16 Aug 2021

Double trouble: COVID restrictions and buyer demand hit selling agents hard

Australia’s homebuyer frenzy and protracted COVID restrictions are beginning to take its toll with many selling agents working relentless hours just to close deals.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) president Cate Bakos said many selling agents were dealing with an unprecedented property market which had marked the first half of this year and followed through from the peaks of late last year, with limited opportunity to recharge.

Added to this was the pressure of repeated COVID restrictions demanding privately arranged, one on one inspections.

“I can understand why some of them are talking about the need for a holiday, while others are just taking a break,” said Ms Bakos.

Ms Bakos said while it was not unusual to see busy property markets during spring and Christmas, she had not seen anything of this magnitude in her 18-year career.

“There’s no doubt we’ve witnessed extraordinary price growth in capital city and regional locations right around Australia since January this year,” said Ms Bakos.

“I don’t think any of us expected to see quite the level of demand on the back of a global pandemic. Selling agents have been clamouring to meet the market which has been fuelled by limited supply and overwhelming buyer demand.

“Victorian and Sydney agents in particular, have juggled an incomprehensible number of privately arranged, one on one appointments, QR codes and tight COVID record keeping requirements.

“The amount of effort required for every single sales campaign has been significantly higher for selling agents than pre-COVID times.”

According to Ms Bakos selling agents who were slow to respond, were most like feeling the pressure.

“Think of the ways that you can work optimally with your agent,” she said.

“Find out how you can differentiate yourself from other buyers to win their attention and glean their support.

“Many buyer’s agents are closing deals because they know how to make the process easier and in a lot of cases, we get optimal treatment.”