Sole mandates are definitely the best way to market property

One of the liveliest discussions at the Rawson Property Group’s annual conference, held at the Arabella Hotel and Spa in Kleinmond during February, revolved around the subject of sole mandates – and there was almost universal acceptance that these work better than any other system, for both the seller and the agent, particularly when compared to open mandates.

John Weston, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Bergvliet in Cape Town, said that he has had a success rate of over 95% with sole mandates in the last year and today he simply refuses to work on any other system because the advantages of sole mandates are so clearly apparent.

Spelling out what these are, Weston said that when only one agent is involved in a sale:

1.) He will give it his full attention and effort day-in-and-day-out until success is achieved and he will always be conscious of the fact that, if he is not successful within 90 days (the usual sole mandate period), he will lose the mandate altogether.

“The sole mandate system forces the agent to be completely focused on a few properties and not running around frantically trying to pick up a sale here and there,” said Weston.

2.) He will be prepared to spend three or four times the amount of money on the advertising and promotion of the property.

“No agent is going to spend a large amount of money on advertising when he is sharing a mandate,” said Weston, “but when it is his and his alone he will pour money into its promotion.”

3.) As he is dealing with all the potential buyers, the agent on a sole mandate will be able to keep track of bids and honestly advise buyers if their offers are unlikely to succeed. As there will be no danger of another agent pushing the seller into quickly accepting an offer, the price obtained on the sole mandate system will be the highest achievable at that time and in that market.

4.) The seller’s life will be far less stressful and more relaxed because, firstly, all potential buyers will have been pre-qualified by the agent and, secondly, they will only be brought to the house within a few strictly defined times, not as and when it suits two or three agents, all clamouring to get their viewers in first.

Weston said that from a security viewpoint, the sole mandate system also has major advantages because only one set of keys will be handed over and visiting times, as mentioned, will be limited.

“The more one sees estate agents at work,” he said, “the more one realizes that, provided the seller chooses a good operator, sole agencies work best – and the way to check whether the proposed agent is a top performer is simply to ask for proof of recent sales and the telephone numbers of a few previous clients.”

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