A few months ago I spoke to the owner of a start-up company who was completely convinced that consumers do NOT trust their real estate agents to help them find service providers. He believed that agents were not the best group to help a home buyer secure all of the services they need to complete a transaction. He passionately believed that consumers believe that real estate agents are dishonest and do not have the best interest of their clients in mind.
For those of you that read the WAV Group blog, you know we are not shy about talking about the areas where our industry can be stronger. While there is always room for service improvements, our fundamental premise is that consumers DO trust their agents to help them in every step of the transaction. The GOOD NEWS? We were totally RIGHT! The Houston Association of REALTORS®took on the task of measuring consumers’ trust in their agent to find service providers for their clients. They reached out to nearly 8000 real estate consumers through their Consumer Research Panel and found some fascinating results. An overwhelming 95% of buyers that responded to the survey believe that their agent has their best interest in mind! They believe that their agents made it easier to find service professionals while saving money as well. Homebuyers and sellers told us that their agents gave them viable many options of service providers to consider. 87% of those that are satisfied with the service provider recommendations they received are likely to recommend their REALTOR®. Importantly, 82% of homebuyers and sellers believe that service provider recommendations are a key part of the REALTORS job.
The key premise of the start-up company trying to connect consumers directly with service providers was that agents are fundamentally motivated by the wrong things and may even be taking kickbacks or worse from service providers. In this survey of over 1100 responses, just 2 of the respondents believe that their agent maybe referring them to companies that maybe providing them with payment.
Bottomline, helping to support customers for every part of the transaction is KEY to what makes a REALTOR special. Don’t forget to play this up in listing presentations, web content and anywhere else where you can take credit for it!