Elite AgentSELLING + MARKETING PROPERTY

Change For The Better

Change is a fact of life. Whether we like it or not, change occurs in us as individuals and in society at large – all the time. How we deal with change is what sets clever agents apart from the rest of the pack. Story by Tony Rowe.

In the current economic climate the pressure to perform differently to the way we may have performed in the past few years means more complex demands on our time, energy and efforts. We’re expected to adapt and embrace new ideas, different behaviours and new thought patterns that will enable us to cope with the environment in which we’re operating.

Vendors recognise the impact of the ‘GFC’ but they still want the high sale prices; buyers have read the paper and know the ‘GFC’ impact as well, and don’t want to pay high prices. The agent is expected to negotiate and secure a sale. The pressure can be intense. External (political, economic and social) global forces beyond our control also have a direct impact on our capacity to perform. Our skill in coping with change can impact on our stress levels and our capacity to thrive in a changing marketplace.

Dealing with change
The speed of the changes, and how we handle those changes, are as individual as we are. People can share the same external experience and have vastly different responses to that same experience. We need to develop strategies that enable us to capitalise on the opportunities that present themselves – as soon as they present themselves!

We need to recognise when things change and make an evaluation of whether it is going to be of sufficient import that we need to adapt our behaviour or whether it is of minor impact and we can get by without a serious adaptation.

We sometimes look for inspiration to the things that the ‘successful’ agents do. If we try to copy what they do, chances are it will not work in the same way. We need to make an assessment of whether what they do will work in our area. If the answer is “no”, then the solution might be to modify it to suit our particular circumstances.

It’s good to see and hear about what the ‘champions’ do, but if we want to be a champion too, we have to find our own form and style. We may have to change the way we operate to suit the particular social, economic or political circumstances that exist at the time. That’s quite a challenge, but it can be done!

The good, the bad and technology
In the last ten years we’ve seen an explosion in the use of technology. Trying to keep up with the advances in new, efficient and effective ways of communicating with each other is enough to make our heads spin. We can now access emails and the internet on our mobile phones. That has caused a massive change in the way agents operate their business.

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and all manner of other strange new words have come into our vocabulary with this new technology – and we need to know/have/use them! Will clients take up the option (if we offer it) to bid at auction ‘online’?

The question is – do you ‘adapt and adopt’ new technology and change your business practices for the sake of it – or should you evaluate the potential effectiveness and applicability for your particular marketplace before you decide? Keeping up with the Jones’ can be an expensive exercise. Not keeping up with them could be expensive too. The decision is one you need to make with a level head and all the information.

One of the good things about the ‘GFC’ is that it has forced everyone to look at the practices and strategies they use now and think about different ways (hopefully, better ways) to get more listings, achieve more sales, and manage more efficiently.

What we shouldn’t forget is that this is a people industry. The most basic, essential characteristic of a good real estate agent is the ability to communicate effectively – person to person. Technology provides a variety of ways of doing that, but it comes back to identifying what is the preferred method for the client and meeting that need. That will secure the listing, sale and repeat/referral business.

The main complaint from consumers about real estate agents is “they didn’t get back to me when they said they would.” The method of communication needs to be the one that meets the needs of the client. A text message to a pensioner may not be what they want. An email to an infrequent user may not be effective. A phone call to a busy executive may be the last thing they want. A personalised approach is important. It can be the difference between getting a referral/listing and not. Being able to identify the needs of our clients, and potential clients, is essential. Delivering on our advertised message is what brings the repeat business.

Any agent who successfully survives the changing economic environment is going to be set for the future. ‘Change’ is the constant in our lives. We need to work with it, not against it.

Tony Rowe is General Manager of Corum Training www.corumtraining.com.au, a specialist provider of training to the property sector in NSW. Corum Training has fully qualified trainers with extensive knowledge, expertise and experience in the delivery of assessment and training services in Real Estate across Australia and New Zealand.

We sometimes look for inspiration to the things that the ‘successful’ agents do. If we try to copy what they do, chances are it will not work in the same way. We need to make an assessment of whether what they do will work in our area. If the answer is “no”, then the solution might be to modify it to suit our particular circumstances.

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