Rapid change gives rise to new breed of real estate agents
Omnis Real Estate’s Managing Director Justin Flavel CPA talks with Licensed Property Valuer and Developer, Charlie Ball, from Elberton Property in Subiaco, Perth.
Elberton Property is a private property development and project management business founded in 2006 by Charlie Ball. Infilling development sites within established communities, the group has investments across a range of enterprises including retail, rural and commercial fishing.
Charlie, by the very nature of the work he does, also has unique insight into dealing with real estate agents and the valuable contribution they make in a rapidly changing market.
It is quite apparent that an agent isn’t just selected to sell a property. They are there to assist the seller and educate them on what will and won’t add value to a property if and when they bring it to market.
The good news is, according to Charlie, that the principles that have worked in real estate for years really haven’t changed that much, but they are becoming automated.
He believes in keeping things simple.
“The tactics are automated but we still work with them and make sure we’re refreshing our approach when we hit the bottom of the bell curve,” says Charlie. “Anything from how we communicate to how we collect data can be automated, but we still need to review and react appropriately.”
Elberton Property works with real estate agents to sell house and land packages and Charlie believes they are an essential part of the chain.
“As a developer I work with the guys who sell our land and use them right through the property development process. We get their ideas on things like revenues for a concept, sales evidence, dimensions on vacant blocks, dwelling configurations and feasibility.”
“Then, prior to selling, we talk again on revenues with respect to the time that has passed and how marketing needs to come into play. Projects now move faster and in real time, so it’s very much about picking the right tools and working with right data.”
If an agent isn’t up with the market and offering more than open homes then, clearly, they risk becoming wallflowers. Charlie gives real estate agents all the tools they need so they are engaged and can sell his developments.
“Real estate agents are really valuable for providing intel on what buyers are thinking and how the numbers might stack up,” says Charlie. “We select agents who are the best fit for our product by working with agents who are good in the sector, who understand and find buyers and who are more sophisticated so keep our team updated on projects as they interact with builders and other stakeholders.”
“We specialise in house and land packages so we rely on real estate agents to talk with builders about us and sell the dream. To do that successfully they need to be the whole package and chase the buyers or work with builders and offer incentives. Lots of communication and being across every aspect of the project is key.”
What does the changing business landscape mean for real estate agents?
With a wide range of real estate tools and apps available, real estate agents still need to know how people buy.
“Real estate agents are vital in our business,” says Charlie. “With so much inside knowledge and tips and techniques, they take the stress away and make sure the project wheels keep turning.”
“Australia’s real estate space is constantly changing, no question, and nothing beats face to face. Moving away from big flashy offices and using mobility to research and discuss projects is very much standard practice now.”
“A million things can go wrong in a deal and you need someone to help you through that; someone who has experience and foresight to call any issues early, and that’s where real estate agents provide that conduit.”
“I choose the best agent in each suburb who grafts behind the scenes and allows our team to do what we do best,” Charlie added.
“Don’t neglect the building blocks of being a valuable real estate agent, however utilise technology to optimise results.”
About Elberton Property
Elberton Property manages approximately 30 employees and contractors and works with Omnis Real Estate to oversee a range of responsibilities including cash flow control and general financial management.
“We spend time researching and choosing those who best meet our requirements of both trustworthy and reliable service to our business. A few earn our complete respect; Omnis Group is definitely one of them. We regularly discuss day-to-day matters with Justin and bounce around ideas. Working with Omnis has strengthened our business financially and I feel relaxed knowing they are involved with our fiscal control. Justin and his team are a talented and trustworthy company and have our highest recommendation.”