Urban's top-performing sales agent Andrew Steele shares valuable advice for property seekers

Urban's top-performing sales agent Andrew Steele shares valuable advice for property seekers
Olivia RoundFebruary 21, 2020

INPG Sales Director Andrew Steele had a chat to Urban CEO Mike Bird following his win of Urban's top-performing sales agent for the month January. Andrew shares his tops tips for property seekers and stresses the importance of thorough due diligence.



Full video transcription

Mike: Hi, I'm Mike Bird, the CEO of Urban.com.au. Today I'm here with Andrew Steele from INPG. 

Andrew: Hi, how are you doing?

Mike: Good mate.

Andrew: That's good.

Mike: Today we have got a special new segment where thousands of buyers every month make inquiries on urban on projects across Australia and in every single of them we ask them: how their experience was with

the agent. 

Andrew: And Andrew has beaten out thousands of agents to be the number one performer in terms of your feedback for January. 

Mike: Congratulations mate 

Andrew: Thank you very much. That's great. Great news. 

Mike: And so what we're looking at, what we've been discussed with Andrew today is really what should buyers be looking out for and what are some of the pitfalls they can avoid? So you know, first of all, what should we be looking out for in the off-the-plan sector? 

Andrew: I think with buying off-the-plan there can sometimes be a bit of ambiguity,  so I think what's important for buyers is to get detail, you know, ask your agent lots of detailed questions have a really clear understanding of what you're looking for as well before you going out and having these appointments with agents and looking at different projects 

Mike: So you mean like looking at getting questions, preparing questions before you go to the appointment 

Andrew: Yeah I think that's important, I think you know buying off-the-plan, have a think about your current living situation what do you like about where you're living currently? What don't you like about where you're living currently? And you know, Where do you want to see yourself? What sort of home do you want and what's important to you? 

Mike: So, in certain terms of comparing, this can be quite hard, I think, for buyers looking at plans and really understanding that within the context.  What does that actually mean in terms of size? What are some ways that they can get around that? 

Andrew: Yeah, so like I said before details are important, so things like size like you said,  so get an understanding of, trying to read the floor plan, that can be a difficult part of buying off-the-plan and you can use the display suite potentially. Sometimes they might be built to scale so you can get an understanding of how that relates to the floor plans that you're looking at. 

Mike: Yeah.

Andrew: Also measure at your current home and sort of look at sizing there – how your furniture fits and how it would fit in the off-the-plan apartment or townhouse that you’re looking at. That's a good thing to look at too. Other details that are super important for buyers is get an  understanding of specifications – fixtures and fittings.

Mike: So what do you mean by fixtures? Is that the brands? 

Andrew: It’s branding. Developers spend a lot on displays [display suites] they're very beautiful, very impressive. You can walk in be wowed. You've just got to make sure that, what you're looking at and what you're buying is either the same as the display suite or find out what's different. Find out what in the display is a standard spec and what is an upgrade.

Mike: Is that like buying a brand new car where you kind of, sometimes you go to a test drive, there's a price on the wall, and then you do a test drive in the super-deluxe model and you find out there to get that one that's going to cost all this extra money?

Andrew: Yeah, certainly. Exactly right. So you go and you see the top-end model, and then you drill down and sort of talking about your price point it doesn't come with all the bells and whistles. So just make sure when you're looking off-the-plan that you're finding out what appliances are included. What's the brand? The size? The spec? What stone? Is timber flooring an upgrade? Is that a standard inclusion? All those things ask the ask your agent find out from the developer what you're actually getting if they can provide the more detail that they can provide the more comfortable you should be moving ahead.

Mike: How important is the developer and the builder and that whole piece, or is it more about the agent, what do you think?

Andrew: I think of all of it. I think the developer's very important. If they've got a proven track record in delivering projects that they've sold in the past and delivering what they were selling on time is important. I think what is also important is a developer's pipeline. What have they got in the future?

Mike: Why does that matter? 

Andrew: I think that matters because what they're currently selling,  so you as a buyer you come into the display suite, if they've got projects in the future, then you've got to make sure they deliver on the one that you're looking at.  

Andrew: So the success of the current approach will determine this test of their future projects as well. 

Mike: One of the things we've focused on when we're building Urban is thinking how can we help buyers to tell the difference between a really experienced developer and one that isn't as experienced. And one of the ways we've done that is through developer track record.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mike: So basically, what we're doing is allowing buyers to see all of the projects, just as you said.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mike: Of the that the developers previously delivered and all the ones that I've got coming up so definitely check that out if you're

thinking about it. 

Andrew: Yeah and I think it's important the team that they're working with too, there are new developers out there that are doing a fantastic job. Again the more detail you can get from your agent the more transparent they are, the more knowledgeable they are, the more comfortable you should be buying. 

Mike: I think we mention as well that sometimes buyers ask you about speaking to someone from the development team themselves. This sounds like a pretty reasonable idea. 

Andrew: Yeah, I think so, I think if the developer's transparent, you should have more confidence in that developer. If it's just the agent you're dealing with, and you can't seem to be getting through to the developer or maybe the builder, you've got to worry about after settlement. What sort of care are you going to get if there are any issues which you hope won't happen, but they do. 

Andrew: After service care is very important, so you want to make sure that you're still dealing with the agent after the development has been built, to make sure that things go smoothly. 

Mike: Well, thanks for sharing the tips.

Andrew: No worries! 

Mike: Congratulations mate, you've done bloody well. 

Andrew: Thank you very much. 

Mike: Good on you. 

Andrew: Appreciate it. 

Mike:  And we'll see you next time. 

Andrew: Thanks, guys! 

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of urban.com.au. Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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