In a marketplace crowded by estate agencies of diverse product offerings, home sellers – and buyers – often struggle to choose an agent to work with. What should a seller look for in an agent?
“Engel & Völkers is an international brand, with offices in 33 countries,” says CEO Craig Hutchison. “This means that our agents have the backing and support of a worldwide organisation, which offers them the best in training, skills and industry information.” This international exposure not only benefits Engel & Völkers agents by expanding their knowledge, but it gives them access to an international referral network, of particular interest for sellers whose properties hold appeal for international buyers.
It's the truly South African part of Engel & Völkers that adds to its international appeal. “We are South African through and through, from the company's ownership to the suppliers we use and the staff we employ. We understand all the dynamics of the local market, its history and its future,and it is this insight, coupled with our international exposure, that makes sure we retain our lead in our sector of the market,” Hutchison says.
“Our agents work to a carefully fine-tuned system, which makes sure that they give their clients – on both sides of every deal – the very best service. Ongoing personal contact makes sure that both parties are kept fully informed at every stage of the deal, and even beyond the conclusion of the sale, our agents maintain the relationships that they have built.”
Engel & Völkers was the first company to create the shop concept, where agencies are located in high-traffic shopping centres and high streets. “This not only gives us the opportunity to build brand awareness in the select areas in which we work, but it brings the properties we are marketing to the attention of the market we are hoping to reach. A passerby may not be in the market for a property, but on seeing something that appeals to them in our shop window, they may become a buyer. Similarly, sellers find our shops an added marketing vehicle, over and above the conventional methods that agents use.”
Engel & Völkers is also the only South African estate agency that publishes the NG – a monthly overview of properties being marketed by the brand, that is complemented with articles and insights particularly pertinent to those planning to sell or buy a home. “We distribute over 50 000 copies of the publication to carefully chosen suburbs across South Africa, and we've been thrilled by the response to the magazine,” says Hutchison. “This marketing vehicle makes sure that the exclusive homes that we're marketing are not lost in the clutter so common in real estate print media. Buyers know the calibre of home that we market, and look forward to being able to read through a focused,targeted and carefully structured magazine, in their search for a home to meet their unique needs.”
Engel & Völkers is also keenly involved in environmental issues,having taken to heart the urgent need for businesses to change the way that they function in order to prevent climate change. “Our offices run on advanced systems to ensure a lower carbon footprint by utilising the digital platforms to the ultimate and minimizing our paper usage,” Hutchison concludes.
As a brand, as a company, as people to work with, the team at Engel& Völkers has all the bases covered – from international knowledge and expertise to local insights and experience, flavoured with a social and environmental conscience – what more could you possible want or need in a real estate marketing company?