Treat Your Customers Like They Own You—Because They Do

by Ben Handler

August 4, 2020

How to become a good buyer agent

Drew Keenan:

Someone did represent you because you’re always dealing with, you know, the seller’s agents, obviously representing the seller and we’ve sold properties before and you just, it’s, yeah. You know, you know that they’re not doing the buyers any favour. So, yeah, everyone, it makes sense.

Craig Hale:

Yeah. It’s, it seems, like a no brainer.

Rachel Cruz:

Hi guys, my name’s Rachel Cruz and we’re standing inside Orange Theory Fitness at Potts point. The reason why we’re here is because I really just wanted to acknowledge, my, my recent clients, Craig and Drew who happened to be the owners of this stub, this are very successful establishment. we’ve just had a really, I’ve really enjoyed working with these two amazing gentlemen and just wanted to let you say hello and share a little bit about a story. [inaudible]

Craig Hale:

Thanks. I’m Craig. And this is Drew. we’ve been working with Rachel for just under three months now. We engaged her to, help us buy a home as we’ve got, two young daughters and we needed to move and expand our living space. and we were recently successful just a couple of weeks ago. We purchased our home and moving in in the new year, which we’re very excited about and it’s been a great journey working with Rachel. So happy to share more about that.

Rachel Cruz:

Well, here in the studio, I’m just wanted to really share a little bit more about the journey. Me being a buyer’s agent in the industry for many years. but I always like to get curious about the client’s perspective and hear from their side. So, I thought I would, you know, take this opportunity to delve into a couple of questions. Hope, lids relevant. Craig, Andrew, we were introduced by a mutual contact. Do you mind me asking in terms of what actually, you know, what did anything happen particularly? Was there a situation that unfolded that prompted you to, you know, engage the idea of using a buyer’s agent?

Drew Keenan:

Children, multiple businesses, no time.

Craig Hale:

I think, I mean, I think there’s a few things which probably influenced our decision to do it. Number one, we’ve, we’ve lived in the US before. We have a friend who’s, in real estate over there. It’s very common practice to have buyer’s agents over there. And we always thought, why did they do that here? It makes so much sense. the other side of it is, you know, running our own businesses, you make some big decisions and every time you make big decisions or financial decisions in business, you always seek the advice of someone who’s an expert in their field and you happily pay those fees. So, this is a big buying decision in our personal lives. So it seems crazy that you wouldn’t actually engage the assistance of an expert.

Drew Keenan:

Someone to represent you because you’re always dealing with, you know, the seller’s agents always. You’re representing the seller. We’ve sold properties before and you just, it’s, yeah. You know, you know that they’re not doing the buyers any favours. So, yeah, you’re right. It makes sense.

Craig Hale:

Yeah. It’s, it seems, like a no brainer. Plus we’ve got two young kids, we’re really busy. We their businesses, and we didn’t have time or the desire to become experts in property in the areas that we wanted to look in. People said thus kind of weekend studies. I’m like, God, I’m trying to look good.

Rachel Cruz:

I remember when we first caught up. Did you guys spend a bit of time trying to look? We didn’t, yeah, it didn’t even get around to that.

Craig Hale:

No. We’d, we’d spent time talking about getting a buyer’s agent and I’d had an introduction to another buyer’s agent before, but we weren’t ready to buy. And so, when we were getting closer, we spoke to a friend of ours who then referred us on to you and…

Rachel Cruz:

And I remember on our first meeting. and I really want to feel safe to be very honest. I’d be curious to know like when we were just engaging. Did you have any concerns or doubts?

Drew Keenan:

About you?

Craig Hale:

No, no, I think, I think, the fact that you came recommended to us, you came to our office at a time that was convenient to us, which was obviously difficult to arrange. And I, you know, I was a bit naive too. I didn’t realize that there were, you know, buyer’s agents specialized in certain areas. And so I think that was quite lucky that I did ask my friend who sort of was within the industry who recommended you because he knew that you specialized in that particular patches were looking. Yeah. So obviously that that’s turned out to be invaluable from my perspective. I think also your, you’re very calming Rachel.  You are very good listener and I think you immediately, set a very relaxed, you know, come sit up, sit us up for a very relaxed, calm relationship and trusting as well.

