A Builder Broker is a person or business that arranges quotations for building plans by contractors in Australia.
The agent or business needs qualifications in the building industry and must understand the "Standards Australia" building contracts. A Builder Broker can specialise in either all, or one of, the building types: residential, commercial or industrial.
The term originally referred to a person responsible for brokering the construction of a building on real estate. While this is closely related to the work of Estate Agents, greater knowledge of the building process is required. The job of a Builder Broker is to know the construction method of the proposed design along with the current economic pricing structure of that type of construction and local factors that either increase or decrease the value of the construction. A broker is also required to know the current and projected economic factors for the local areas.
Within the states of Australia, Builder Brokers have no specific authority to report to or obtain specific licences. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the body which regulates all registered companies and associations.
Builder Brokers may become members of the "Builder Brokers Association". All association members must abide by a Code of Conduct.
Within Australia there is only a handful of national brokering firms in existence, such as Australian Home Renovations, Home Builders Australia, Placeme and Clear Build, with most being regional or area specialists. Only a handful of brokerage firms handle commercial and residential quoting services with Placeme and Home Builders Australia being the oldest. Specialists exist in each state or major city and can often be more competitive, with their local knowledge of the industry.
Building Broker services include everything from the initial site survey to creation of the home design; then qualifying builders and managing the tender process to ensure client satisfaction. Typically, savings can be achieved in excess of 10% when compared to the traditional method of purchasing a new home by way of display homes. Clear Build, as an example, does not draw its own plans, but utilises the customers plans, forcing builders into a competitive environment to ensure your plans are priced fairly, with significant savings possible.
Placeme differs from the standard procedure, and provides the tools that the builder brokers use to facilitate the brokering process nationally in Australia, as well as providing the Builder Brokering service on their website.
Brokerage fees are typically found to be charged to the contractor to whom the work is being contracted. In some other cases there can be a smaller engagement fee charged to the client, which is mostly non-refundable and typically between $300AUD-$500AUD, plus Goods and Service Tax (GST). This sort of pre-payment fee is typical in larger commercial projects. There is no standard set fee allocated to the services of Builder Brokers to charge contractors. Typically the fees from contractors are between 3% to 5% of the total cost of the wholesale build price.