her guidance
                     created an extra $100k in profit for us. She’s got a massive
                     track record of doing the same for other families in our area.
                     She’s epic!” – Survey Respondent

The sale of a property, as one of the most valuable                                                        The insight is important because when vendors
assets in most families, is arguably one of the                                                            were asked what they would do differently the
most important transactions many of us will ever                                                           next time they sell, a significant number stated
undertake. This can make the sale process highly                                                           they would interview more agents. Even more
stressful even before you think about the effort and                                                       concerning was the high number of respondents
time it takes to prepare a property for sale and the                                                       who said they would sell the property themselves
myriad of decisions required.                                                                              next time.

The approach taken when selecting an agent                                                                 When asked to choose which influences had helped
therefore offers insights into how vendors are                                                             them decide upon their agent, 56% were influenced
now assessing agent behaviour, and provides                                                                by seeing an agent successfully sell a local property
comparison points for agents to measure their                                                              and 43% relied on recommendations by friends.
conduct. While most agents assume it is their
ability to convert listing appointments to listing                                                         These two elements were significantly more
engagements as the measure of their success, the                                                           influential than traditional marketing such as seeing
data shows that vendors have already conducted a                                                           the agent on a property website (20%). Traditional
significant amount of research before they invite an                                                       marketing such as newspaper advertising was
agent into their home.                                                                                     influential to just 5% of respondents, compared to
                                                                                                           7% for signboards. Only 3% of vendors said they
Put simply, agents who only measure the conversion                                                         were influenced by an agent’s social media.*
levels of their listing appointments to engagements
are measuring too little, too late in the process.                                                         Respondents had an approach to commission that
The data shows that vendors are relying much                                                               will hearten many agents, with the majority of those
more heavily on personal recommendations, seeing                                                           surveyed saying it was not the most important
agents in action at open homes and researching the                                                         part of the transaction. 17% of vendors said that
digital presence of their agent.                                                                           commission was not important – rather they wanted
                                                                                                           the agent to prove she or he was committed to
This is shown by the fact that a substantial – and                                                         getting the best price possible.
somewhat surprising – 38% of respondents to the
survey said they interviewed just one agent before                                                         A further 40% said that while commission was a
making their decision on who to use. A further                                                             factor, the emphasis was on the agent proving
31% chose to interview two agents, while 23%                                                               their value. Of those surveyed, only 13% said it was
interviewed 3, and just 7% chose to interview more                                                         the most important element as they wanted the
than three agents.                                                                                         cheapest commission possible, while 30% said they
                                                                                                           wanted a competitive commission.
How many agents did you                                                                                    The majority of agents selected by vendors were
interview/meet with before you chose                                                                       highly experienced, with 41% of respondents stating
who to use?                                                                                                that their agent had more than 10 years’ experience
                                                                                                           and 29% stating their agent had between five and
                                                                                                           10 years’ experience.
38.2%                   31.4%                   23.4%                    7.0%
                                                                                                           Only 14% of those surveyed chose an agent with
Just one                Two                     Three                    More than
                                                                                                           less than 5 years’ experience, while 16% stated that
agent                   agents                  agents                   three agents
                                                                                                           they did not know the experience levels of their
                                                                                                           agent – an interesting statistic in itself.
*Responses add up to more than 100% due to allowance for multiple answers.

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How important was the level of commission that the agent
                              charged to your final decision to go with your agent?

                                40.1%                                     A factor. But the emphasis was on the
                                                                          agent proving their value.

How much experience did your agent have?

            Don’t know                                    Less than 5 years                                      Up to 10 years                                  More than 10 years

               15.7%                                               13.7%                                              29.2%                                               41.4%

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 13

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Vendor knowledge and market awareness
                     “I did loads of research myself before I even considered
                     selling and then I partnered with the right agent.”
                     – Survey Respondent

Vendors surveyed identified the importance of                                                              Vendors were most likely to be reliant upon agents
doing their own homework on the market as part of                                                          for time on market information with 69% stating
selling their home, with the overwhelming majority                                                         that they were somewhat or completely reliant upon
of vendors conducting their own research to some                                                           their agent for the insight.
degree.
                                                                                                           When asked what they would do differently the
Nevertheless nearly one in five were completely                                                            next time they sold a property, a significant number
reliant on their agent for insights into their local                                                       of respondents nominated “more research” as a key
market.                                                                                                    activity they would undertake or spend more time
                                                                                                           on.
When asked what type of research they had
conducted, 76% said they had looked at similar                                                             Many vendors nominated their own research as
properties online to see the competition, 68% read                                                         the best way to feel confident that their agent was
up on local market conditions and 37% attended                                                             performing properly and telling them the truth or as
open homes of properties similar to their own.*                                                            a way to hold them to account.

