With 2018 well under way and the summer holidays a fond memory, it’s time to refocus your attention on your business. What can you do today, this week and this month to maximise your results? Eddie Cetin looks at five ways to use technology paired with practical prospecting to own your area.
It’s all too easy to fall back on prospecting techniques and communication habits that served you in the past. What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow. My advice is to stay ahead of the bell-curve and use technology to amplify your influence.
1. ANNIVERSARY FOLLOW-UP
This sounds like an obvious prospecting call-to-action, but you’d be surprised how few agents conduct anniversary follow-ups in a consistent manner. Rather than trying to book an appraisal with an existing client, why not send vendors and landlords a general annual appraisal via email? If required, you can then follow up with a more accurate appraisal.
This process ensures you stay top-of-mind with your clients; people always love to know what their investments are worth and how the market has moved. Personalise your appraisals by targeting clients in areas with recent sales – this is an ideal opportunity to showcase your local knowledge. Ensure you factor in any renovations or improvements they might have made by proffering a current market estimate, an estimate of a high-end property in the area, a mid-range property in the area and a low-end property in the area. Often, median sales statistics on national real estate portals are void of local market fluctuation context, which impacts on appraisal values. Don’t neglect to include rental appraisal and investment property-specific information – this data is useful for both landlords and vendors.
2. LOVE YOUR LANDLORDS
In too many real estate agencies across Australia, sales and rental teams simply aren’t in regular communication about their mutual clients. This can lead to embarrassing gaffes, and doesn’t leave a good impression of a competent team. Ongoing landlord updates are critical; not only do updates keep landlords in the loop with their marketplace, your agency also remains top of mind should they consider selling. Landlord updates are an opportunity to reinforce your brand – and to offer listings for sale directly to your landlords, helping you continue your relationship and grow your rent roll. Consider communicating with tenants regularly too: they could well be your next prospective buyer or landlord. Touching base with tenants and providing great customer service may also help you realise off-market sales opportunities when they arise.
3. SHINY NEW TECH
Invest wisely in technology that is going to make a difference to your business’ bottom line. Don’t make a decision based on marketing hype alone; see the proof. There are many start-ups developing real estate-centric tech products, with a variety of very interesting prototypes on offer. It’s important to consider the depth of the business and its resources to ensure long-term viability for the technology. Be discerning with your technology investments – what might work for one agency may not work for your own. Being innovative is clearly the name of the game, but remember: cultivating genuine relationships is where true gold lies. Overdoing communications can work against you, so don’t throw social media, SMS, e-marketing and predictive tracking at your audience in one fell swoop!
Test new tech on a segment of your database who you know will appreciate the communication – don’t expose your whole database to technology fatigue.
4. INVEST IN YOUR PEOPLE
Your people are your agency’s greatest assets. Having an enthusiastic team of estate agents who know how to use the tools you’ve provided them with is the very best asset of all. Make sure you invest in regular training for new and existing staff. This could be by upskilling them on your CRM, professional development coaching, or roleplaying intensives. Bring your team together to learn new ways of doing tasks they have done forever – that’s the only way to stay current in a quickly shifting real estate market. Encourage your staff to learn from one another, and empower them to understand the new tools necessary for their trade. Learning is an important part of everyone’s professional development plan, and is critical to achieving targets.
5. COMMIT TO A CHANGE PLAN
When you commit to using market-leading technology, you simultaneously need to invest in a plan to drive its adoption across your business. Come up with clever, fun ways to excite your staff about impending changes, show them why technology contributes to their success and reward them for their efforts. Changing habits is difficult for many people, so make sure implementing your change plan is a priority. Consider choosing one topic each month to upskill your team on. When adopting new technology into your business, ensure roles of responsibility are clear, processes are in place and systems have been set up correctly to reflect your way of doing business. You can’t purchase a technology solution and expect it to work for you without a corresponding ongoing commitment to driving change.