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What should you expect from a sales consultant?

The article went on to talk about the need to have a solicitor approve a sale and purchase agreement before the vendor signs it, which I whole-heartedly agree with and which any competent sales consultant will advise their client to do.

There will always be a very small number of rogue operators, however, the vast majority of real estate agents are honest and transparent with their clients. They want to do a good job, because they want you to tell friends and family about them. They want to have you as a client again one day in the future.

Like any financial transaction, it’s vital that clients on both sides of a property deal are fully informed about their rights and what they can and should expect from their agent.

Here at Harcourts we offer all our vendors The Harcourts Promise, which is our signed service agreement in which our sales consultants commit to provide five essential services for clients:

  • provide a detailed marketing plan
  • provide post-inspection feedback
  • provide written progress reports
  • hold regular marketing review meetings
  • present all offers in writing 

This is what any good sales consultant should provide as a matter of course for any client. But what else should they be doing? What do you, as a client, have a right to expect?

Probably one of the most important things to remember is that a real estate agent is legally required to act in the best interests of the property vendor and to act in accordance with their instructions – but that should not be at the expense of honesty and transparency when dealing with buyers.

They should never put their buyer or seller under any pressure to accept offers. They should make sure both the vendors and the buyers are kept up to date on any relevant developments and try to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of relevant documents and the process.

Crucially – and this has come up a lot in the debate around meth contamination of properties – an agent cannot withhold or provide inaccurate information about a property.

On the other side of that, an agent must also market the property in line with the price dictated by the vendor. They must also let vendors know if they are receiving any discounts, special deals or even commissions on advertising.

Automatic Milking Systems

Given the volatility of world dairy prices, ways to streamline costs and intensify milk production are vital to the dairy industry.

milking

An increasingly attractive option is the use of automatic milking systems (AMS), or robotic dairy farming.

There are already a small number of robotic dairy farms in New Zealand, but numbers are likely to increase if overseas trends are any indication.

In a robotic dairy farm, each milking cow is fitted with a tag, which determines whether the cow can be let in to be milked or sent back out to pasture, according to the permissions the farmer has set.

It means a cow can effectively turn up at any time of the day or night for milking and will be ushered through the opening of electronic gates to where they need to be. The cows are generally fed while the machine washes their teats, attaches cups and monitors the milk flow and quality.

Once the cows are used to the system, farmers can monitor the systems remotely and human input required is minimal.

Farmers report an increase in milk production, as the animals calmly do what they want in their own time.

Obviously, there is a large expense initially to have the robotic milking system installed and increased electricity costs are ongoing, but this is outweighed over time by reduced labour costs.

Robotic milking, also known as voluntary milking, was first developed in Europe as a way of countering low milk prices. It allowed dairy farms to operate with less staff while achieving higher milk production. More than 20 countries now have a number of robotic milking systems.

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