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John Hellaby: How to create transparency and earn trust

Think about any industry over the past few years and a key trend starts emerging. Consumers are seeking transparency in their interactions, transactions and purchases.

Whether it’s tracking the estimated arrival of your Uber, the manufacturing process of your favourite food, or knowing where your package is in the delivery chain, as consumers we want to know what’s happening and we expect information that allows us to make an educated purchasing decision.

In real estate, it’s no different, it’s just taken the sector a little longer to embrace the shift.

Transparency and trust

Traditionally, many agents were hesitant to reveal exactly what was happening within a sale, including what offer was on the table and how many buyers were competing for a property.

That left buyers struggling to comprehend their position. They were making offers blindly on a playing field they couldn’t see.

It also created a sense of mistrust in the process and in agents. Was the agent telling them what was actually happening, or were they simply trying to inflate the property price?

A transparent sale

If the past couple of years have taught us anything it’s that providing transparency during a property sale offers incredible benefits.

If a buyer can see how many people are interested in a property and what prices others are prepared to pay, it drives competition.

At Market Buy, we’ve seen that play out time and again in recent months, with our data revealing just how competitive and aggressive buyers become when they know a property is within their reach.

Importantly, that’s leading to impressive prices being achieved and significant jumps between the first offer made on a property and the final offer that secures the sale.

The speed at which these properties are selling and the volume of buyers making a bid on each property is also indicative of buyers’ increasing trust in online offers as a sales process.

Transparency within a business

While clients now want and expect transparency, real estate agencies downright need it.

Access to transparent data allows an agency to understand what’s working and what’s not, spot trends emerging, track the market and gain an insight into what improvements might need to be made in a sales campaign.

Critically, transparent data allows agents to have meaningful, insightful conversations with both buyers and sellers about the state of the market.

Market Buy delivers this type of insight, allowing agencies and agents an in-depth understanding of what’s happening within a sale.

They can see analytics and data across their brand, in an individual office or across all their agents.

And the likelihood is this type of transparent insight will become increasingly important as the market turns and begins to soften.

Transparency in a changing market

Right now, we’re hearing a lot of speculation about the prospect of the market softening in the year ahead.

Our data isn’t reflecting that yet, but we all know the market goes in cycles, so it’s not a matter of if that will happen but when.

And when it does, transparent data will prove crucial for buyers, sellers and agencies.

At that point, attention will turn to sellers who will need transparent data on what exactly is happening in the market in order to accurately price their property for sale.

In other words, insight into the number of offers being placed on a similar property and the price that the market is willing to pay will help agents have those tough conversations about price expectations.

If you can see it, you can believe it

Trust is often mentioned in the real estate industry, and it’s a key drawcard of successful agents that is both hard to quantify and create.

But the reality is, if your vendors can see the data for themselves, if your buyers know where they sit compared to the competition, trust in the process becomes the by-product of transparency.

And when your clients trust the process, they trust the agent and the industry as well.

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John Hellaby

John Hellaby is the Chief Digital Strategist at Market Buy.

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