‘Halo effect’ is bunk say agents

by John Tenpenny26 Aug 2015
According to Australian researchers, the key to a winning a higher sale price for your clients might be hidden away at your local fitness centre.

Marketing psycho-babble is no way to attribute real estate agents getting higher prices for their clients’ homes, according to the reaction elicited by a recent Real Estate Professional article.

“After 45 years of selling real estate are you suggesting I get a face lift and tummy tuck?” asked one incredulous agent. “If a salesperson is approachable, knowledgeable, honest, trustworthy, dressed for success and respected by their peers, it doesn’t matter if they are attractive or not.”

Researchers in Australia found the “halo effect,” a term used in marketing and psychology to describe the bias shown towards good-looking people and the brands they are associated with, has an impact on the buying and selling of real estate.

After comparing pictures of agents with the prices they achieved in the sale of high-end properties, they discovered attractive agents get 2.3 per cent more for their clients’ properties. In the Toronto market that would equate to $22,926 (CAD) on top of the average Toronto house price of $996,770, according the July report from TREB.

The flipside of this research pointed out another reader, means sellers getting 2.3 per cent less for a property when their agent is unattractive.

Another commentator said not being hard on the eyes might be intimidating other agents and they also wondered how the “halo effect” would break down when applied to  the ability of attractive male versus attractive female agents to fetch a higher price.

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