What you can do to ensure referrals

Each year, REA commissions Nielsen to research New Zealanders’ perceptions of the real estate sector and real estate agents. We ask people who have bought or sold real estate in the last year how likely they will be to recommend the last real estate agent they worked with.

How willing are people to recommend their real estate agent?

The net promoter score (NPS) for real estate agents measures the likelihood of someone recommending a real estate agent.

The NPS refers to passive (neutral) scores, promoters (people who recommend an agent) and detractors (people who do not recommend an agent). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of buyers and sellers who are detractors from the percentage of buyers and sellers who are promoters.

The NPS in 2018 has dropped since 2017 from -16 to -27. The NPS varies by the type of transaction respondents last had. The decrease was largely driven by people who weren’t able to sell.

Those who recently sold have a higher NPS (+3), while those who tried to sell but did not sell (-57) and those who tried to buy but did not buy (-46) have the lowest NPSs.

Why people highly recommend an agent

People who highly recommend their agent refer to the real estate agent’s manner being friendly, reassuring and understanding. Being open and honest, their professionalism and keeping the buyer or seller informed were also reasons for recommending them.

Here are some typical comments from this group:

“He seemed to genuinely care about our situation, and took the time to listen properly to what we wanted and were looking for.”
“She was very open and forthcoming about the property and helped with issues when they arose.”
“Personal, professional and patient.”
“His awesome communication and his willingness to help and go above and beyond to understand our situation and what we were looking for in-house and in-budget.”
“She was so accommodating to our time parameters, never tried to push us to make a decision, or overly try and sell the properties we viewed.”

Why people do not recommend an agent

Being more open and transparent, more approachable and informative as well as being more supportive and communicating better are ways the agents could improve for consumers to be more likely to recommend them.

These comments are typical of this group:

“More openness, honesty, build the trust relationship, instead of being so pushy for the sale.”
“Open, clear and ongoing communication, willing to understand our situation, willing to go the extra mile.”
“Be more attentive and show signs of interest in our needs and not take it for granted that we will buy or else we will miss out. Properties were selling without them having to do much to get results.”
“Be easier to contact, return calls more promptly etc.”

The importance of good communication skills is a consistent theme from our consumer research. Communication will be one of the mandatory verified training topics in 2019's continuing professional development.

We will share more research findings in future newsletters.

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