In this interview, Gerard Paratte, CEO of Properstar, explains how the Sell with Properstar service is a real asset for sellers.
1 - How do you help your customers with "Sell with Properstar"?
We realized that today on our portal we have a lot of buyers in the broadest sense. These buyers are not necessarily first-time buyers, but they are also people who already own a property and who want to buy a new property, and must sell theirs. What inspired us to develop our "Sell with Properstar" service was the observation that we are very upstream in the real estate chain.
Today, when people are at the beginning of the process of selling their property, they do not decide to sell on a whim when they get up in the morning. They will first search for what they could buy on Properstar before embarking on the sale of their apartment or house and that's where this feature fits perfectly. When these buyers / sellers decide to find a new property, Properstar has all the keys to help them realize their project. We offer them our solution to help them sell their property.
It is not only a matter of finding the agent who will help them sell their property, it is a matter of accompanying them throughout the duration of their transaction. The market is complicated and we want to simplify things for buyers and sellers. Therefore, we find them the best agent to help them market their property, we help them get the most accurate and fair estimate so that their property sells quickly and we answer all their questions along the way.
The advantage is that the Sell with Properstar service does not cost our customers more. There are no additional costs. Customers pay the same commission as if they went through a traditional agency. We are here to provide our customers with the best possible follow-up and reassuring support.
Indeed, selling a property is not something simple. As a seller, you do not necessarily know the real estate market and you can make mistakes. If they choose, for example, an agent who overestimates a property to obtain the mandate they will be disappointed with the response, have their property on the market for a longer time, etc. Properstar is here to avoid all this and help sellers find the best agent, set the right price and advise them throughout the sale.
2 - What are the strengths of "Sell with Properstar"?
The strength of "Sell with Properstar" is that we will take care of everything. We are dedicated to our customers throughout the sales process, and our teams provide a unique and personalized follow-up. This is especially true with buyers / sellers who do not know exactly when they will sell. They need real support and they also have many questions. So we have to reassure them, guide them, and accompany them and that's really our strength. We accompany our customers from the start and as soon as they are ready to sell, we are there to sell the property quickly - and at the best price.
3 - Why should a seller use Properstar?
The first reason is that Properstar offers full service for no additional cost. There are many services that do not offer all the options that we offer to our customers. Secondly, today, the real estate journey can be complicated! Just the choice of an agent can sometimes be hazardous or detrimental for the homeowner. A seller can start with an agency, not be satisfied, have to find another agency, remarket his property; which is an obvious waste of time. He can also say that he will entrust the sale of his property to several agencies at the same time, except that the property will be visible several times on real estate portals at prices not always identical, so his apartment or house will lose credibility in the eyes of potential buyers.
With "Sell with Properstar", we offer sellers the best agent according to the the type of property; its location, its characteristics and other criteria specific to each property. One of our key added values is that Properstar facilitates the sales process for the customer by offering him the best agent and the best possible support.
What is also interesting is that behind our service, there is also the consulting part, especially concerning the evaluation of the price of the property. We are here to help sellers estimate their apartment or house in the most accurate and transparent way possible. We are also there to help them with financing issues, if they are buyers/sellers. So we have a total framework that goes beyond the service that is offered by agencies, without having additional costs. We have the role of an advisor without the client paying more, that's really the strength of the model.
4 - Why is coaching and personalized support essential?
Each seller has different needs and we find ourselves faced with complex cases. For example, we had the case of a French seller who wanted to sell his property in Portugal. We managed to accompany him on both fields, thanks to our network. Our teams in Portugal took care of selling his property and the customer relationship was with the French teams. Today, we are the only real estate platform who can offer this type of service. These cases are atypical, but they allow us to demonstrate how far we are able to personalize.
Each person, each seller is different, so the goal is to adapt to all possible scenarios and to have an advisor who will take the time to listen and help the seller solve his unique problems, every time. We have had cases of succession, cases of professional transfer, cases where the family grows, etc. We see a lot of different situations in our profession, so we are there to accompany each customer throughout the process. People are sometimes lost, they do not know how to manage the sale of their property, so we are a guide for them and our service is extremely appreciated by sellers.
5 - Why is the accurate valuation of a property important?
The precise estimate will always depend on the ideal price and the ideal price is the one that allows a timely sale of the property. At Properstar, we have internal tools that allow us to make an initial assessment. Then, the real estate agent we select will also make an evaluation of the price of the property. The agent is on the ground, he is very close to the market, he will be able to refine the evaluation and tell us what the ideal selling price is. Sometimes, at the request of the seller, we use several agents so that the customer can have several opinions. Finally, what shows that the estimate is accurate is performance in the market. If after several weeks, the property has still not been sold, it is often that the price range is too high and not aligned with the reality of the market. In this case, it is necessary to correct the price of the good and revise it downwards.
The longer a property stays on the market, the less likely it is to be sold; that's a fact. There are always owners who remain convinced that their property is worth a certain price and do not want to lower the price. But we must know how to adapt and it is also our goal and the role of real estate agents to advise customers by explaining and showing similar properties that have been sold recently with the right price compared to the market. Customers also have to be open to listen to the advice they recieve in this kind of case, because afterall, the agents are not there to go against the seller. On the contrary, agents and our team are there for the sale transaction to be completed in good time, and not for a property to remain on the market for 6 months or even a year, which is never healthy in general, especially in a market where prices tend to decrease.
6 - How does the agent network you have built throughout Europe and the world, benefit your customers?
What we have implemented at Properstar is interesting for everyone. Indeed, it is something that is quite unique. We really highlighted real estate agents and this is important because they are a key element in transactions. We can even go further by setting up a ranking of real estate agents, see what their transactions have been, and bring this transparency to help customers. This is similar to information found on Tripadvisor or Airbnb. This will highlight those who are excellent agents and help those agents who are beginning their profession. If agents don't do the job properly and customers are dissatisfied, this must also be noted.
This transparency is necessary. Currently, this is not yet a very evident subject, but in a few years, this will become one of the mst influential decisive criteria in a customer’s choice of a real estate agent. Rating systems can be found everywhere, so there's no reason why real estate shouldn't have its own system. This is the direction that Properstar will go to give more transparency and help customers more.
7 - How do you guarantee to sell at the best price?
Support to sell property at the best price is essential for our customers and this is what we offer at Properstar. With each request, we look at what the customer needs are. If a customer is in a hurry to sell or they can afford to wait longer, it's not quite the same. Then our experts consider the context of the market, since the market is experiencing fluctuations and can also be bearish. In every case, it is necessary to be able to give relevent advice to sellers and work with their needs and criteria. For example, if your property is not sold after 2 months, we could say that there is a problem as the goal is to make a transaction within 2 to 3 months. This delay is already good because today, the duration of transactions is getting longer, so we want to avoid having prices that are too high in a bear market context.
We explain to our customers what is happening and what is the best option for them. It is a real work of accompaniment and sometimes pedagogy. Waiting for prices to rise to sell your property is not necessarily the right calculation in the current context. Today, seller’s may sell their property for a little less than the price at which it could have been sold a year ago. But waiting 6 more months to sell a property hoping that prices rise lead them to sell their property even cheaper than at the moment. It's quite interesting to explain the right stratgey to people. Ultimately, Properstar is here to ensure this advisory role for our customers.