In a latest episode of The Home Stretch podcast, Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals is joined by Kevin Ellis, Founder of Land & New Homes Network, and Simon Whale, Founder of Kerfuffle, who have recently acquired the Relocation Agent Network (RAN), to discuss the power of belonging to a network, collaboration and the benefit for independent agents competing against larger corporate brands.
Ellis says that being a part of a referral network provides a bit of fire power to an independent agent who might be a one, two or three branch company, assisting in creating more leads and helping them to compete with the much larger corporates who may have a presence across country.
McKenzie adds that it is rich vein of income for agents, and not just the overt way of referrals, but also through gaining more instructions by pitching it to vendors at the stage of valuation. “There is a primary stream of revenue that agents gain from the referrals they receive from the network, bit there is also a secondly element that comes from the community of the network, sharing of best practice and improving the service to the customer,” he comments.
Ellis agrees, saying: “As a member of a network, agents definitely have an advantage when they are sitting in front of the vendor and trying to secure an instruction. Having access to a network widens the net and the potential to get an out-of-area buyer. There is also no reason why there can’t be collaboration between networks, offering agents even further referral opportunities. As suppliers within the sector, we feel that collaboration should be at the heart of everything we do. Of course, there is an element of competitiveness between networks, but actually there could be huge benefits for agents if networks work together rather than against each other.”
Whale adds that it is interesting how many agents are a part of both The Guild and RAN and LNHN because each network provides a different offering, with each respective network having similarities, as well as their own unique nuances. “I believe that we are not competitors per se with each other, but what I believe we need to do is separate ourselves from the people that don’t care about quality, who don’t care about collaboration or going the extra mile to ensure they are compliant, and their clients are protected,” he says.
“Yes,” McKenzie agrees. “And that is exactly why we are in conversation about how the networks can collaborate and help each other. It is about what we can do to make each other better and stronger, and ultimately serve the public better.”
Ellis says that each network generates instructional opportunities from different places, which again opens up more opportunities for agents if the networks work together. “RAN has a rich opportunity from the housebuilders. Part exchange hasn’t been on the table for the last two or three years and now is very much on the table, and developers want two valuations much like someone who is doing any other sort of asset management transaction. This might result in a multiple agency instruction, so why wouldn’t we want to collaborate with a like-minded organisation such as The Guild, if there is a position for two,” he adds. “Both of our organisations set the standard of what we would deem a good network member, so we are on the same page that quality is key, and there is plenty of opportunities with regard to increasing instructions working together.”
McKenzie agrees, adding: “We are about independent agents and finding ways in which we can support them. It is all about giving the best service to the consumer, which we both vehemently believe comes from good independent agents offering their expertise in their local marketplace.”
To hear more of the episode, search for The Home Stretch podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google or Amazon.