How to refer to a buyer’s agent – part 3

Are you a buyer agent, Buyer’s agent, buyers broker or even a Buyers Advocate? Then this series is here to help you better understand how to properly refer to yourself on a business card, your website, in your email signature and in other communications.

The previous posts in this 3 part series covered the application of grammar and style when writing about buyer’s agents. Here we discuss inconsistency in professional titles for buyer’s agents. Should you stick to this title or consider some of the other options such as buyer’s advocate?

Identity: why is a specific title important?

Buyer’s agents in Australia are required by law to be qualified real estate agents in any state or territory in which they operate. This is designed to protect consumers by ensuring that services are only offered by trained professionals.

In Australia, home buyers and investors have primarily used a real estate agent to represent them when they are on the vendor side of a property transaction. As a result, most Australians associate the title real estate agent with the specific services related to marketing and selling a home.

At Buyers Agent Guide we refer to people who perform these services as seller’s agents.

These terms are common in the US where the industry is well established, with buyer’s agents involved in over 60% of property purchases. They help to distinguish between the services that are being rendered and, more importantly, where an agent’s loyalties lie.

Making this distinction is even more beneficial in Australia. Here regulation of the real estate industry further protects buyers by requiring that agents have no conflict of interest. This means that, in theory at least, buyer’s agents should always be independent.

Stand out from the crowd and avoid being confused for a seller’s agent by using a distinct title that reflects the services you offer.

Confusion reigns: are you same same but different?

If like most people in the industry you agree that it is important to use a clearer title than real estate agent, what should you call yourself? How is this reflected in your business name?

Imagine opening up your laptop to search for something. Let’s say you need to find a dairy farmer in Tasmania.

What do you type into your search engine? Probably something like this:

dairy farmer tasmania

The reason you didn’t search for a milk rancher, cheese grower or dairy animal carer is because these terms are not very common when describing someone who looks after dairy cows.

Now imagine your prospective client searching for you…

Buyer’s broker. Home finder. Property advisor. Buyer’s advocate. Buying agent. Property strategist.

So many titles that all mean the same thing. So much confusion for your potential clients in search of an agent!

In essence most people who describe their occupation with one of these titles are performing the same or similar services. But what is the likelihood that a property buyer will actually perform all these different searches? Slim to none.

To continue developing the identity and reputation of the buyer’s agent industry it is beneficial for agents to adopt a relatively consistent approach to professional titles.

Why do we prefer ‘buyer’s agent’?

At the end of the day, our reason is simple. Internationally and at home, buyer’s agent is emerging as the most common term to refer to someone who helps clients to find and purchase property.

As this term has become more common in the media, in the broader real estate industry and with the average investor, this is naturally what people search for when in need of these services. Whilst there are many ways to describe what you do, you will be more easily understood and found by the largest number of people if you refer to yourself as a buyer’s agent.

Consistency: the golden goose

Finally, be consistent. Once you have decided the best name to describe your occupation, ensure it is used in the same way on all marketing and communication materials. Your business name, website, brochures, business cards and email signature should all employ the same usage of your title.

We’d love to hear your opinion on this matter so please leave a comment below or drop us an email if you have a preference for a different title or other insights related to this topic.

About the Author: Kristin is a freelance writer and property investor from Brisbane, Australia. You can view Kristin's other projects or contact her at LinkedIn or Google+. If you have any topics that you would like to see covered on this blog, please email blog at buyersagentguide.com.au

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