Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Keeping up with The Joneses

The Joneses has gone under. Well no surprise here, I predicted that one months ago when I saw how they marketed properties. No agents names on the adverts or signs and buyers phone a central call centre. No individual person appeared to be held responsible for the sale of the property. This is hardly the formula that allows good agents to build their profile and presence in a market, let alone have any great incentive to sell anything. I could only see below average agents joining this agency.

Disclaimer: I once was a real estate salesman and now sit on the other side of the fence, dealing with agents on a regular basis.

I have never understood why the public believe that agents are paid too much? I certainly wouldn't have done the job for less than what I received - and I wasn't even that good at it. The talented agents definitely wouldn't do it for less. In fact we offer our agents extra incentives over and above their fees to focus on the leasing or selling of our properties.

The problem we have with real estate is that the agents remuneration is public knowledge. I can't think of any other sales job that so publicly displays its pay. Anyone who works in a business that has salesmen will have noted that they get special treatment and incentives and overall salesmen get paid huge amounts of money - and in my mind deservedly. Without the income that these hardworking and talent salesmen bring these companies would die.

Not to say there is no problems with the real estate industry - the REINZ being mine. The
case they took against The Jones last year being a case in point. It also bugged me, when I was an agent, that I was forced to belong to a below par, totally ineffective industry body that generally ignored major fraudulent behaviour - the case they took against agents in South Auckland last year was incredibly unusual, considering that this kind of thing (and worse) has gone on for years.

Clayton Cosgrove thinks that he can fix the problems with the industry by pushing more laws onto the agents. My advise to him - take the government controls and stuff them where the sun don't shine, along with your MBA*. Let the public decide weather they want to work with an agent from REINZ or another organisation or simply a freelance agent. The rules have produced a less than perfect industry - why can't you see that more rules will only make it worse? Open up the industry for competition from other organisations (or individuals) other than REINZ, this will allow much needed criticism and discussion within the industry to flourish. For those of you who are not aware, a sales agent can not publicly criticise other agents or their practices - talk about a recipe for disaster!

* And another thing .... what is it with MBA graduates and their love of rules and systems - I have never met one that has any real business talent. Some would say that once a business has been set up there is a need for some boring arse to keep it ticking away, as opposed to the entrepreneur that set up the business. But with the fast moving nature of modern businesses I think you need an entrepreneur of some degree at the helm throughout the entire life of a business.


Paul said...

"I think you need an entrepreneur of some degree at the helm throughout the entire life of a business."

Agreed, even down to the level of fish'n chip shops. In my neighbourhood I saw a few started up by a guy who then sold them off for profit and they pretty much immediately went downhill.

Annie Fox! said...

Yeah - same with restaurants, it appears that very rarely does an establishment survive once it has been sold on.