The survey also flagged the rising importance of                                                           “I’m not going to trust advice from real estate
property reports with 22% purchasing a property                                                            agents next time, especially with regards to price
report and 13% receiving one from their bank or                                                            expectations,” wrote one. “I’ll be very careful
mortgage broker.                                                                                           choosing an agent too – they’ll have to work to gain
                                                                                                           our trust. I’ll do an interview process – the works.”
The survey showed that 11% of vendors surveyed
said they were completely self-reliant when it came
to research and trusted their own data above what
they were told by their agent.

What types of research did you personally do before you put your home on the
market, or while it was on the market?
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
               Bought a                       Researched                     Spoke to friends                  Attended open                 Read up on local                   Received a free
            property report                similar properties                  and family                     homes of homes                 market conditions                  property report
                                           online to see the                                                   similar to yours                                                  from a bank/
                                              competition                                                                                                                          mortgage
                                                                                                                                                                                    adviser
*Responses add up to more than 100% due to allowance for multiple answers.

                                                                                              CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 14

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How well agents know the market
                           “We’ll be asking a lot more questions the next time we sell,
                           and expect data to back up the answers.”
                           – Survey Respondent

The survey identified a high level of market
knowledge and skill in presenting key data to                                                              Less than half (48%) of agents delivered information
vendors while at the same time highlighting the                                                            about the suburb generally such as median prices,
slowness with which real estate agents appear to                                                           growth rates etc and only 33% of agents delivered
be embracing technological change.                                                                         information on the current time on market to
                                                                                                           vendors as part of their presentation. While 23% of
                                                                                                           vendors surveyed said they had chosen to sell by
Information the agent presented to                                                                         auction, only 12% said they had been shown local
show their market knowledge                                                                                auction clearance rates.

                 Recent sales in your area
                                                                            82.2%                          How did you rate the presentation
                 (general)
                                                                                                           from the agent you finally chose?
                 An estimated value of your
                                                                            79.3%
                 property
                                                                                                           38.8%                      37.6%                   18.9%                    4.8%
                 Recent sales by their agency                               48.3%                          Excellent                  Good                    Average                  Poor

                 Recent sales of homes similar
                 to yours                                                   64.4%                          77% of vendors rated the standard of presentation
                 Suburb information - median                                                               given by the agent about their property as good or
                 prices, growth etc                                          47.7%                         excellent and only 5% stating it was poor.

                 Local auction clearance rates                               12.4%                         The gift of the sales gab is still a prevalent
                                                                                                           agent skill however with 64% saying their agent
                 Average time on market (time                                                              demonstrated their knowledge about their local
                 it takes for a home to sell on                             32.9%                          market mainly by talking about it and 51% delivering
                 average)                                                                                  a high quality printed presentation.

                                                                                                           The survey showed real estate agents are slow
When asked what information the agent had                                                                  to embrace even now common technology to
provided to show their market knowledge when                                                               demonstrate and share their market knowledge -
seeking to win the vendor’s business, 82% said they                                                        only 10% use a computer or iPad as part of their
had been shown information about recent sales and                                                          presentation. A tiny 3% used video while just 14% of
79% were given an estimated value of the property                                                          those surveyed received market information in an
in the presentation.                                                                                       email.

Nevertheless this does call out the surprising finding                                                     But when they did, it truly impressed vendors.
that one in five vendors were not provided with
information about their property value during the
presentation.

Even fewer agents (48%) demonstrated to potential
vendors recent sales their agency had made (rather
than the market in general) and 64% demonstrated
their ability to sell homes similar to that owned by
the vendors.
                                                                                              CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 15

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The skill levels of agents
                     “Our agent really knew the market and made good suggestions
                     to obtain the best possible price. They identified and suggested
                     presentation improvements that we would never have thought of.
                     And they had so many people able to help with the work without
                     it costing a lot of money.” – Survey Respondent

While New Zealand’s real estate agents may exude                                                           Agents were consistently rated very highly by
confidence, their skill levels do not always walk their                                                    vendors at their ability to handle open homes (47%
talk, according to survey results. 18% of vendors had                                                      rated as excellent and a further 30% rated as good),
poor to disastrous experiences, and a further 18%                                                          followed closely by 46% who said their agent’s
stated they were average.                                                                                  ability to follow up potential buyers was ‘excellent’.

