2018’s best real estate agent? Ray White’s Malek Younan is SQM Research’s winner

“While other lists mainly focus on which agents sell the most property in dollar value, this Top 100 list was created to focus on vendors’ needs and is more about how quickly agents can sell properties, as well as their relative market share,” SQM Research chief executive Louis Christopher said.

“Ultimately, we believe vendors are looking for agents who can sell property quickly at as close to the vendor’s asking price as possible in an honest and transparent fashion.”

Other top agents on the list include Petrusma Property’s Sam and Jake Towns in Hobart; Leading Real Estate’s Adam Sacco in Sunbury, Victoria; and Hudson McHugh Leichhardt’s David Eastway in Sydney.

When asked how he delivers good service to customers, Mr Sacco says listening is important.

“Honesty, integrity, and listening to your clients’ needs is the key,” he said. “Put your clients first and make them your priority and the rest falls into place.”

Dedicating time to clients is a common theme among the top agents and Mr Younan says he spends “hours” with clients educating them on the market so they know exactly what to expect when it comes to buying or selling homes.

A third of the Top 100 agents are women, which reflects the same weighting across the population of agents in the country.

Boutique and independent agents from Victoria also dominated the list and among the large franchises, Ray White had the largest proportion of agents in the Top 100 with 12 agents.

Melbourne-based Barry Plant also featured strongly with seven real estate agents on the list.

“We have also attempted to be balanced to agents who do not work in the big cities, by including additional information such as relative market share,” Mr Christopher said.

The average days on market for the Top 100 agents was 35 days and agents with the lowest days on market also tend to focus on auctions as their preferred method of sale.

The average sales conversion rate was 73.4 per cent, the average number of sales over a year was 63 and the average dollar value of an agent’s combined sales was $59.1 million.

Of the 53,650 agents, only 13,298 agents made the shortlist because they had at least 10 sales or more for the preceding 12 months. Agents who had fewer than 10 sales were classified as “dormant”.

This indicates that selling homes is tough as only a quarter of all agents achieved 10 or more sales in the past year, Mr Christopher said.

“It appears this is an industry that has little tolerance for underachievers, and those who can’t make sales quickly enough are unlikely to survive in what is a very competitive market particularly in a housing downturn,” he said.

SQM Research said it would continue to refine the list by expanding its selection criteria in following years including the amount of price discounting and a measurement on ethics.

“We regard this as a work in progress list,” Mr Christopher said. “There is more that can be done here, for example how many complaints or compliments has the agent had.

“Honestly is a critical component to this industry. And to be fair, there are many agents in this industry who do the right thing in what is a very challenging thing to get a buyer and a seller to agree on price for a property.”

Other existing “best agents” lists and awards include the REA Group’s Annual REA Excellence Awards and the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s annual National Awards for Excellence.

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