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NZ's most successful real estate agents?

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  • NZ's most successful real estate agents?

    Can anyone tell me who the top 20 residential sales agents are in NZ? Every company talks about their Number 1 agents etc - but how do 'we' find out who the really successful sales agents are on a national level? Anyone know of a publication that has this information? I'd like to see how these agents are changing their practice with the market. Not doing auctions, perhaps? Many thanks in advance.

  • #2
    How do you define successful.

    volume (number)
    Volume ($$$)
    Best deal for buyer
    Best deal for seller
    Shortest period on market
    % of sales complete (total or within set period)

    I think RE firms go by the second. I would just call a head office and ask for a list of last years awards.


    • #3
      Cyberius: At least half of the real estate agents out there at present will be "looking for other work" soon. The reason why so many agents are encouraging auctions at the moment is because that's the only way they can make a dollar: ie, auction fee, mark-up on ads and services. In other words, the agent knows full well that the property will not sell, but at least they get something.


      • #4
        I'd hate to be in real estate now.

        Vendors up in the stratosphere, buyers down in the abyss.

        How would you bridget that gap? How would you get buyers motivated? How would you get your vendors to list at a price at which their property will sell?

        Squadly dinky do!


        • #5
          Yeah good question - would be interesting to know the big hitters.

          I know Della Randall scores highly not just nationally but amongst Remax Agents worldwide.


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          • #6
            This is pretty close to how the market normally is.
            Buyers and money scarce and vendors are always delusional about price.

            Boom times are exceptional - not the norm.
            Good agents will be working harder.
            The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.


            • #7
              I believe Shaun Cosgrove from Harcourts was number one for Australasia, wouldn't be surprised if that put him number one for all NZ real estate companies.

              Yes you are right, they generally only compare the stats within their own companies.

              All I know is the good agents will rise to the top in this market


              • #8
                Originally posted by Green Fish View Post
                Cyberius: At least half of the real estate agents out there at present will be "looking for other work" soon. The reason why so many agents are encouraging auctions at the moment is because that's the only way they can make a dollar: ie, auction fee, mark-up on ads and services. In other words, the agent knows full well that the property will not sell, but at least they get something.
                Most real estate salespeople only get paid when they sell a property.They do not get the Auction Fee, mark up on ads etc.


                • #9
                  Hi All,

                  I am in the top 1% of Real Estate Agents in NZ for my group (a big one), and have been consistently (In the top 2-3% anyway) for the past 6 years. When I started RE, the market was in the slump, so I have worked in the down market as well as the boom.

                  Yes, most agencies measure top performers within their own groups only, but the measurements are pretty similar as far as I am aware. I have only worked for two agencies but the measurement systems were very similar in both.

                  What I can tell you is that agents are dropping like flies right now. In the first two months of this year, 14% of RE agents in NZ left the industry. There are/were approx 19,000 agents in NZ meaning that over 2600 agents left in Jan/ Feb alone. I haven't been told the latest stats but I am seeing it on a daily basis.
                  And fair enough too, the market is in it's transitional stage right now. Pretty much no-one wants to buy. For the whole month of May to date I have sold three properties UC (a few more still conditional). That is not bad by average standards, but is a LOT less than 12, or even 6 months ago. And believe me, I am working my backside off for every sale. A year ago I closed most deals either the same day or within a day or two. Now some of them are taking two weeks to close, if they eventually close at all (finance is a real issue at the moment). I am working 7 days per week to get sales made. I always have to some extent, the difference is what I am doing with that time has changed. In the boom, the times was spent listing, answering an incredible number of calls, making appointments, and signing deals. Now it is spent listing (a LOT!) and hunting for buyers. Working out how to generate the calls to start with. Thinking up creative solutions to each property to get some action. I have over 50 listings at present (I used to carry around 30) so that takes time, and work.
                  Most agents don't want to do this stuff, and don't know what to do anyway, as it has been too "easy" for them since they started.
                  The hardest thing is that even with all of that work, often there is no result and that is hard for them to grasp. It is only because I have seen it before that I know what to expect. A huge part of been a successful agent is been able to manage disappointment, this is a new concept to the agents who joined the "gold rush" in the past couple of years.
                  The amount of people wasting our time has gone through the roof, but no-one dear turn away a single call. I remember when the market was going off and seeing the attitude of a lot of the agents, not returning calls, treating buyers with disdain, and I remember thinking..."Just wait a little bit" Mind you, I am guilty of the same thing too at the time, so I am not preaching here.
                  There are plenty of agents I know who still have not made a sale this year, and they are bleeding badly, many with families to feed, so they are looking elsewhere.