The survey showed that those surveyed said the                                                             Across the board in sales skills, the research
confidence levels of their agent was excellent                                                             found that between 23% and 32% of vendors have
(52%) or good (29%), and agent skills were                                                                 average to poor experiences in how their agents
weakest at negotiation with just 40% stating they                                                          communicate with them and keep them in the loop
were excellent and 28% stating they were good.                                                             about their sale.
Negotiation was also the skill most rated as poor by
respondents with 12% stating their agent completely                                                        The survey found 29% of those surveyed said their
failed in this regard and 20% stating the skill level at                                                   agent was poor or average at keeping them up to
negotiation was average.                                                                                   date with what to expect, while 26% were poor or
                                                                                                           average at providing regular feedback about the
Customer service and response times were rated as                                                          sales process.
excellent by 45% of respondents, with a further 29%
stating they were good but - just over one in four                                                         The data around ability to handle the sales process
– said customer service was average (17%) or poor                                                          demonstrates most clearly the disparity between
(9%).                                                                                                      agents. While 47% of vendors stated their agent’s
                                                                                                           skills in this regard were excellent, it also had one
Agents were rated as having excellent knowledge                                                            of the highest poor scores at 11% and a further 19%
about the market by 49% of respondents, while 31%                                                          stated that their agent’s ability was average.
said it was good.

How well did your agent handle the following elements of the sales process?

                                                                                                       Excellent                     Good                    Average                       Poor

 Marketing                                                                                               43.9%                      33.2%                       17.2%                      5.7%

 Open Homes                                                                                              47.0%                      29.6%                       16.1%                      7.2%

 Providing regular feedback to me about the progress                                                     44.4%                      29.6%                       17.2%                      8.9%

 Follow up of potential buyers and leads                                                                 46.3%                      28.2%                      16.9%                       8.7%

 Negotiation skills                                                                                       41.3%                      27.1%                    20.0%                        11.8%

 Keeping me up to date with what to expect                                                               41.6%                      29.4%                      19.5%                       9.7%

 Handling the sales process                                                                              46.6%                      24.0%                      18.8%                      10.6%

                                                                                              CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 16

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How did you rate the skills of the agent you finally chose to sell your property?

                                                                                                       Excellent                     Good                    Average                       Poor

 Agent confidence                                                                                        52.2%                      29.4%                      13.2%                       5.2%

 Agent knowledge about the market                                                                        49.4%                       31.1%                     16.3%                       3.2%

 Marketing materials and presentation                                                                    37.2%                      36.2%                     20.6%                       6.0%

 Follow up                                                                                                41.1%                     29.0%                       18.1%                     11.8%

 Negotiation skills                                                                                     40.0%                       27.9%                     20.3%                       11.9%

 Agent experience                                                                                        46.1%                      31.2%                     17.99%                      4.6%

 Track record of sales                                                                                   42.7%                      34.8%                      19.6%                       2.5%

 Customer service/response time                                                                          44.7%                      28.7%                      17.0%                       9.6%

Comments in this space were plentiful with 490 out                                                         “They need to take the time to get to know the
of more than 900 respondents providing feedback.                                                           client and be consistent about giving feedback to
                                                                                                           the client about how everything is going. This is our
“Agents need to listen, listen, listen to what the                                                         home we’re selling!” wrote a third.
seller needs from them,” wrote one respondent.
“They need to communicate well and keep the seller                                                         These insights reveal that agents have mastered
informed. Once a week is too long and seems like                                                           the product-delivery elements of selling a property
forever when you are waiting for some feedback.”                                                           – the photos, the marketing, the ad bookings and
“Better written proposals, better written reporting                                                        the open homes. But there is a skill gap when it
throughout the campaign is needed,” wrote another.                                                         comes to building relationships and making human
“The reports don’t have to be long but show me                                                             connections. Yet it is the relationship delivery upon
that the agent is working on buyers and presenting                                                         which vendors rate as the most important.
and protecting the value of my home.”

