Awards are rewarding in all sorts of ways. I won’t lie. It was, and still remains a thrill to have heard the words,

“And the winner of the Real Estate Institute of NSW Award for Excellence – Buyer’s Agent of the Year for 2012 is… Nicholas Viner.”

In fact, I’ve been selected as a finalist again for 2013. At the end of the day, however, it’s not the award you receive that really matters, it’s what you’ve done to deserve it. Officially it’s the recognition of your achievement. Unofficially what it’s all about is your investment.

I can honestly say I invest plenty in every property buying project I’m involved in. I’m not talking about the standard things a buyer’s agent does, but the extras I do; because finding a property for someone to buy is actually a really personal business. In a sense, a big chunk of someone’s life, investment and future happiness depends on the diligence I perform and the advice I give. These are real people with real lives, and it matters to me that I get it right for them. That’s my investment.

So, if you really want to know what I’ve been awarded for; more to the point, if you asked me to list the 5 things that contribute most to my success as a property buyer, this is what I’d tell you:

  1. Close Listening: Few people can tell you precisely and succinctly what it is they’re looking for in a property. Get them talking, however, and the little, but critical, likes and dislikes and secret wishes all emerge.
  2. In-depth knowledge: Years of researching property in targeted areas allows me to quickly distinguish the good streets from the bad, the good apartment blocks from ones with problems; and to identify current and future ‘hotspots’.
  3. Discernment: 10 years in law, as a property solicitor, gives me a real advantage when it comes to carrying out due diligence into the detail of contractual arrangements. I know what to look for in the fine print, and because I’ve never worked in sales, I’m certainly not conditioned to want to “sell” you on a property, unless I’m convinced of its value. Discernment is just common sense, fed by a kind of cultivated intelligence.
  4. The Power to Negotiate: When you put together my legal background and my close knowledge of the real estate market, you end up with a really strong base from which to negotiate, and that’s an area where I’m consistently successful for clients. It’s only when you know the real value of a property that you can secure it for less than it’s worth.
  5. Personal Involvement: As the business owner I deal directly with clients and manage the brief throughout the buying process. I don’t delegate work to employees and don’t have monthly targets. My clients get a premium service because of the high professional standards I insist on.

So, what’s the prize for being ‘Buyer’s Agent of the Year’? The delight of a satisfied client.

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