Begin with the end in mind: Mark McLeod

In a tough market, instead of looking forward and hoping things fall into place, it can be better to take a different view. Mark McLeod explains how starting at the desired end and working backwards can help ensure the right conversations are happening.

Through the strong part of the cycle, it was a fairly easy task to look forward and feel energised and excited about what was inevitably about to happen: solid numbers through opens, bucketloads of enquiry, plenty of offers. Vendors not always but often had their expectations on price exceeded.

The world of real estate seemed relatively simple and you know it was. Off the back of these inevitabilities, we were able to have conversations with both vendors and purchasers that enabled us to create and control plenty of sales.

Now it’s time to work backwards from these conversations.

I want you to think about a vendor, maybe 10 to 15 per cent overpriced, and ask yourself, ‘What conversation do I need to have with that owner next week?’. Think about that conversation, think about the information that you need at that conversation and work backwards from that point.

If it wasn’t positioned right last week, it’s hardly going to be positioned right this week.

Let’s break it down into simple steps. Having no one through the previous weekend’s opens hardly creates a great topic of conversation, I know. I hear you say the market has rejected it at the listed price or the quoted price (if you feel the need to use them), but ultimately the vendor requires far deeper evidence than a no-show weekend.

Step 1

Start to think about how you can drive traffic to your opens to give the vendor the evidence they need. You probably told them you have a database chock-full of buyers; where are they all of a sudden?

Step 2

Think about the feedback you want to discuss with the owner from these OFI attendees, and start to ask the questions of these people that will help you craft the conversations you need to have.

Step 3

The vendor report should deliver the information that is the catalyst for the conversations you need to have. I am constantly amazed at how many people tell me they don’t use them, or how little thought and effort goes into what I believe is one of the most important tools for a professional agent.

Step 4

Think about how you want the home presented at your next OFI. So often agents go back every weekend with the same price and method, and wait for those wonderful real estate pixies to turn up. If it wasn’t positioned right last week,, it’s hardly going to be positioned right this week.

The art of understanding where you need to be, week in and week out, then working backwards from that point and creating the environment that you need, is the art of creating sales. Because, ultimately, this is the difference between the agents who get it and those who are merely looking to the future, hoping and praying the strong market returns.

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Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod is the Ray White Group's Chief Strategy Officer for Real Estate. He works alongside agents and businesses across Australia, helping them reach their ultimate potential to achieve success.