                           “They need to take the time to get to know the client and
                           be consistent about giving feedback to the client about how
                           everything is going. This is our home we’re selling!”
                           – Survey Respondent

                                                                                              CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 17

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Vendor satisfaction levels
with the price achieved

                     “The level of communication before and after the sale was
                     fantastic. They negotiated the best price on the day, despite
                     the fact they had only one bidder.” – Survey Respondent

The survey identified that while price does play an                                                        The data reveals that 72% of vendors who achieved
important role in vendor satisfaction, it is not the                                                       a higher than expected price said their overall
only thing that agents are judged on. Vendors can                                                          experience selling was ‘excellent’ with a further 20%
be impressed with service levels when the price                                                            stating it was ‘good’. For those who achieved the
is as expected or even below the desired amount.                                                           expected price, 35% said their overall experience
Equally, vendors can be dissatisfied with the service                                                      was ‘excellent’ and 38% stated it was ‘good’.
level when they achieve the result hoped for.
                                                                                                           What we can conclude from this is that when a
Let’s examine this in detail. The survey shows that                                                        higher than expected price is achieved, vendors are
70% of vendors were satisfied with the results of                                                          much more likely to rate the experience as positive,
their sale in relation to the price achieved. 22% sold                                                     although this is not guaranteed. Equally, we see the
their property above the expected price, while 48%                                                         opposite is true when vendors fail to sell, they are
sold for around the expected price. Only 5% of                                                             much more likely to regard the experience as poor
those surveyed failed to sell, with 25% stating they                                                       or disastrous.
sold below their price expectations.
                                                                                                           So if achieving a good price is an important part of
If price had been the most important element of the                                                        good service, what are the behaviours that make
sale, these numbers would correlate more closely                                                           vendors feel the best price possible was achieved?
with those that asked how respondents rated their
overall experience when selling their home.                                                                Not surprisingly, it’s all about the information
                                                                                                           that was shared with the vendor. The research
But what we see in the data overall is that a higher                                                       showed that vendors who received additional
number of respondents said their experience                                                                market data from their agent, were more likely to
selling was ‘excellent’, in comparison to those                                                            have sold above their expected price than general
who sold above the expected price. This indicates                                                          respondents. While the survey showed that 22%
that an agent can achieve the expected price but                                                           of respondents generally achieved a higher than
demonstrate behaviours that make them stand out                                                            expected price at sale time, 37% of respondents
as delivering excellent service.                                                                           who had received local auction clearance rates from
                                                                                                           their agent sold for more than expected.
Equally, an agent can achieve the expected or
higher price, but demonstrate behaviours that will                                                         Likewise, 30% of those who had received
result in the vendor being unhappy with the level of                                                       information about the time it took for a home in
service.                                                                                                   their area to sell had higher than expected sale
                                                                                                           prices, compared to the 22% generally.
This is most evident when we overlay the insights
about overall experience with the price achieved.

What was the final result of your sale?

22.2%                                             48.1%                                               24.9%                                               4.9%
Sold above your                                   Sold for around                                     Sold below your                                     Did not sell
expected price                                    your expected price                                 expected price

                                                                                              CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 18

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Overall Experience Selling Your Home

       Excellent                                     Good                                  Average                                       Poor                               Disastrous

           35%                                       29%                                       18%                                       13%                                       5%

Compared to:

        Sold above                                           Sold for                                           Sold below
      expected price                                      expected price                                      expected price                                        Failed to sell

                 22%                                                48%                                                  25%                                                  5%

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 19

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How vendor feelings about agents
changed across the sale period
                     “The price estimated by our agent for the sale was overly
                     high. My feeling was I was promised a high price just so he
                     could win the listing. But once listed, all the disappointment
                     started.” – Survey Respondent

One of the most important findings of the survey
was the significant decline in confidence that                                                             How did you feel about your agent
consumers of real estate agent services experience                                                         during the sales process?
as they go through the sale process.                                                                       (Once you had signed up and started open homes,
                                                                                                           marketing)
The issue of “managing down” vendor price
expectations was flagged across comment sections
in the survey, identifying the need for agents                                                                                 Confident the agent was doing
to have “hard” price conversations earlier with                                                                                a good job and would get a                                 50.5%
vendors.                                                                                                                       good price

                                                                                                                               Anxious they would sell the
How did you feel about your agent                                                                                              property and get a price close                             32.8%
before the sales process began?                                                                                                to what you wanted
(i.e.: just after you had signed up and begun
working with them)                                                                                                             Dubious that they were going to
                                                                                                                               succeed in selling the property                             16.8%
                                                                                                                               and meet your expectations
                 Confident they would do a good
                 job and get a good price                                   57.2%
                                                                                                           During the sales process, this level of confidence
                                                                                                           slipped to 51% with the number of vendors
                                                                                                           becoming dubious jumping to 17% of respondents.
                 Hopeful they would sell the
                 property and get a price close                             39.0%                          Once the property was sold, only 42% reported
                 to what you wanted
                                                                                                           being delighted with the performance of the agent,
                                                                                                           37% feeling okay about the experience, and 21%
                 Dubious that they would                                                                   unhappy with the final result. In this way, the survey
                 succeed in selling the property                              3.8%                         identifies that a significant number of vendors
                 and meeting your expectations
                                                                                                           experience agents who “over-promise and under-
                                                                                                           deliver”.
The survey identified that vendors had high hopes
and confidence in the skill levels of their agents                                                         Of all the things agents do poorly, managing
at the time of selecting the agent, however this                                                           down attracts some of the most angry and upset
declined significantly during the campaign, and was                                                        comments from sellers. The research identifies that
most marked when compared to post-campaign.                                                                it is one of the biggest things agents do to breach
                                                                                                           trust with their clients.
Before the sale process began, 57% were confident
the agent would do a good job and they would get
a good price; 39% were hopeful and 4% dubious
that the agent would succeed in selling the property
and meet their expectations. Interestingly, these
numbers are identical to the Australian experience.

