Focus On the Fundamentals

WHAT  CHALLENGES ARE in store for 2016 and how should you meet them? Peter Hanscomb of Belle Property says you need to deliver on core values and building lasting relationships.

IF YOU WANT to be a successful agent over the next 12 months, you’ve got to focus on the key fundamentals of your business. Forget about whether the market is going to change or not – change is inevitable. Building relationships based on trust and integrity should be the key focus, now more than ever.

Although 2016 may offer up challenges, the market will run on, more stock will enter the marketplace and buyer demand will fluctuate. Stop focusing on what you can’t control; instead, focus on yourself and the service you provide to clients. Keep on track with your business plan and your desire to be the best you can be.

The most important thing an agent can do in any marketplace is build relationships. You need to get out there and form relationships from the front line. The agents who sell more real estate are those talking to more people.

This comes back to how you create contact with people. Are you getting more stock on the market, which in turn sees more people through open homes? Are you working past contacts and old open home books? Are you optimising social media networks effectively?

It’s not about wearing the best suit or driving the flashiest car. It’s about working harder to build respectable relationships within the community; that’s what will get you noticed. Become the expert within your core business area, then develop the relationships you have to a higher level.

People will want to talk to you if you add value, provide expert advice and genuinely care. They will look to you for their property needs and believe that you are their acting advisor.

Work harder, work smarter and understand how to create true market relevance within your marketplace. Market relevance is when you make the consumer’s top three when they’re shopping around looking for an agent. If you’re not market-relevant then you miss out on listing opportunities.

I recently attended an REA Customer Study Forum in San Francisco where I had a wonderful opportunity to see Google and Airbnb in action at their headquarters. We explored a number of innovations that gave me greater insight into the digital disruption debate. My biggest takeaway from this experience is that in our industry you can’t replace people and you can’t replace trust with people.

If agents were dealing in small-dollar transactions then digital disruption would be evident, but in real estate we are dealing with large assets and for this people require trust and communication.

The discussion reaffirmed my views on the importance of being involved in a number of digital platforms, allowing agents to broaden the channels in which they touch people and create relationships.

At Belle Property we are always looking at new technology and different digital platforms to leverage how we operate in business. Our industry is at the forefront of a digital world and it’s all about efficiency. However, it’s very important to remember it should never replace your relationships or reduce the level of customer service you provide, and this is what I’m constantly reiterating to the Belle Property network.

My advice for the next 12 months is to get fixed on your plan and visualise the goals you want to achieve. The key is to keep it simple, ensure your mind and body are healthy and strong, avoid non-dollar productive distractions and focus on people and the customer service you offer.

The same priorities apply for Belle Property; we’re focusing on our people. Developing and recruiting key people into our business and broadening the level of support we provide the network means they can focus on their key business fundamentals.

We want to create the best possible real estate environment in the country, both internally for our network and externally for our valued clients. I see a number of significant changes for our organisation and for the industry as a whole; it’s about constantly innovating to find new ways to align with our community and to grow meaningful connections with people.

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Peter Hanscomb

Peter Hanscomb is the CEO of Belle Property since 2007.