They say that all publicity is good publicity but is that correct? Sadly, real estate agents do not always receive the accolades that go hand in hand with good service, yet any industry indiscretions are seized upon as being newsworthy by the media. From our perspective, media coverage is not always balanced, and the reality is that by far the greatest percentage of agents do a good job. They work ethically and strive to guide their vendor clients down the path to a successful sale at the best possible market price. The agents that let the industry down are fortunately in the minority and like any industry, there will always be a certain few who cut corners or give bad advice bringing discredit to the industry and the company they represent.
Since the company commenced business in the late 1990s, Tommy’s has taken pride in our service levels and any complaints or criticisms are taken seriously and remedied where possible. Proper supervision of agents particularly in their formative years is vital, as is working to a strict set of rules that cover most day-to-day situations. As well as the minimum expected standards that are set in place by the Real Estate Institute of NZ, The Real Estate Authority and the Real Estate Agents Act and Code of Practice, Tommy’s has its own in-house manual which serves as a policy and procedures guide for agents representing our company.
Providing exceptional service levels does not just happen by accident and we credit our reputation to a combination of the following long established Tommy’s work habits:
SUPERVISION: The entire Tommy’s sales team has access to management assistance when guidance is required. Tommy’s management work in an open workplace environment and are in touch with day-by-day events. Management support is also available outside normal business hours whenever help or guidance is required, and management will become involved with negotiations to ensure fair play is extended to all participants. This applies particularly in a multi-offer situation where there are strict guidelines in place to ensure all potential buyers are aware of the level of other buyer interest and all have an equal opportunity to participate in negotiations.
MEETINGS: Sales team meetings are an integral part of team building and communication. Attendance is compulsory, telephones are banned, and it is a time to share information with one another in the quest to find the right buyer for each property entrusted to us. Sales meetings are usually followed by team inspections of new listings, and this offers every agent in the office an opportunity to familiarise themselves with property entrusted to the Tommy’s team for sale. As with the team meetings, property viewings by the sales team are mandatory.
TRAINING: To hold a salesperson’s license, every agent must complete a minimum of 10 hours verified training each year on selected real estate topics and a further 10 hours of non-verified or in-house training. Tommy’s conducts regular in-house training sessions which cumulatively, are far in excess of the minimum 10-hour industry requirement. With ongoing legislative changes, new monetary policies and regular changes impacting on the real estate industry, Tommy’s believes that ongoing training of their front-line staff is vital in keeping agents informed and in a position to give the right advice.
SECURITY AND PRIVACY: During the sale process, you will see a lot of your Tommy’s agent. Your listing agent will be your main source of contact, but other agents will likely make arrangements to bring prospective buyers to your property. Group inspections can be somewhat overwhelming but are the best way to get maximum coverage and information through to the entire sales team. We respect your privacy and will give as much notice as possible of upcoming open homes and inspections. Our team is also trained to be vigilant in protecting your property and its contents.
COMMUNICATION: Keeping in regular contact with a home seller during the marketing period is recognised as being the best possible way to minimise stress levels. Irrespective of the nature of your communication, our belief is that homeowners have a right to know what prospective buyers are saying, what level of interest potential buyers are displaying and generally in giving the homeowner an opportunity to answer any questions or remedy any problems identified with the property.
An extract from Tommy’s Policy and Procedure manual succinctly sums up the company policy on communication, “Some properties sell fast; others take some time. It is easy to win praise from a vendor when we sell the property in a week, but the real test is in keeping a vendor informed and happy for the life of the listing while the house is not selling. The key to a happy vendor is simply communication.” In our opinion, two days should not pass without some agent/vendor communication whilst a property is on the market for sale. We owe that to our clients and will strive to deliver this level of contact to home sellers as part of our marketing plan.