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 20

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“The price estimated by the agent for the sale was
How did you feel about your agent                                                                         overly high. My feeling was that I was promised a
after the sales process?                                                                                  high price just to get the listing, but once listed, the
(Once the property was sold)                                                                              disappointment started,” wrote one vendor.
                                                                                                          “Agents need to tell you the expected price
                                                                                                          up front and support the vendor rather than
                Delighted that the agent did a                                                            continually giving negative feedback to lower your
                good job and got the price you                             42.4%                          expectations,” wrote another.
                wanted
                                                                                                          “Agents should offer a consistent service across
                Okay. They sold the property                                                              the entire sales period, rather than offering a great
                and got a price that was pretty                            36.5%                          one to get your business and then not bothering to
                close to what you wanted                                                                  continue the same way once you’ve listed.”

                Upset. The agent did not meet
                your sale or price expectations                              21.1%

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 21

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The importance of vendor
recommendations about agents
                     “Our agent was wonderful to deal with, kept us informed,
                     took away the stress and achieved a great result. I’ve told all
                     my friends to use her.”
                     – Survey Respondent

“Your brand is what your clients say about you                                                             However, underpinning the fact that price is
when you are not in the room,” says real estate                                                            not everything, we still see that 37% of those
coach, Tom Panos.                                                                                          who sold for less than they expected said they
                                                                                                           would recommend their agent, and even 16% of
If that’s the case, there is a significant proportion                                                      those who failed to sell at all said they would still
of real estate agents in New Zealand who need to                                                           recommend their agent because of behaviours the
know that what their clients say about them when                                                           agent exhibited during the process that they found
they are out of earshot is damaging their business.                                                        valuable and worthy of endorsement.
In fact, the research shows that for every five
sales the average real estate agent makes in New                                                           On the negative side, 39% of vendors surveyed said
Zealand, agents destroy their relationship in two of                                                       they would not recommend their agent at all. Selling
them, with vendors walking away from the service                                                           below the expected price or failing to sell plays a
committed to never doing business with them – or                                                           big role in this with 87% of those who failed to sell
their kind – again.                                                                                        saying they would not recommend their agent,
                                                                                                           while 63% of those who sold below the expected
First, let’s look at the positives. The survey found                                                       price said they would not recommend their agent.
61% of vendors overall would recommend their
agent to friends or family.                                                                                But again we see that price is not everything.
                                                                                                           Even though they got more than they wanted in
The price achieved does play a role in this. The                                                           terms of price, 13% of vendors said they would not
data found that when the property sold above the                                                           recommend their agent, while 33% of those who
expected price, 87% of vendors said they would                                                             sold at the price expected said they would not
recommend, compared to 67% of those who sold                                                               endorse their agent.
for around their expected price stating they would
recommend.

Comments articulating these sentiments included:
 “Our agent was                                     “Our agent always                                   “Our agent always                                   “Our agents were
 so completely                                      offered excellent                                   gave us honest                                      professional,
 dedicated to doing                                 service. While we                                   feedback – even                                     empathetic and
 a professional job.                                did not get the price                               when it wasn’t what                                 understanding –
 There were no short                                that we all felt was                                we wanted to hear!”                                 always important
 cuts, no excuses. I                                reasonable, it was                                                                                      if you are
 developed enormous                                 not through her lack                                                                                    recommending.”
 respect for her and                                of negotiating skills.
 still keep in touch.”                              She did everything
                                                    she could with a very
                                                    difficult purchaser.”

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 22

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Negative comments were equally consistent in their
themes. Read the following comments and ask if
you would be happy if you knew your customers
spoke about your business in the following ways:

 “Agents need to make it                                             “He was all for a quick                                               “Because of him, I will
 less about the money and                                            sale and bringing us                                                  never trust another
 more about the people                                               down in price.”                                                       agent.”
 – many agents just come
 across as greedy.”

