• How to make buyer excellence easy in real estate


    Author: REBid (sponsored content)

    Finding the time to deliver excellent service to buyers is a key challenge for most real estate agents which is now being solved by a new proptech startup.

    With sellers being the sole source of commissions, the majority of agents understandably focus on their vendors and often struggle to manage the constant communication required with buyers.

    But the new platform REBid makes it easy for agents to keep buyers up to date, help them understand how competitive their offer is and provides an impetus for them to increase it. The outcome is a better result for sellers, while delivering a transparent and helpful experience to buyers - and the experience is easy for agents.

    REBid Chief Executive Kate Chalk said REBid was an online platform that allowed agents to collate and manage private treaty offers from buyers.

    “It features a ranking system that is activated by the agent, so that buyers know where their offer stands, but not what the other offers are, and this creates a sense of competition and urgency.”

    “What we’ve found from our users is that agents are receiving higher offers from buyers in a shorter time period. It’s resulting in happier sellers because they’re getting a great result, and also satisfied buyers, because they feel they’ve understood where they stood throughout the offer period,” Ms Chalk said.

    Research shows buyers want transparency

    Research from CoreLogic reveals why it is so important for the real estate industry to start delivering a better service to buyers.

    The data shows buyers are most likely to receive poor to average service from an agent, with just 14 per cent stating the agents they dealt with were ‘excellent’ when they purchased.

    Behaviours that alienate buyers are a lack of transparency around prices and offers, a poor understanding about the negotiation process and frustration at slow response times from agents.

    The research also shows the folly of being ‘seller-centric’. While 68 per cent of vendors said they would recommend their agent to family and friends, this number fell to 57 per cent of buyers, indicating that a new solution that delights buyers has a significant upside in creating further referral business.

    “One of the greatest issues agents have with taking better care of buyers is the time it takes to return all the calls and keep everyone up to date and share all the information around a property and contracts,” Ms Chalk said.

    “These are the problems REBid solves. It helps overcome common objections in multiple offer scenarios and provides a timeframe for responses.

    All the information including conditions are centralised, contracts are automatically created and sent, and the agent has full control while buyers are kept constantly up to date.”

    How REBid works

    To use REBid, agents can quickly upload a new sale using information previously loaded into REI Forms and invite buyers who have attended opens to register.

    Interested buyers will submit their best offer which is automatically downloaded onto the contract via REI Forms and either accept the seller conditions or propose alternate conditions.

    They will then see how their offer is ranked (but not the amounts). After offers are ranked, buyers are advised of their ranking and given the opportunity to increase their offer. The agent presents all offers to the vendor (including any special conditions) and any successful offer that’s accepted can be Docusigned to close the deal.

    Alternatively, if offers are not acceptable to the vendor, they can choose to rank all offers again through the REBid Live option.

    Early results

    In one initial trial of the platform, an agent selling a home with a projected price range of $780,000 to $830,000 was sold within 56 hours for a price of $905,000. This was the outcome of 35 price increases being placed by six buyers – one of whom made 10 offers over a three-hour period.

    “Using the normal private treaty process, that agent told us she would have expected to get to $830,000 and at that price, the vendor would have been delighted,” Ms Chalk said.

    “But to get to $905,000 shows you how creating transparency around offers and ranking buyers can really increase their motivation and offer levels. Not to mention the ‘busy work’ it saved the agent in not needing to chase all those offers down because they were centralised.”

    REBid is new company based in Adelaide and has been endorsed by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia and Real Estate Institute of South Australia. It is available in WA, SA and QLD and will soon be rolled out in NSW and VIC.

    For more information, visit www.rebid.com.au.

    1 CoreLogic Buyer Perceptions research, 2016