29 Sep 2017

Consumers confused about buyer's agents and property consultants

REBAA’s newest member Lisa Parker started her career as a ‘property investment consultant’ but the ambiguity around the role left her feeling compromised so she turned to  buyers advocacy as an alternative profession.

“Starting my career as a ‘property investment consultant’ for a marketing company often led me to feel compromised when faced with selling a client a property I didn’t think was a fit for their goals, risk profile or financial situation,” said Lisa.

“Other times I just didn’t consider the property to be a good investment in general.

“Deep down I longed for a job where I could provide property buyers with unbiased and independent advice which was not tied to my ability to make money and be paid a commission.

“Eventually I discovered that the job actually existed – buyer advocacy and people were already out there doing it so I found a mentor who was prepared to train me and I began working as a buyer’s advocate immediately.”

Thirteen years later, Lisa has built a successful business providing independent property advice to clients through her business Parker Investment Properties.

The biggest challenge she thinks faces the industry is the rise of professional sales people who ‘sell’ property (usually developer stock or house and land packages) calling themelves ‘buyer’s agents’ or “buyer’s advocates’.

“This causes confusion in the marketplace for consumers and it can tarnish the reputation of genuine buyer’s agents when consumers have had a poor experience with non-genuine advocates,” she said.

“It also presents the wrong perception of what a genuine buyer’s advocate does, the fee involved and level of service to expect.

“It’s important that as an association REBAA sets the benchmark for excellence in our field so that the general public knows how to identify the difference between a genuine buyer’s agent and a sales person disguising themselves as one.”