Is real estate really one of the least trusted professions in Australia?

The real estate industry has a public perception problem, with new figures showing that agents have one of the least trusted professions in Australia.

A recent report by Roy Morgan revealed that only 7 per cent of Aussies rank agents highly for their ethics and honesty.

Agents scored just above advertisers and car salesmen as least trusted professions, but this put them as the third least trusted profession in Australia, below brokers, talk-back radio hosts and politicians.

Mint Real Estate director and Openn Negotiation co-developer Peter Clements said that the statistics are disappointing given the role of agents.

“I find it disappointing that while we work around the clock and across weekends to exchange one of the most significant investments and protected assets that a client owns, the public still doubt our trustworthiness,” Mr Clements said.

Mr Clements acknowledged that the public has shifted to educated citizens and the old selling processes don’t work anymore.

“In reality, we are operating with outdated practices that have been in use for too long without being adapted for the needs of today’s customer and current business environment,” Mr Clements added.

The director said that the public could now access all the information about prices, trends and more, and agents needed to step up their negotiation and promotion game.

“The negotiation process, especially private treaty, is renowned for confusing vendors and frustrating buyers by leaving them in the dark,” Mr Clements said.

Mr Clements added that agents had to be more transparent and allow buyers and sellers to see everyone’s price.

“Our old and comfortable ways are like hanging on to a safety blanket we don’t want to lose. However, to meet the demands of our customers in this day and age, we need to be trying new and better ways,” the director said.

Mr Clements said that the survey’s results were a wake-up call for the industry and an opportunity for agents.

“I, for one, know the essential part we play in ensuring the best outcome for everyone involved in a property transaction, and am willing to fight for our profession and I’m sure I’m not alone,” Mr Clements said.