Drew Keenan:

And you were I to read out dynamic as well, which is obviously, you know, two very, very headstrong personalities. Headstrong.

Rachel Cruz:

Well, I wouldn’t say stubborn. I work with couples a lot, steady thinking. I was gonna say that. Yeah.

In terms of when I meet with clients for the first time, you know, there’s obviously it’s a big decision. it’s a huge amount of trust and I guess, yeah, it is trust and confidence that is this the right fit to work together. and I think a huge objection is typically, if I do come up against an objection, it’s normally about the fee. You know, you’ve never used a buyer’s agent before. but we’ve gone through the motions together. Now, do you mind me asking, based on your experience of, well actually first did you have any objections with my fee and then looking back now, any views on that?

Craig Hale:

I look, I personally didn’t have any objections, because I think maybe I’ve been conditioned by, you know, having to spend big sums of not big Sam, sorry, correction, what might be perceived as big sums of money. For some, you know, it’s like a muscle that you exercise in business and you kind of get a bit lax about it, which maybe is not a good thing. But I also could put it into perspective that the fee rate in reality is, you know, being a small percentage of the total price of the property. But now I feel like I could easily have spent that amount of money and more by either making mistake and buying the wrong property or overpaying for a property because I became emotionally attached to him and Andrew acted impulsively. so to me, I can really justify it.

I think it’s a, it’s, I don’t think it is expensive. I think it’s, I think it’s all relative to the value that you get out of it.

Drew Keenan:

Plus, yeah, I agree. I think, like I was saying to you off camera before, I don’t think, I think we would have ended up, probably not, you certainly wouldn’t have had access to the opportunities that you presented us. We just wouldn’t, wouldn’t even know about them for one. so that was, that was quite useful. But if we were factoring the value of our time in trying to find a property ourselves, whether we can say, I do say it would have, if you actually charged out those hours, it would have, we would have spent more and probably paid more. So financially we would have been a lot worse off.

Rachel Cruz:

And I think like, when you’re looking for that, you know, buying an investment property is very different to buying a future home and also factoring in all the short term and long term, you know, needs. I kept thinking, you know, this one’s going to be too much work for the short term. It was really important to factor that in with the decision. So it’s always, I’m balancing all the requirements

Drew Keenan:

Which, which changed and you helped us actually identify things that we thought with, I think that first meeting what we said we wanted with that laundry list and what we ended up figuring out what we needed through your help was quite different. Quite different. Yeah. Yeah.

Craig Hale:

Which was, yeah. I don’t know if we would’ve got, well we may have got to that point ourselves, but it probably would’ve taken us a year, year and a half, I’ll completely, yeah. In about a good town. But I think too, if you were to look, I think people make the mistake. They might look at the, the fee as a dollar value that they’re paying right now for a service, which is I think, completely incorrect way to look at it. You need to think about, think about it as what if you were to overpay that in a property, and all the time that you have to spend on looking at and making sure you’re making a really good decision so there is value in your asset and you’re not, you know, missing something big like location or you know, exposure, et cetera.

Rachel Cruz:

I really, I really enjoyed refining the brief. I’m not sure if you enjoyed it, but I was just like, Oh, when I first, you know, understood what are the key requirements. and you know, things can always, they’re always fluid and you have to match the market conditions and re recalibrate. throughout our journey. Do you mind me asking, did anything surprise you guys throughout the process or anything that you learned that was interesting?

Drew Keenan:

I would say off the bat just how the market actually works. Like, obviously having sold a property before, you know, the sort of narrative that is being put out by the seller’s agent. But just seeing how, you know, these properties become available, as I said, through your access to oil of your contacts, being able to show us properties that might be coming onto the market and due to a certain situation for that particular vendor, you know, they might be more motivated to sell, didn’t even know those sorts of opportunities were, they’re like, well, my only exposure was okay, you’re going to domain or real estate.com and you look and you go, you sign in, give you these pounds. yeah. And so also not having to go through that process, just rocking up at each house and going weird with Rachel and they, I come on in. Sorry. That was some things I learned.