The importance of delivering good quality service
to the long term value of a real estate agency was
further underpinned by the responses to questions
about staying in touch with their agent.

The survey found that 37% of vendors said they
would like to use their agent again and stay in
touch with him or her. This compares with 44% who
said they did not expect to stay in touch with their
agent, and 19% who said maybe.

Going deeper into this question, we asked those
who answered ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ to explain their
reasoning. It found that 54% of those who said they
did not expect to use their agent again said it was
because they did not expect to buy or sell in the
same area – so hardly the fault of the agent.

However 36% said they did not wish to stay in
touch or use the agent again due to the poor level
of service, while 26% said their agent had made no
effort whatsoever to stay in touch with them. This
last figure identifies that a quarter of the industry
has a lackadaisical approach to repeat business.

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 23

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How vendors rated their overall
experience
                     “Our agent had a very high standard and I was confident
                     that he was committed to doing the best for me as a client.”
                     – Survey Respondent

As we saw in the previous chapter, 35% of vendors                                                          answer to this question is ‘no’. Price is just one
had an excellent experience selling their home and                                                         factor that plays a role in how agents are perceived
29% said it was good. This compares to the 31% who                                                         by vendors.
said it was average to disastrous.
                                                                                                           The heartening thing about this insight is that
And we know that those vendors who achieved a                                                              it reveals that there are skills and practices that
higher than expected price were more likely to have                                                        agents can demonstrate regardless of market
an excellent experience.                                                                                   conditions to ensure vendor satisfaction. It reveals
                                                                                                           that in markets where prices are coming off the boil,
But is it just about the money for vendors? We                                                             agents should still be able to practice professionally
see indications in the data that while achieving                                                           and in a way that leaves their vendors feeling they
the expected or higher than expected price plays                                                           have been well looked after.
a significant role in vendor satisfaction, the real

The survey identifies the skills and practices that top performing agents use to
support achieving a better-than-expected price AND a better-than-expected
vendor experience. These include:

High quality marketing                                              A quick sale                                                         They were given more
materials                                                                                                                                data by their agents
The survey revealed that vendors                                    Vendors who experienced                                              The survey revealed that those
who experienced excellent                                           excellent service were most                                          vendors who experienced
service were more likely to have                                    likely to have had a quick sale                                      excellent service were
received high quality printed                                       (regardless of whether they                                          consistently shown significantly
marketing materials (68%).                                          chose auction or private treaty).                                    more information about
                                                                                                                                         their local market than those
They were also more likely to                                       The survey revealed that 63% of                                      who experienced average or
have received support and                                           those vendors who rated their                                        worse service, and even more
information over email (19%) and                                    experience as excellent sold in                                      than those who experienced
were more likely to have received                                   less than 30 days while a further                                    good service. Vendors who
a video presentation, although                                      26% sold in less than 45 days.                                       experienced excellent service
this number was still small at just                                                                                                      were more likely to have seen
4%.                                                                                                                                      data including time on market,
                                                                                                                                         suburb information including
                                                                                                                                         median prices, recent sales like
                                                                                                                                         their own homes and property
                                                                                                                                         valuations.

The survey showed that experience counts with Kiwi real estate agents, with vendors whose agents had more
than 10 years’ experience most likely to have received excellent service.
                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 24

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Preparation and the impact of data on
the quality of vendor experience
                     “There should be more agents like the one we had. He
                     took the time to give a sales price estimate and present
                     information in professional quality documents, had in-depth
                     local knowledge about the suburb and specialised in sales in
                     that area.” – Survey Respondent

The survey showed that 66% - two thirds – of                                                               time on market were significantly more likely to be
vendors felt very well prepared before they went                                                           rated as having delivered an excellent service by
through the sales process, while 30% felt prepared                                                         their vendor.
but would have liked to have known more. Just 4%
felt not at all prepared.                                                                                  The data also showed that local auction clearance
                                                                                                           rates and average time on market are key data
                                                                                                           points that are shared by agents who deliver
How well prepared did you feel before                                                                      excellent service across the eight real estate skill
you went through the sales process?                                                                        sets of confidence, market knowledge, marketing
                                                                                                           materials and presentation, follow up, negotiation
                                                                                                           skills, agent experience, track record and customer
66.0%                         30.3%                            3.7%                                        service levels.

