Darren wanted a different approach to selling his property after interviewing a handful of agents and finding out they all offer, essentially, a generic service. That’s when he met with Alan from Lewis Realty in Coburg who ended up selling Darrens property for $100,000 MORE than next door.
Other agents were offering a generic service
Darren: My name’s Darren and we had a property to sell in Coburg. We thought it was the right thing to do to interview a few of the local agents and see what they had to say for themselves. This is something that we’ve done 50 times before and have a little bit of experienced in buying, selling properties and whatnot. We heard the same old routine that you get from all the agents. Really, we’re just looking between which one of those that we liked. We’re really just looking at those guys and thinking, “Okay, which one are you going to have to the best rapport with,” because they’re all offering, essentially, a generic service.
A different approach
We spoke to Alan, and he of course laid out the different approach that Lewis Real Estate has. Being a naturally cynical type of person, I thought, “Okay, hold on. I’m interested in this. I’ll check it out. It was a completely different business model and they go about it differently and so on. At that stage, it’s a bunch of talk but we thought we had a slightly different property and therefore I was open to the idea of a slightly different approach.
Lewis is not ‘racing to the bottom’ on fees
Virtually, every agency that I have experienced, when you peel the onion, they are offering exactly the same service. It’s just a matter of what colour their logo is. There’s really no difference whatsoever, and so we’re really just talking about price. That’s all we’re talking about. That’s the only way they differentiated at all. It’s really just a case of, “Okay, what are the fees and what are we talking about here?” Now, I was initially intrigued because I thought when I spoke about Lewis Real Estate, the fees were actually higher and I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty bold! That’s like the olden days.” Why aren’t they racing to the bottom like everyone else on the fees? Let’s listen to their point of difference and, in many regards, it’s an old fashioned approach, their business model. Their approach involves a lot of actual work, where you’re actually dealing with people and trying to have a real database of live, potential clients. A lot of lip service is paid to this sort of thing by other agents but in this case, they’re really hanging their whole head on the fact that that’s what they can do and that their entire business is built around that methodology.
A fantastic result
At the end of the day, the benchmarking was done and it worked out beautifully for us because a property right next door had sold quite recently and it was vaguely similar. We knew what things were going for. In order to justify this, frankly, slightly higher fee we’re really going to have to achieve a decent price. From our perspective, it was nonetheless somewhat of a risk to say, “Well, let’s go about it a slightly different way.” I’m, as I say, a classic cynic so I’m sitting there with my arms folded the whole time until it’s actually sold because Alan and the guys can be the greatest guys in the world but they’re real estate agents so you don’t believe a word they say, until they’ve actually delivered it. Lo and behold, they absolutely did deliver a fantastic result that was well above … that I’m convinced is well above what we would’ve got using a conventional campaign and conventional methods. Dollars talk. They delivered, virtually, precisely what they said they’d be able to, even slightly above that. At the end of the day, you can’t argue with that.
In spite of the fact that the fee was a little high, we came out well ahead of what we could have realistically expected going about it the normal, old way with the normal, old agencies doing the normal, old campaign.
$100,000 more than next door!
Their actual percentage commission was a little higher. At the end of the day, we definitely made upwards of certainly more than 50 grand, close to a 100 grand more, I’m convinced … Well, certainly over a hundred grand more than the property that had just sold next door, which on a property that’s selling under a million dollars, that’s a 10% difference so that’s good. That’s it at the end of the day. If I’ve got any kind of a property that’s in any way challenging to sell or they’re just looking for top dollar or whatever, I don’t understand why you would go with a regular run-of-the-mill agent because, I said the word 50 times but they’re just generic. You could do that yourself. You really can. The online options that are available to you today, I really don’t know why you wouldn’t just do it yourself.
Only a few months, the house sold right next door and it was effectively, from a marketplace point of view similar, same street, next door, similar size block, a house. We’ve achieved over a 100 thousand dollars more than that and really, in sort of conventional terms, there’s no particular reason why. I’m sure the next one over will be pretty peeved about that, because they could have got more for it.