If your business needs pointing in the right direction, see how some of Australia’s biggest real estate agents have compared for small business customer satisfaction.
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in September 2015, published in October 2015.
Countless factors play a part in determining the success, or otherwise, of any small business. But no matter how effective most of them prove to be, they could be in vain if potentially the most important component of all is not up to scratch. We’re talking, of course, about location.
For businesses reliant on footfall, location could be everything. There’s no point selling a great product or service if there’s no one around to buy it. Even if your business isn’t dependent on large numbers of passing customers, location may still be important with regards to production lines, suppliers or clients. If your business is hard to reach, it may be hard to do business with.
But to deem a business premises a complete success, its location is just part of the equation. What’s the use of having a great location if the cost has a major impact on your bottom line?
In an effort to get the best of both worlds, you’ll probably need a great commercial real estate agent with expert local knowledge and the ability to get you a competitive deal. That’s why Canstar Blue has surveyed hundreds of small business owners who have used real estate agents; to find out which offer great advice, communication, services and value, from the point of view of property buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.
In the inaugural year of this study, we’re able to report that Century 21 has been rated highest by Australian small business owners and takes out our customer satisfaction award.
The type of relationship you have with your estate agent will depend on your individual needs and situation. Property owners will naturally look to their agent to secure them a professional, reliable tenant, who is unlikely to ever default on their rental payments, while tenants will look to agents for guidance and assistance should something go wrong with the premises. If all goes to plan, agents should find themselves playing a small role in the tenant-lessor relationship. It’s when things don’t go smoothly that they really earn their money.
Overall, we found that 78% of small business owners have a good relationship with their estate agent, while 68% said they are quick to handle requests or complaints. In addition, 46% always go back to the same firm and 71% would recommend them. Those findings are fairly consistent when broken down between landlords and tenants, but landlords are more likely to praise their agent for handling matters quickly and are also more inclined to recommend them.
Century 21 claims to be the largest real estate sales organisation in the world and says its focus is on being the very best in its field. The company promises simple and straight forward advice and insists its technology and sales tools are of the highest caliber. You will also benefit from a local focus, it says, as every Century 21 office is independently owned and operated. Driven by a “customer service culture”, Century 21 boasts experts in all aspects of commercial real estate, including the sale, leasing, management and development of commercial, industrial and retail properties.
First National says it tries harder than other real estate agents and is a magnet for buyers. The company claims to be fast – able to broadcast news of sales or rental property vacancies within minutes of listing, direct to those who match price ranges and descriptions – and that its agents know their regions like the back of their hands. First National says it combines traditional real estate marketing with high-tech websites, matching systems and social media to deliver results.
LJ Hooker says it has a passion for real estate and ambition to take its knowledge to new heights. It claims to be the leading brand in Australia and a name synonymous with its industry. LJ Hooker has “a proud past of helping others” and promotes charitable activities, community involvement and social responsibility actions.
Rains & Horne claims to provide a truly comprehensive real estate service, consisting of sales, leasing, management and consulting. The company says the resources available to each office in its network gives it the edge and ensures clients benefit from on the spot knowledge of local trends and market conditions.
Harcourts says its consultants offer clients knowledge, expertise, honesty and integrity, and are committed to achieving the best results for them. The company provides a range of real estate services for residential, commercial and rural property sales, as well as management services. It says it has a highly-motivated team and strong focus on creating relationships with clients built on trust and respect.
Ray White says that seeking to be proud of every transaction has propelled the business to market leadership in the combined Australia and New Zealand markets. It claims the name Ray White is synonymous with the property and real estate industry, home loans and insurance. It provides a range of services, including residential, commercial and property management, and says strong relationships have always been at the heart of everything it does.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 801 small business owners and decision makers (i.e. the main decision maker for a small business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction with products and services related to their business. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have used a real estate agent for business purposes in the last three years – in this case, 629 small business owners/main decision makers.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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