Die aard van eiendomsagente in Potchefstroom se kommunikasie om verhoudings met mekaar te bestuur
Thanks to the development of technology, digital and social media, and the explosion of the number of real estate agents in Potchefstroom, the competition has increased and real estate agents must find ways to survive within this extremely competitive market (Black, 2019; Property24, 2021). According to Hon and Grunig (1999), relationship building (also between real estate agents as in this study), by means of two-way symmetrical communication, can serve as a strategy to achieve this goal. Relationships with other agents (internally within the same agency and with agents working at other real estate agencies) are therefore crucial to survival. The real estate agents (from both small and large agencies) in Potchefstroom must therefore focus on two-way communication to build, strengthen and maintain strategic relationships with each other if they want to succeed and survive within the competitive real estate market of Potchefstroom. Previous studies have determined, detailed and confirmed that the two-way communication model and stakeholder relationship management theory offer several guidelines and constructs for building strategic, long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders, and that this relationship building with stakeholders provides a competitive advantage to an organisation (Grunig, 2002; Grunig et. al., 1995:170; Hon & Grunig, 1999; Pressly, 2016:34; Sutton, 2020). Research in this study was therefore carried out to determine to what extent the real estate agents (from both small and large agencies) in Potchefstroom use two-way symmetrical communication to build strategic relationships with each other. To determine the above, a literature study was done on the two-way symmetrical communication model and the stakeholder relationship management theory to form the theoretical framework for the study, and qualitative semi-structured interviews with 12 estate agents were carried out. From the results, it appears that the real estate agents (from both small and large agencies) in Potchefstroom consider building relationships with each other to be very important, and are under the impression that they do make use of the guidelines and constructs offered by the two-way symmetrical model and stakeholder relationship management theory in their communication with each other. From the findings, however, it is clear that there is a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to open and honest communication between agents. Furthermore, it seems that the real estate agents in Potchefstroom rarely build relationships with new estate agents – the current relationships which are already in place can be seen as important exchange relationships that are formed with each other. However, this only happens when there is already trust in the relationship between the estate agents.
- Humanities