Property markets may be down in most capital cities, but there’s one real estate indicator that keeps growing strongly – the number of professional buyer’s agents.
At the start of this century, you could count the number of buyer’s agent businesses on one hand. Now, there are several hundred. Traditional selling agencies still dominate the Australian real estate scene – there are thousands of those. But the buyer advocate sector is likely to keep closing the gap in the coming years.
Buyer’s agents mostly serve investors rather than owner-occupiers, for a couple of reasons:
- Buying your own home is as much an emotional decision as it is a financial decision, so most owner-occupiers want to control the process
- Finding an investment property should involve 0% heart and 100% head, so investors find it easier to surrender control
Buyer’s agents conduct in-depth research
That said, not every investor is willing to hand control to a buyer’s agent.
Some investors have concerns about trust. Other investors feel that because they’ve been around property all their life (after all, everyone lives in a home), they understand real estate, and therefore don’t need to hire a buyer’s agent.
Dig a little deeper, though, and you can see why it makes sense even for property fanatics to consider using a buyer’s agent.
While the rest of us are busy doing whatever it is we do for a living, buyer’s agents are busy doing what they do for a living – researching dozens of suburbs across multiple states for the best investment opportunities. They’re looking at a range of local indicators like median prices, vacancy rates, job numbers, population growth, residential construction, infrastructure pipelines and more, so they can identify the suburbs with the best long-term growth potential.
Buyer’s agents see things that amateur investors miss
Once buyer’s agents identify the right suburbs, they use their expertise to find the right homes in those suburbs – because while the area as a whole might be primed for long-term growth, some individual properties will grow much faster than others.
Buyer’s agents inspect any homes that might have potential. They use their trained eye to search for defects that amateur investors would miss. If there are serious flaws, the home gets rejected. If the home passes muster, they use their professional negotiation skills to secure it for the lowest possible price.
Another reason buyer’s agents are valuable is because they have relationships with lots of real estate agents. This benefits investors in two ways. First, buyer’s agents get access to off-market properties that regular buyers never get to see. Second, buyer’s agents can take advantage of personal connections to negotiate fast sales at good prices.
Property investors should cast their net as widely a possible
That said, there will always be property investors who have the confidence and patience to do their own research and buying.
Those investors should cast their net as widely as possible to ensure they don’t miss any opportunities, which means researching listings on realestate.com.au, Domain and Soho.
Investors should also use Soho to follow agents, read news, connect with property professionals and engage with other investors (features that realestate.com.au and Domain don’t offer). Again, it’s all about maximising your knowledge so you can find the best investment property at the best price.
Real estate agents should fish where the fish are
Given all the investors who are active on Soho, it would be crazy for sales agents not to use Soho as well, in combination with realestate.com.au and Domain.
Real estate agents can upload listings for free and gain access to a pool of serious buyers.
Soho, unlike realestate.com.au and Domain, lets agents publish their own content, such as market updates and real estate tips. This is a great way for agents to promote themselves not just to investors, but also tenants and potential vendors.
Real estate agents can also use Soho to keep an eye on what rival agents are saying and doing.