Buying and selling properties in Singapore is hard. Prices edge ever higher, even as more property agents join the fray.
Yet, when the economy shows signs of weakness, property agents bear the brunt of the downturn, often missing out on months of income.
In such a challenging, big-ticket business environment, trust reigns supreme. Property agents who have earned the trust of their clients often go on to succeed with subsequent clients.
To help agents like you better navigate this market, we went to find out how you can build trust as a property agent in Singapore.
#1 Honesty is the best policy
“My agent promised me a low commission, but kept pushing me to ask for a lower price later on,” Bryan (not his real name), 31, told me. It seems like he was caught off guard but this commonly used tactic, but the real issue here is that even if this agent succeeded in selling Bryan’s home, there would be no referral from Bryan in the future.
There’s the same issue with valuations. Agents have been known to push up valuations, often at the behest of their clients.
However, to the unknown detriment of the client, missed opportunities to make a sale increase with above-average valuations. Honest agents would go the other way and advise their clients against high valuations.
#2 Don’t force the exclusive
A close friend of mine had this piece of feedback about one of the agents she had met: “He kept mentioning that I should sign exclusively to him. I was tired by the end of the discussion,”
This is not uncommon, and I understand the drive behind getting a client’s signature to make that an exclusive part of your inventory. It keeps you motivated, and locks in that commitment that the deal will definitely be yours. The issue here is that customers today like a dearth of options unless they are absolutely sure that you can close the deal to their satisfaction.
#3 Use your expert opinion
This one only sounds easy in principle, because when commissions come into play, its suddenly more difficult to do so.
Take this scenario: I want to sell my home, but you know that the market is moving upwards in the next few months. However, you also have a ready buyer. Most agents would take the commission now and make the commission, but this means that agents who use their expert opinion to help their clients make more money will also be able to win trust in the long term.
#4 Be a consistent communicator
Trust does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within the context which we operate in. If you want to be viewed as trustworthy, you must be the one that shapes that context through consistent communication.
It is stressful for homeowners to struggle with an agent who is a poor communicator who doesn’t convey the details. First-time homeowners or home sellers, especially, may not know details that you are already familiar with. As a rule of thumb, the client never calls you more than you call them.
#5 Be Patient
Finally, we just want to remind you that some deals take longer to close than others, but a good reputation takes the longest to build. If you’re just starting out, the most important thing to do is
to keep at it and stay the course.
If you’re focused on building the right reputation in this industry, you’ll eventually get the right referrals and climb the value chain.