                  This is not a bad thing at all IMO. There are a LOT of agents who should not be in the industry. The amount of times I have seen shabby practice, ridiculously low levels of professionalism (blatantly unprofessional), dodgy dealings etc, and said to my colleagues "that is why we REA's have a bad name, because of idiot's like that!" I have lost count of the number of times.
                  The industry needs a "clean out" and it is getting it now.
                  It is not just agents who are leaving, agencies are closing their doors. Especially the ones who do the cut price commissions, they are realising the true cost of running an agency, and they are vanishing daily.

                  I believe the next few months will be the hardest yet. This is the "tipping point" at the moment, where the confidence is at it's lowest and the media are still talking about the end of the property world and saying prices will drop further by the end of the year. So people are waiting. And fair enough, if I thought I could save another $20k on a property I would too.
                  I think Kieren Trass hit it on the head when he said, if they can afford to buy, they should do it now as we won't know when the bottom has been reached until it is too late. The buying opportunities out there at the moment are amazing, but people are waiting. Social Proof is a powerful phenomonon.

                  Prices in my area (an area of Auckland) have come back a lot. But it is because there are almost no buyers right now. At any price. So the agents who don't know what to do when the phone doesn't ring, look to the only thing they know...Price. They are conditioning the vendor something chronic and dropping the prices all over the place. But they are still not selling, because people just aren't buying in this transitional phase. A few investors who have been around forever are picking the eyes out of the deals but that's about it. The few that I am selling are either to these investors, or to homebuyers, where I have advised the vendor to instead of dropping the list price ridiculously low, to spend some money making the property present in a way that will appeal to the few homebuyers out there. Make them fall in love with it. And it is working so far. Presentation is everything in this market (to homebuyers that is).

                  Oh, and it is also Winter now, which is traditionally a slow(er) time for us anyway. I think until the media settle down a bit, and a bit of confidence starts to come back, coupled with (hopefully) an interest rate adjustment to help affordability, times are going to be a real struggle for agents and they will be seeking greener pastures. And I can't see anything changing until at least next Summer at the earliest, six months away. Six months is a long time with no income.

                  And how am I and other good agents (gotta blow my own trumpet, no-one else does ) feeling? Tired and excited. Tired because it is a damn hard slog right now, but excited because we know what's coming and have seen it before.

                  It is always darkest just before dawn. It is pretty dark right now, it is just a matter of time, patience and hard work. Hey, isn't that like anything in life?

                  I read this forum daily, but don't get involved with discussions much, I hope this is useful for you all.

                  Have a good long weekend.
                  Last edited by CraigB; 25-04-2008, 12:49 PM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ladyagent View Post
                    Most real estate salespeople only get paid when they sell a property.They do not get the Auction Fee, mark up on ads etc.
                    I was just about to post the same thing.
                    However the listers share of the commission is better for a an auction.
                    Also the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the listing agent to do the sale also.
                    However I still think an auction is a best way to market a property when either the market is roaring or whimpering.


                    • #11
                      Thanks CraigB, for your full & frank response. Your time appreciated. Yes, I hope that in this market the 'natural attrition' process does weed out the agents with questionable ethics - & not the good 'uns. Would still like to hear the names of the top performers for the leading real estate groups. Thanks Donna, & thanks Go Do It. Barfoot & T seem to promote Remuera's Leila MacDonald in Auckland. Would be nice for the public to have greater transparency. It's not an even playing field. Remuera, doesn't compare with most parts of NZ.
                      It's strange when you look at the volume of information you can access when buying a car, for example. You can do comparisons. However, with a far, far bigger investment (a property) you have very little information in which to help you decide who to entrust the process with. Very little independent data. If you choose the wrong person as a buyer or seller, you find that you're caught either in a contract you've signed as a seller or an invisible 'contract' as a potential buyer - just because you walked onto a property with an agent or viewed an Open Home. Yes. I'd like to see more clarity for everyone.


