Online site Zoocasa surveyed home buyers and sellers across the country and found that most individuals chose to work with the first agent they met; more than 65 per cent didn’t interview their chosen agent and another 17 per cent didn’t even meet their agent in person.
“It turns out that most [Canadians] choose agents with little more effort than it takes to flip a coin,” the report claimed. “And more than half said they were not very confident in their decision.”
Zoocasa’s claims, however, don’t seem to match what agents in the real world are experiencing.
“More people are interviewing [many agents],” says broker Haro Shivratan. “Nowadays people want to compare one agent to another… so if they call you up randomly, they’ll likely interview more than one [agent].”
The survey also found that 79 per cent of those polled believe negotiation skills are the most valuable thing an agent can bring to the table, followed by background market information and open houses.
“Negotiation skills separate one agent from another,” Shivratan says. “Every agent has a license, but not everyone can negotiate. If you can get a better price for a buyer or seller, that’s more than just doing paper work.”
Shivratan says agents also need to prove their trustworthiness, proving to clients their interests come first.
“Those first five minutes of the interaction, they have to feel comfortable and feel that they can trust you,” he says. “If they don’t feel that the first time you meet with them, I don’t think they’ll call you back.”
Easier access to real estate information is driving home the importance of competent representation, say industry players although at least one survey claims that Canadians mindlessly choose their agents.