Very well prepared Prepared but                                Not at all prepared                         The data showed that 48% of those vendors who
                   would have liked                                                                        were given local auction clearance rates by their
                   to have known
                                                                                                           agent reported their sales experience as excellent,
                   more
                                                                                                           as did 47% of those who received average time on
                                                                                                           market information. This was 12-13% higher than the
If you answered no or maybe to the                                                                         general response where 35% of vendors rated their
question above, why?                                                                                       overall experience as excellent.

                                                                                                           The value of sharing important market information
36.2%                         53.8%                            25.9%                                       was underlined by additional results which
                                                                                                           demonstrated the role of data in helping agents
The agent’s         I won’t be buying                          My agent never                              develop trust and an understanding of the sales
service was poor or selling in the                             asked to stay in                            experience with their clients.
and I don’t want to same area                                  touch or made any
deal with him/her                                              attempt to follow
                                                                                                           Agents who provided their clients with local
again                                                          me up
                                                                                                           auction clearance rates and average time on market
                                                                                                           information were more likely to stay in touch with
One of the most important things agents can do                                                             their agent or use him or her again. The survey
to deliver high satisfaction levels for clients is to                                                      showed 50% of vendors who received local auction
share more information about the property market                                                           clearance rates from their agent reported they
with them in their listing presentation, the survey                                                        would definitely stay in touch or use their agent
showed.                                                                                                    again, while 48% of vendors who received average
                                                                                                           time on market information said they would use
The survey showed that agents who were more                                                                their agent again. This compares with 37% of
open and transparent and provided their vendors                                                            vendors on average who said they would stay in
with local auction clearance rates and the average                                                         touch with their agent.

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 25

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Male and female agents:
is there a difference?
                     “We have bought and sold with our agent, and even sold my
                     mother’s house through him. He’s good at his job, he knows
                     a lot of people and his results speak for themselves.”
                     – Survey Respondent

Gender equality is a reality in the New Zealand real                                                       about the progress of the sale was excellent, 47%
estate industry with 49% of respondents saying                                                             of vendors with female agents experienced an
their agent was male, and 51% using a female agent                                                         excellent level of service in this regard.
when they sold. (This compared to 70% male and
30% female in the Australian version of the survey).                                                       Similarly, 44% of vendors with male agents reported
                                                                                                           that the ability of their agent to follow up potential
The data revealed that sex plays virtually no                                                              buyers and leads was excellent, slightly lower than
statistically significant role in customer satisfaction.                                                   the 48% of vendors with female agents.
Male agents were only slightly less likely (34%) to
deliver an excellent customer experience, compared
to 36% for female agents.                                                                                  What gender was your real estate
                                                                                                           agent?
And vendors were equally likely (37% each) to stay
in touch with an agent regardless of their gender.
                                                                                                                                      51.3%                                            48.7%
The only areas where there were some differences                                                                                      Female                                           Male
was in the degree of agent skill.

While 41% of clients with male agents said the
ability of their agent to provide regular feedback

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 26

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What did agents do that delivered
impressive service?
                     “Our agent was very kind, professional and gave us a
                     personalised service under difficult circumstances.”
                     – Survey Respondent

410 of the surveyed vendors shared comments                                                                fears of a client, showing empathy, being kind and
on the service their agents had offered that had                                                           connecting as a human being.
surprised and delighted them.
                                                                                                           Themes were unanimous and consistent – open and
However, a significant proportion of those                                                                 honest communication, empathy, trustworthiness,
responding to the question wrote “nothing”                                                                 professionalism and reliability and the human
– nothing the agent did could be considered                                                                connection of recognising that selling a home can
impressive service. By the time these responses                                                            be a time of stress and that vendors overwhelming
are included, the number of positive comments                                                              need help – these stood in stark contrast to
correlates with the original finding of the survey                                                         the slick agents who had mastered sales
that just 36% of vendors had excellent experiences.                                                        patter who left clients feeling used and
                                                                                                           abused.
But while disgruntled vendors enjoyed the
opportunity to vent about their experiences, those
vendors who identified what did impress them
provided insights into just how basic and simple
most vendor’s expectations are.

