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Tips for estate agents looking to work with SME developers

For many local estate agents, marketing properties on behalf of a local builder can be a profitable element of their business. Notion Developments provides tips for partnership working.

Tips for estate agents looking to work with SME developers

"We want to work with people we trust and have an open and transparent relationship with no nasty surprises."
David Houghton

David Houghton, Director of Notion Developments, an SME developer based in Salford, says Notion wants to work with local partners that are as passionate about their properties as they are.

David advises local estate agents should get to know local SME developers in their area.  “We obviously have our own in-house expertise on land acquisition, planning and so on but it never hurts to have another team to bounce ideas off,” said David.  “Even if we don’t have a development planned, building a relationship early won’t hurt.”

Most smaller builders want their partner agency to offer a one stop shop and offer advice about lettings, rentals and resales.  It’s also important to demonstrate an insider’s specialist knowledge about the local market and trends. 

‘When it comes to money, it’s important that both parties are frank, transparent and honest on the matter of fees,” said David.  “It is in both our interests to sell the properties as quickly as possible and generally, we would expect our estate agency teams to be very proactive and share some of the costs associated with marketing the homes.”

David said that lazy marketing is not for him.  He wants to see a full marketing strategy that could include events, exhibitions, direct mail, promotional hoardings and so on.  Just putting the development on a website is not enough.

‘As a developer, I want regular updates too,” said David. “What kind of feedback has there been?  How many website click throughs have you had?  What type of people are making enquires and where are they coming from?”

He adds: “On completion, we generally like our estate agents to do the key hand over and the first walk through to complete the snagging list on our behalf.  This is a part of the process that is often over looked and so the developer should make it clear that it is part of the contract.”

With more SME developers building properties across the country, estate agents could find them a serious revenue stream providing they can build good relationships.

David Houghton said: “The main thing for us is working with people that we trust and being able to have an open and transparent relationship with no nasty surprises.”