PAUL MYLOTT, GENERAL MANAGER of Century 21 Australia, shares five resolutions all real estate professionals should make for 2015.
SELLING REAL ESTATE can make for a hugely rewarding career. It’s a dynamic and exciting profession for many, which can often involve setting your own work hours and determining your own income to a large degree. How many other office jobs can really boast this same level of flexibility?
Tens of thousands of Australians across the nation have chosen real estate as a career for these reasons and more. Perhaps it’s a passion for property as an asset class, or the opportunity for daily interaction with a variety of people from all walks of life. Let’s not forget the thrill of finally closing on a big deal, or the pride of winning the listing for a particularly unique or sought-after property.
But it’s not a career for the faint-hearted. To ‘make it’ in what can often be a cut-throat marketplace requires an enormous amount of effort – and there is no point expending effort without having an end goal and a plan in mind.
Below are some New Year’s resolutions I believe every real estate agent should consider as we head into 2015.
- I WILL: PLAN MY INCOME
So you want to make $200,000 per annum? Then you’ll need to be specific in planning how you’re going to achieve this. I recommend gaining an understanding of what is realistic in terms of the marketplace in which you operate. This generally involves researching the average commission earned per sale in your area, and doing the maths to determine the number of listings required to meet your income goal.
Analysing past performance will allow you to factor in realistic conversion rates, such as the list-to-sale ratio, as an example. Then all you’ll need to do is plan your activities around achieving these listing numbers – simple!
- I WILL: BECOME CLOSELY ACQUAINTED WITH MY DATABASE
Higher-performing real estate agents tend to have an established database of potential, current and past clients with whom they are constantly in contact. Instead of taking an ad hoc approach, however, I recommend committing to regular contact by putting meeting reminders in your diary in January, ensuring you touch base at regular points throughout the year.
This doesn’t have to involve clamouring for business specifically. You could send a market update or informative communiqué every six to eight weeks, just to remain top of mind. If I stay in touch with someone I sold a house to five years ago, as an example, that person may know 20 other people who at different points are considering selling or buying a property. If my former client hears ‘I’ve got to sell my house’, they’re more likely to respond with ‘Talk to Paul Mylott’ if I’ve stayed in touch.
- I WILL: EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are increasingly becoming important weapons in a real estate agent’s marketing arsenal. Though I wouldn’t recommend approaching social media as a channel for direct selling, what it can offer is a platform from which to sell the activities you perform as an agent.
If you sell a property for a record price, let your followers or ‘friends’ know about it. Similarly, if you wish to express support for a community event, these forums are an ideal way to do so. It’s all about remaining front of mind in your local community.
- I WILL: COMMIT TO A BETTER WORK/LIFE BALANCE
I’ve witnessed far too many agents displaying signs of fatigue and burnout over the past six to 12 months as the Australian property market experienced a phase of relatively high activity levels.
In a high-growth period it can be easy to get caught up, being on call 24/7. However, I don’t believe this is a sustainable strategy in the long term.
Actively scheduling downtime to reconnect with friends and family, or simply to relax and rejuvenate, can be as simple as turning the phone off at 8pm each night and leaving enquiries to go to voicemail. That way you won’t miss any work opportunities, but will still benefit from some much- needed downtime.
- I WILL: BE READY FOR CHANGE
None of us really knows what 2015 will bring. We can’t say for sure whether interest rates will rise, fall or stay the same; nor can we predict with complete accuracy the ‘hotspots’ which will provide the greatest capital gains or the highest rental yields.
But this shouldn’t matter to the best-performing agents. My main resolution as a real estate agent would be simply to be ready for whatever comes along in 2015. Adaptability, flexibility and dynamism will be key in the Australian property market over the next 12 months.
Here’s to a prosperous and fulfilling 2015.