You and your market may be thinking about a break over the festive season. But you don’t have to lose all the momentum that you have generated throughout the year.
If you are staying put
We know that prevention is better than cure, so start lining up your properties for launch in the New Year right now, today and tomorrow. Work your pipeline now. Get the listing appointments signed, book in photography, video and copywriting for the campaigns early.
Explain to sellers that they need to beat the rush and book in early to avoid disappointment.
I often found that December and January is actually a great time to list, market and sell property. Buyers are still in the market and ready to purchase, but as there is less stock we quite often see record prices achieved during this time of year.
In fact, buyers often have more free time and spend more of it browsing online trying to find their new home.
It’s also a time where you might have a new segment of buyers that may not normally be looking or inspecting in your city. Some marketplaces even have an influx of holidaymakers and expats looking to invest in property.
This is also often a convenient time for vendors to sell, as they may be going away. If that’s the case, they can hand over their keys to an agent and escape the burden of cleaning and preparing for an inspection or open home. This set-up can alleviate a lot of stress during the selling process.
It’s also a great time to convert those properties that have been on the market with other agents to you and your agency.
If you are keen to achieve greatness in 2018, start working now whilst your competitors are on holidays. Get a head start!
If you are taking a break
If you are one of those agents taking a hard-earned break, relax, enjoy and get ready to pull it together for the next big year of your career. In order to have great success in 2018, you need to be mentally fit, prepared and ready.
Agents who are well-rested achieve better results in all aspects of their job, as they have more energy and clarity in achieving the listing and negotiating a sale.
Do the basics and follow the process – Send out personalised ‘Just listed’ letters, and follow up with phone calls and door-knocking.
Drop brochures to the local carwashes, cafes and gyms. Use your social media. Do live video tours on Facebook and post key photos on Instagram. And advertise your open homes on these platforms and, when it occurs, the sale.
Then work the buyers – Do they need to sell to buy? Are they selling any investment properties? Can you look after them with these needs or can you refer it for a fee? And do they know anyone who is looking to buy or sell?
Then think about your business contacts and your COI. Think conveyancers, lawyers, mortgage brokers, financial planners, building inspectors. Do they know anyone who is looking to buy or sell? Ask them for help and for business.
People love helping others and they will love helping you! But be sure to give back by asking what you can do to assist their business.
And here’s a tip: when they do refer you someone, keep them updated and be sure to send them a handwritten thank you card in the mail. This will make them feel that they made the right choice in referring you. They will see that your service is exceptional and personal, and they will be proud to refer you business on a regular basis.
Build trust and focus on the longer term
Personal and exceptional service is a major key to being a successful agent. It breeds trust. Buyers and sellers are looking for a meaningful, long-term relationship with an agent who will be there for them in this and the next transaction, in 20 years’ time, and also for their family and friends.
Sellers are no longer forced to use any agent. Less and less are we seeing one agent control a marketplace. Sellers now have options due to the way in which buyers use digital platforms to purchase property. This is shaping how we prospect as agents.
The marketplace is turning away from agents who have a burn and churn approach. Sellers do not want to be treated as another transaction or work with an agent who is only in it for the money.
A successful agent in 2018 might do their best prospecting at their children’s school or at sporting clubs, networking events or around the local neighbourhood. It could be the nail salon, barbershop, the popular café where everyone stops for morning coffee, or on the local walkways and exercise paths.
These connections will pay dividends now, but you’ll start to see the real benefits within six to 12 months. These people know other people who know other people, and in a short period you could be calling yourself an ‘attraction agent’. This means fewer hours need to be spent knocking on doors and working the phones.
The same principle can be applied to social media, which I view as real-world networking but online.
Connect online with those you meet in real life to stay top of mind and relevant – The best networkers, both real-world and online, are those who show their personality and genuine care while interacting with others.
Showcase your market knowledge and your success – This will build a new audience of buyers and sellers. Think of social media as your secondary database.
Offer your followers real value for following you – Launch properties online before they hit the market, share stories of how a property sold and for how much, and create your own community based on your personality, your real estate career and how you like to conduct transactions.
Show your marketplace that you are one of the few agents embracing digital strategies – Sellers love this as it is a cost-effective method of sale and buyers love it as they are hearing about properties before they are officially launched.
This should be combined with working your own primary database and CRM – Add everyone you meet from open homes, networking, phone leads and internet inquiries.
Send out regular and consistent newsletters – Again, in order to gain traction, add some real value. Potential content that you can use might be changes to legislation, real-time advice on what you are seeing in the market today, recent auction clearance rates and market trends. Work the properties before they hit the market by including a ‘coming soon’ section. Give.
Leverage your listing in the media – Call the editors of your local newspapers, magazines and internet sites. Make sure your sales reps for REA and Domain are receiving your properties and ideas for stories and passing them through to their editors. Get the message out about you, your properties and your results.
Not only will you sell your listings but you will build a larger profile for yourself, which in turn assists with becoming an attraction agent. I encourage you to work smarter, not harder!
I also suggest calling your 20 most recent transactions, both buyers and sellers – Get in touch, ask about their holidays and how their new home is going, and ask for referrals.
Lastly, working with a coach and mentor is often a great way to gain traction in your business. The right coach will hold you accountable and should be able to suggest and assist in the implementation of different systems and procedures, use of key dialogues, and strategies in time management and productivity.
This expertise will take you to the next level in your real estate career.