One of the things all property investors need to understand relates to who you should trust for advice and, specifically, the difference between a salesperson and an advisor.
For anyone considering investing in property, there can be a lot of information to take in, and it’s not just about property.
You would think that this is an easy distinction to make, but not so.
Many salespeople wrongly present themselves as “advisors” and go to great lengths to convince you of this.
They do this to build trust, knowing that you would probably rather buy from someone you trust.
So how do you tell the difference?
Here are some key things to look out for:
The ready-made solution
There are many skilled and honest salespeople out there, and many of them may genuinely want to help you.
The problem lies in the fact that salespeople often have a solution already in mind before they even know what you might need.
Salespeople may appear as though they are representing you, the buyer, but in fact they are working for a seller or property developer.
How many times have you heard a salesperson recommend a competitor’s product or steer you towards an option that doesn’t result in a sale?
And you can’t really expect any different because it’s their job to sell.
Advisors will generally provide a consultation before recommending any course of action, carefully listening to your needs before considering a variety of options.
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A true advisor won’t be swayed one way or another but rather focus on what is best for you.
It’s their duty
Salespeople are trained to overcome objections, win trust and ultimately get the deal done.
Advisors, on the other hand, are trained to asses a client’s circumstances and offer the best alternatives in the area of their expertise, whether it is property investment or taxation.
Advisors generally have a legal duty to do what is best for their clients.
But it’s important you always know whether or not you are actually ‘the client’.
Many buyers take the advice of selling agents, for instance, even though these agents must represent the interests of their sellers.
Follow the money trail
If you’re unsure whether someone is a salesperson or an advisor, just ask them how they get paid.
Generally, people who are paid by the seller are sales people, whereas those who charge a fee for their service are more likely to be advisors.
Buyers’ agents typically get paid when you buy, but their fee is fully disclosed at the start in a very transparent manner, which can’t be said for many salespeople cloaking themselves as advisors.
Whenever seeking advice or guidance on buying property, it’s important to be acutely aware of the differences between an advisor and a salesperson.
While you are free to hear anyone’s advice, you should always put the advice into the correct context and consider whether the advice has been tainted by any specific motivations.
Your ‘advisor’ may end up just being a salesperson in disguise.