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Why should clients care about a property agent's awards?

If you have a friend in real estate, chances are, you would’ve seen their awards on social media by now. Last month, they were among the top 50 achievers. This month, they’ve made it a different-colored tier. First of all, why are there so many awards? Second, how do their awards help prospective clients?

When something appears to be in excess, it’s natural to assume it isn’t worth much. But not all awards are created equal, and some are more indicative than others. Here’s how.

How these awards work

Our industry comprises several agencies, and every agency comprises several divisions. Some divisions have 100 agents; others have up to a 1000. Divisions often hand out awards, whose value depends on their size. Being among the top 50 agents is a bigger deal in a 1000-man agency than in a 100-man one. In other words, the importance of such awards depends on the competition an agent is up against.

Apart from agencies and divisions, an industry standard exists across Singapore, too. Singapore Estate Agent Association, for example, is one such authority. However, these are self-participating. To qualify, an agent has to submit an application, show their numbers, and include testimonials from clients.

Why should clients care?

Awards tend to feature income tiers, and that gives you an idea of how much revenue we make that month. But aren’t these awards just a “flex”? For some, these awards appear to be a show of wealth. However, they carry a much more important message for prospective clients: How active your agent is in the market.

This doesn’t only concern an agent’s earnings; it helps your case, too. The number of deals is indicative of his ability to negotiate and get the deal across the line, and separates active practitioners from self-proclaimed gurus on social media. Naturally, their competence determines your likelihood of buying, selling, or leasing at your ideal price.

Some of you may have heard of agents who make hundreds of thousands in a single transaction, and there’s truth to it. The industry’s commission rate is 2%, which translates to a 5-figure commission when an agent sells a $1 mil property. If they close a $10 mil deal, that becomes a 6-figure sum.

This is especially for agents in segments where transaction values tend to be high. As property is only getting more expensive, what we call “mega transactions” are increasingly common. The ceiling hovered around $5-10 mil when I started, but good class bungalows are going for up to $100mil today.

Of course, equally commendable are those who won by combining a handful of smaller transactions, like agents who specialise in the rental segment. Money aside, it also showcases the width of this agent’s ability. If he buys a property for you, he may also be able help you with leasing and divesting.

How to check if your agent is active

Often, my awards are achieved by an amalgamation of deals. While I’m also guilty of sharing them on social media, I’m proud of the outcomes my clients had trusted me with. In fact, they’re happy for me and some even encourage me to post about them. And when I do, new clients start coming my way.

As a client, how can you tell if an agent is “legit”? The public CEA registrar holds the answer. Punch my name into the system, and it’ll show you a list of transactions I’ve completed in the past 2 years. This serves as a snapshot of how active I am in the market, rather than analysing it as an observer.

Suffice to say, while awards give clients an insight to their potential agent, some of them must be taken with a pinch of salt. Real estate gurus are dime a dozen, but only a realtor who’s actually in the arena, influencing buying and selling decisions and contributing to market movements, can bring results to the table. Reach out to me (Harvey Chia) at 9199 9141.


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