Craig Hale:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that, I mean that I’m going, it didn’t surprise me, but I think that was one of the things which I enjoyed the most is that it was a lot less stressful because I don’t need to feel like you’ve had to play a game or someone was trying to play a game on you because I don’t think the agents even do that with you too much except for, you know, for some friendly

Rachel Cruz:

Banter here and there..

Craig Hale:

Just because I know that you’re credible and your clients are credible, so that that made it a really nice experience rather than, Oh, here we go again.

Drew Keenan:

Yeah. Yeah. I would say that too. That’s, I liked that part of it.

Rachel Cruz:

I think, I think, my be digressing here, but I think a big part of what I enjoy about doing, you know, my doing my role is that I think people forget that vendors also are also people. Real Estate agents are people. And of course buyers are people. And I think when you, anyway, I just think that when you bring the humanity back to things, it’s, it makes it so much more simple and, yeah, and it’s, it’s, it’s a genuine joy to be working with people like you, I think working together. Did you feel, because I always like, I think it’s about the right, the right client for the servers. It’s, I’m, I’m the first to say it’s not for everyone. you guys are obviously, you know, very successful entrepreneurs, family people. You’ve, you know, you’re very busy lives and you bought property before, so very intelligent, savvy. Do you think, based on, I guess your experience, and everything we’ve been through together, would you, “Hey, use a buyer’s agent again” or, okay. Would you use it even though you’ve had that experience and you’re probably more educated now in the process?

Drew Keenan:

There’s two, the, you know, you still wouldn’t have access to days off market opportunities. I didn’t have a relationship with 50 different agents that I’m, I wouldn’t know what the right value is. I wouldn’t know if I was overpaying and that’s not my area of expertise. So absolutely.

Craig Hale:

Yeah. I don’t think we could have built up that level of education over a three month period. Two I think. plus. Yeah, no, definitely I would advise it. Yeah, absolutely. I think whether it was a, another home for me, investment property, whatever it might be, I would, if there was one available that had the expertise and the local knowledge in that area, I would [most certainly] engage to another transaction.

Drew Keenan:

You actually getting expertise. Why? For the largest purchase, you just go it alone. It does seem a little bit weird. It would be good if the market was a little mobile like American where the sellers, the sellers fee was a little bit lower. Yes. you know, so they split the transaction, what did they do? Two and two or something. But anyway, hopefully the market will move a little bit more towards that here as well. Yeah. Yeah.

Rachel Cruz:

Okay. No, no. Thank you so much. I’m a little bit a bit shy now, but, was there anything else you wanted to share, give advice on?

Drew Keenan:

Well, the outcome is fantastic. I’m super excited, super excited. I’m excited about the move. We’re very, can you help us move?

Craig Hale:

Yeah, I’m very happy. I think it’s just been a pleasure, a pleasurable experience the whole, whole way through. And for me personally, I know drew got a bit anxious on at certain times, but for me I just was so stress free because I knew that were in good hands.

Drew Keenan:

So I’m a bit anxious once. Yeah. And it was just right when it was like those hours leading up to like the transaction going ahead or not or whatever it was just, yeah.

Craig Hale:

Yeah. It was nice having a filter between any of any emotions that we had around a property, and the buying process because it, yeah, it helped me keep a little bit distance and, and you know, and also the confidence that if, if a property that we really loved didn’t work out for us, you know, there’s always another opportunities. So, yeah, I’ve, I find it really enjoyable.

Drew Keenan:
Same. Yeah.

Craig Hale:

And I think also, I just love working with you. You’re a pleasure. I think you, you know, you really listened to us and, and took the time to get to know us really well. And even, even when we weren’t probably articulating very well, maybe what we didn’t like about a property. I think you are, you’re getting a good, a really good understanding and showing us properties that did fit the best.

Rachel Cruz:

Oh yeah. That’s why I love buying, you know, buying homes. It’s a very special, you know, stage of your lives and I’m very honoured, so thank you again. Thank you. So guys, thank you Craig and Drew and Rachel, over and out.

Please watch the full episode here:

 

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