Appoint right agents for best results

Appoint right agents for best results

MAIN IMAGE: Cor van Deventer, Attorney at Van Deventer and Van Deventer Inc; Grahame Diedericks, Midrand Manager Principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

Danie Keet

For any agency, no matter how big or small, appointing the right agent is the begin all and end all the success of the business.

When appointing an estate agent, there are several factors that sellers consider, including sales records, handling property valuation, but also one of the most critical abilities, the agent’s marketing strategy and the agency’s reach.

Technological advances have forever changed marketing and searching for property. And an agent with the right digital support, expertise and knowledge will most likely achieve the best price for a home in the shortest possible time.

Marketing strategy

“Sellers quite rightly consider aspects like sales track records, area knowledge and the all-important property valuations but the importance of a comprehensive marketing strategy when selling a home should never be underestimated,” says Grahame Diedericks, Manager Principal in Midrand for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“There’s absolutely no point in getting excited about high-end valuations if your agency doesn’t have the local, national and international reach on the correct platforms to communicate with a targeted audience of serious buyers.

“Not only is a good marketing campaign essential to gain the edge in a tougher and more competitive market, it can also significantly impact the final sale price achieved as well as the length of time a property spends on the market.”

These days, at least 80% of home buyers do extensive online research before making their final purchase and, with so many websites and properties to wade through, many homes will fail to catch their attention.

Although print media is still relevant, the reality is that the majority of consumers who have the means to be in the market for property access most of their information via their phones or i-pads – an agent should therefore be technologically and digitally savvy.

The sheer volume of information available means consumers can equate locations and value with comparative asking prices on a scale that would have been impossible in the age when print was king.

According to Diedericks, an optimum marketing strategy should now include social media, database advertising, property search portal and app placements and digital media showcasing, as well as show days and outdoor boarding.

“There will always be a personal element to marketing property and when it comes down to the wire, having a professional, experienced and legally-savvy estate agent at your side is a no-brainer to ensure a smooth sale that doesn’t reveal any nasty or costly surprises weeks or even months later,” concludes Diedericks.

Cor van Deventer of Van Deventer and van Deventer Inc, emphasised the legal aspects when appointing an agent, including a management agent.

In the case of a managing agent, at least two trustees must sign the written contract appointing a managing agent. This contract is valid for a 12-month period and should notice not be given to the managing agent, the contract is then renewed automatically for an additional 12-month period. In the case of termination of a current managing agent, trustees must have the new contract signed by the intended agent, who then typically has two months to take over from the present agent.

“When given the task of choosing a new managing agent for a sectional title complex, this should not be a decision made with the intention of cutting costs.

“The role of a managing agent today is a complex one and requires a professional approach. To carry out this critical role requires knowledge of the Sectional Title Act, property law, building construction, health and safety regulations, basic accounting and much more,” Van Deventer says.

The managing agent and their company will be responsible for the overall management and financials of the entire complex.

There are some factors to keep in mind:

  • A managing agent must be a registered estate agent and must be in possession of an up to date FFC issued by the EAAB
  • Appointing an agent who is a member of the National Association of Managing Agents of South Africa (NAMASA) will be beneficia seeing that it may soon become a condition when obtaining bonds from banks on sectional title properties.
  • Experienced agents will handle issues easier.
  • Ensure that the company you select has the University of Cape Town Certificate in Sectional Titles Scheme Management.
  • Make sure the agent offers all the services needed rather than just one or two.
  • The managing agent also must be familiar and up to date with the Sectional Titles Act and its amendments.

“A managing agent works closely with trustees, owners and tenants, so it’s crucial for all parties to get along. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the managing agent chosen is trustworthy and generally liked by all. It’s easy to see why a cheap managing agent quote is almost always not the agent to go for. It may save money at first however the company may not offer all of the necessary management services,” Van Deventer concluded.

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