                      • #12
                        CraigB, great post, thank you so much for the time and effort that went into it!
                        Would it be OK if I were to ask you couple of questions to clarify thing or two?
                        1. Those buyers who could not get finance - do you think they were disappointed they could not go ahead with the purchase?
                        2. You mentioned two things that help properties to sell: either reduction of the price or better presentation. Are there any other tools in RE agent's toolbelt?
                        Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


                        • #13

                          I am not sure how you could get a list so to speak as each agency measures their top performers differently. I remember seeing an ad in the Property Press recently for a local agency (blue one) congratulating their "Top Performer" superstar for the month. "Number one for sales in our office in February!" it read. What's interesting about that you may ask? Well...I happen to know for a fact that the whole office sold three houses in February.
                          That is poetic license in full swing.

                          Most of the big agencies have ranking systems to recognise their top performers. There is the million dollar club, Premiere, Elite, Diamond status etc...depending on the agency.
                          If you are looking for a top agent, call the local office and ask how they recognise top performance, what "ranking system" is used, and when you find out what the top one is, ask if there is anyone in the office in that category. There may not be, for example, I am in the top "rank" category for my group, and there are only 27 of us nationally out of 1500 agents. If you really want to work with someone in that category, call the head office and ask who they are.
                          Keep in mind though that just because they have the top status doesn't necessarily mean that they are the best agent for YOU. For example, I have done what I have done selling almost exclusively properties below $700,000. The majority of them much cheaper than that.
                          So I am one of the top agents in NZ, but if you were to approach me to sell your $3million lifestyle block I would not be the best person for the job. I have never sold one in my life. I would do my absolute best for you, but my best may not be the best there is, so you still need to find out what the agent specialises in too. If you were to approach Michael Bolgarus and ask him to market your $450,000 house in Birkdale, if he agreed (which he probably wouldn't to start with as it's not his market) he may not be able to do as good a job as one of the local agents who is a good performer, may not have the top status, but has achieved great results in that market. Just my opinion of course.


                          Yes, generally the buyers who have missed out due to finance have definitely been disappointed. There are people out there who really want to buy (not too many right now due to the factors I mentioned in the last post, but there are still some), but simply can't right now due to the banks super strict criteria right now and the high rates hurting affordability. There are of course some creative financing options available, some good, some not so good, it is just a matter of matching the client to the right product. And sometimes there is just nothing we can do for them right now, as has been the case a few times recently.

                          In regards to your second query:
                          (Forgive me if I am teaching you to suck eggs here).

                          Market conditions not withstanding, there are three things which sell a house:
                          - The features and benefits of the property itself and their attraction to the targeted buyer segment. What I mean by that is a fantastic home buyer type property may send an investor running for the hills, and property with great investor attraction may scare the begeezes out of a homebuyer. Horses for courses.
                          - The Price relative to the value for the buyer.
                          - Effective Marketing (this includes working with a competent agent).

                          Selling houses isn't rocket science (obviously, even I can do it). But you need to know how to sell. That sounds obvious right? But IMO most agents have no selling skills at all. They haven't needed them in the past couple of years. I know for myself, a lot of the properties I've sold didn't require my selling skills. It wasn't a case of me selling the property, it was a case of me helping them buy.
                          Now it is different, the agent needs to be able to sell, need to know how to identify features and benefits, match them to the target market, market it effectively, know how to negotiate, relate to people on all levels and do it without selling your soul. But most can't.
                          That is why private sales became so popular throughout the last boom, all the vendor had to do was advertise it on Trademe or any of the other mediums available, people would call, and as long as they know how to fill out a S&P, the deal was done.
                          It is different now. Private sellers are also pulling out fast and handing them back to agents to deal with.

                          The other things are tenacity, patience, and market and product knowledge. Oh, and a sense of humour...that definitely helps. And an ability to look outside the square where necessary to help get a deal across the line.

                          I hope that answers your questions. I have been known to talk in circles, but I am an agent after all...


                          • #14
                            CraigB, you've earned my respect ... & I think you also earn your 'pay'. THANK-YOU.


                            • #15
                              OK, thanks for that, very informative and useful stuff.
                              If you were to pick 3 top sales skills what would they be?
                              And could you please talk couple of circles more about this one: (imagine my jaw hanging open and my eyes glittering in excitement as you tell more about it, knowing agents this should help! )
                              There are of course some creative financing options available, some good, some not so good, it is just a matter of matching the client to the right product.
                              Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.