Clock’s ticking – And the term days on market is changing

The term ‘days on market’ used to be well defined, but with agents now offering properties to some buyers ahead of others, that definition has now changed. Eddie Cetin explains.

The concept of days on market seems pretty straightforward.

The property goes live and the clock starts.

If we go back to the turn of the century, many offices would boast of 45 days and 50 days on the market.

As auctions became more prevalent and on-trend, this shortened to 27 and 30 days. But is this still correct?

Most commonly, a property is prepared for sale and when ready, sent live to the various portals and that’s when days on market starts.

Email alerts are usually sent out, and the agent tries to attract the most amount of interest in those first crucial days.

From speaking with our clients, especially in the major cities where buyer and vendor behaviour is changing, we are seeing this evolve.

Over the past few months, we have seen prices in Sydney and Melbourne rise.

However, stock levels are historically low, and this is leaving buyers frustrated as properties get snapped up. On the other hand, vendors are nervous.

Is the market recovering?

Should I hold off?

Am I going to sell for the price I paid a couple of years ago?

The result of this is agents are looking to reassure buyers.

“Let me grab your details, and I’ll keep you up-to-date with any other listings.”

Then they tell vendors: “How about we prepare the property for sale and test it to our database to get feedback?”

What this has created is more agents adopting a pre-market viewing style of campaign.

Some refer to this as off-market or before market.

Whatever the term, offering the property to their database before major portals and expensive listing campaigns is changing the definition of on-market, and when the days on market clock should start.

Even though there has been conjecture about the terminology, this sale method is an evolution due to the behaviour of buyers and sellers.

The buyer feels like they purchase something with no or much less competition, and the vendor wins through getting a quick sale with less expense.

Many of our clients are not tracking days on market from when a property hits the portals.

Instead, they track it from when it is released to their database, or what we define as available.

The clock now starts when the first email or text is sent, and that can be three, five, seven or even 14 days before it appears on portals.

So how can you adopt this process?

The mistake agents often make is thinking that collecting names at open for inspections and inquiries is building a database.

In today’s fast-paced world, relevant content is critical.

Sending your clients a pre-market opportunity email for a property that is not relevant will kill engagement and getting the most out of the process.

When collecting data you need to get the relevant details to ensure your next email hits a home run.

If someone has inquired on a property, make sure they are connected to that property in your CRM as a prospective buyer.

The ability to return to this list is critical to help future communication.

Doing so will mean buyers who missed out on one property can be easily contacted for the next that comes up in the same building or around the corner.

Use this inquiry as a guide into what they are looking for.

Creating requirements with a range around this property is a great start to help guide relevant communication.

The common mistake here is to put a price range of $100,000 to $50 million.

That’s a sure-fire way for someone to hit unsubscribe. Requirements should not just be around price but also property type, attributes, suburbs and regions.

Many CRMs can now create requirements automatically, and the result is a relevant, targeted email or SMS blast to your database being only a couple of clicks away.

Not only will doing these simple tasks allow you to service your buyers better, but it’s also a great listing tool.

Spending the time to collate a clear list of buyers to contact, whether that be from past listings or with matching criteria, is a massive listing tool that can put you ahead of your competitors. So when should days on market start ticking?

Is it still when it is live on the portals?

Or has it evolved to be something more?

We believe it has.

Days on market now starts when the property is available and when you first offer it to your database.

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Eddie Cetin

Eddie Cetin is the APAC Managing Director of Reapit Group. The combined Agentbox and Reapit offering provides real estate agencies with one market-leading solution for Sales and Property Management. Eddie co-founded Agentbox, the Sales CRM of choice for most high performing agents around Australia. For more information, visit agentbox.com.au