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Advice from Australia’s number one agent

12 September 2017

Australia’s number one agent for the last two years, Alexander Phillips, told agents to forget their ego and focus on the consumer.

Alexander gave his advice to agents at the REINSW Future Agent Summit designed to ignite industry interest in becoming a respected profession. Find out more here.

He said: “Real estate isn't about the agent, it's about the consumer - and you need to focus on delivering the best service you can by going above and beyond.

“Being ethical is really important and making sure you've got a good name in the market place. 

“There's many ways you can do this from quoting right, saying what you're going to do and doing it, making sure you and your team understand and deal with the changes of legislation, and focusing on making sure you're continually evolving as an agent.”

Star customer service

Alexander explained that one of the first things he learnt when he started out was from John McGrath who said to offer star customer service. 

“I think a lot of agents forget that, and don't understand what it means,” he said.

“If you position yourself in a vendor's shoes, and how much effort goes into selling the property, it's quite demanding. 

“You've got to respect that and make sure you deliver on what you're saying to ensure that you not only get the best result, but they understand you've done everything possible to get the property sold.”

Provide an advisory service

Providing advice should always come above trying to secure the listing. 

Alexander gave the example of when he was the only agent of four invited in for a listing presentation who advised the vendor that it was not the best time to put their property on the market because it was the middle of school holidays. He also suggested the owner moved out and spent $50,000 refurbishing it.

He said: “It took about nine months to get ready, but once on market we sold it in 12 days. The vendor saw us as more of an advisory service than a real estate agent and I think these days that's what people are looking for. 

“We win so much business over other agents because we tell the vendor what they need to do. We give them advice, not only on presentation, but the right timing, and marketing. It's about understanding what they are looking for, and making sure you actually deliver on it.”

Play the long game

Another example of Alexander’s focus on customer service is with a prospect he had originally met when he began his career. He missed out on that listing, however this year, a decade later, he finally sold a property for her.

He explained: “I've been contacting her for the last 10 years with really good, relevant pieces of information around the market and that’s why we were the only agency that was in the door when she decided to sell.

“Customer service is not about promoting yourself. We talk about what we're going to do for the vendor to get their property sold and get the best price. 

“I've never walked into an appraisal saying ‘I'm the number one agent in Australia’. We go in there explaining how we can help them.

“Seven out of 10 buyers that walk through the front door we already know by their first name. We know their behaviours, what properties they've been inquiring about, what properties they've registered at, and where they've bid. This gives us ammunition to be able to get the vendor the best result.”