The award of sole mandates to an estate agent can lead to accusations of unwarranted favouritism and/or ‘rigging’ of clients’ opinions. But these are seldom justified, says Lizette Joubert, franchise principal for Rawson Properties’ Paarl franchise (and a former winner of the Rawson Property Group’s Chairman’s trophy).
“Awarding a sole mandate is in our view a wise decision – provided the agent and the agency are highly competent,” she says. “One can understand the idea that a client will benefit from having as many avenues open and spreading his risk, however, the factors in favour of sole mandates should very definitely be considered.”
Joubert then listed five pro-sole mandate arguments:
- As only one agent is given responsibility to sell the home and his reputation, as well as, that of his agency’s will be on the line, he will be highly motivated to “go the extra mile” and achieve results.
- The franchise principal will, in the same way, feel obliged, and probably willing, to spend three or four times the usual budget on advertising the home.
Particularly relevant here, said Joubert, is the fact that at Rawson Properties the award of a sole mandate is rewarded with a virtual tour of the property, which can be accessed via the Internet worldwide and which has proven to be a highly successful sales tool. Advertising on the DSTV Home Channel is another benefit accompanying a sole mandate.
- Any analysis of Rawson Properties sole mandates, whether in Paarl or elsewhere, said Joubert, will always show that, provided they are correctly priced, sales take place quicker than those handled on a multi-agency basis. This, said Joubert, is due to the increased exposure and commitment on the marketing side.
- With sole mandates, a single selling price is agreed at the outset and there is no chance of rival agents starting a price war. Sole mandates, she says, encourage buyers to compete on price; multi-mandates often lead to agents dropping prices to achieve a deal.
- With a sole mandate, the buyer is under no pressure to accept offers.
When choosing an agency for sole mandate, says Joubert, it is wise to look for one which insists on regular training.
“Teams become more competent if they undergo regular training, which in my view should be at least once a month, if not more often and should be done by a reputable trainer with years of experience in property dealing. Any agent undergoing training of this intensity will acquire sales, negotiating and marketing skills and will pick up encyclopedic information on all the factors which can influence a sale, for example, property law, the Consumer Protection Act and the National Credit Act, in the Deed of Sale, transfers and similar information. Such information will put the agent well “ahead of the pack”.