Delighting vendors does not have to be expensive
or time consuming for agents. Vendors are
impressed when agents are thoughtful and help
them solve the problems they know they have in
selling the property. But really standing out
omes from doing things as simple as
demonstrating that you have really
heard the needs, concerns or

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 28

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What agents did right

ff Our agent was able to supply the names of                                                              ff Our agent offered a complete package
   reliable tradesmen such as carpet cleaners                                                                that was clear and easy to understand.
   and window cleaners who were available
   at short notice. They also arranged a                                                                  ff Our agent went above and beyond with
   meeting with the auctioneer prior to the                                                                  the communication so I was never left in
   auction day.                                                                                              any doubt and never had any questions
                                                                                                             that were unanswered.
ff The level of communication our agent did
   was impressive – he did exactly what he                                                                ff The range of analytics on their website
   said he would do.                                                                                         showing web traffic, hits, time spent
                                                                                                             looking at the property was impressive. It
ff It was the personal touches – such as                                                                     also showed a comparison with other sales
   bringing his own vacuum cleaner and                                                                       to see how our marketing was performing.
   giving the property a quick tidy.
                                                                                                          ff She brought in my washing when it poured
ff Our agent changed the lightbulbs pre-                                                                     with rain at an open home!
   settlement that were blown that we
   weren’t even aware had gone out. It was                                                                ff Our agent had excellent communication
   that level of detail!                                                                                     and negotiation skills. She was friendly
                                                                                                             and we received a significant thank you
ff He mowed the property’s lawns to keep                                                                     gift after the sale.
   them presentable voluntarily and without
   being asked.                                                                                           ff I was impressed with her professionalism
                                                                                                             and honesty – that’s not something I’ve
ff When a sale fell over just before Christmas                                                               seen a lot of in most real estate agents.
   while I was away, my agent went in and got
   the property presentation-ready again so                                                               ff We were given a delightful photo book
   he could show it. I was very impressed.                                                                   showcasing our home after it sold which
                                                                                                             we will always treasure.
ff My agent had great follow up – she
   answered the questions before I even had                                                               ff He lent us his weed trimmer and leaf
   time to ask them.                                                                                         blower to help get our garden looking
                                                                                                             perfect for open homes and photographs.
ff Our agent was honest and listened to what
   we wanted, which was not the experience                                                                ff The process was incredibly well managed
   we’ve had with agents previously.                                                                         even when things went wrong with our
                                                                                                             tenants. And the price they achieved was
ff She was genuine and I trusted her. I really                                                               exceptional.
   didn’t expect that in an agent.

ff It was mainly the after-sale communication
   that impressed us. It feels more like we
   entered into a relationship with her rather
   than just a monetary transaction.

                                                                                            CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 29

 © Copyright 2018. CoreLogic and its licensors are the sole and exclusive owners of all rights, title and interest (including intellectual property rights) the CoreLogic Data contained in this publication.
                                                                                                                                                                                        All rights reserved.
What vendors say agents
should do better

                     “What should they do? Communication, communication,
                     communication!!!” – Survey Respondent

Out of the 912 respondents, 490 commented                                                                  “To receive a percentage of a purchase price which
on ways that agents could improve their service                                                            has obviously gone up substantially with the cost of
levels. Common themes included the need for                                                                housing these days is now an outrageous fee for the
honesty, communication, being empathetic towards                                                           service provided,” wrote one respondent, summing
what sellers were going through, better training                                                           up the sentiment of many.
for agents and making sure sellers genuinely
understood the process.                                                                                    A significant number of comments referred to the
                                                                                                           feeling that the structure of commissions actively
Despite the fact that commission was not the                                                               discouraged agents to work harder to achieve the
primary way vendors chose an agent, a lack of                                                              highest price for the vendor.
clarity around commission and disgruntlement
about its structure was a strong theme in the                                                              “Agents need to structure their commissions on a
research. While some of this comes from vendors                                                            more realistic basis with the percentage to increase
comparing Kiwi commissions to their experiences                                                            as the price increases rather than decreasing,” wrote
overseas (especially the UK) what is clear from the                                                        one respondent.
comments is that the commission structure and
marketing payments require better explanation                                                              “They should start off by charging a commission
from many agents.                                                                                          that is commensurate with the amount of work
                                                                                                           involved,” wrote another with a third stating:
While property prices have risen – especially in                                                           “They should introduce commissions based
markets such as Auckland – agent service levels                                                            on the time invested by the agent. They
have not necessarily improved. So while agents                                                             all charge fees and commission rates
are earning the same commission percent of past                                                            that are too high for the work
years, the higher base is often interpreted as agents                                                      they put in.”
ripping off consumers.

                                                                                             CoreLogic Vendor Perceptions of Real Estate Agents New Zealand 2018 | 30

  © Copyright 2018. CoreLogic and its licensors are the sole and exclusive owners of all rights, title and interest (including intellectual property rights) the CoreLogic Data contained in this publication.
                                                                                                                                                                                         All rights reserved.
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