Throughout most of Australia’s major cities, one factor rings true: market conditions have changed. As any seasoned agent knows, change is immutable. It’s the only thing you can rely upon.
Signs that change has hit your agency include fewer properties coming onto the market, longer days on market, lower auction clearance rates, circumspect buyers and fewer overseas investors. Paired with conservative credit conditions, it’s easy to begin feeling disempowered as an agent.
Stop. Right. There. You can and will thrive in 2018’s changing market! Market changes are the Hunger Games of the real estate industry, as tougher conditions result in less-talented and less-motivated agents leaving the business. This is an opportunity for those who are organised, focused and motivated.
Here are four ways to conquer the market using your natural talent, hard work and technology to focus on the people who matter most right now.
Work your buyers
- Create a follow-up plan for your last year of prospective buyers and OFI attendees.
- Build a manageable call list of buyers with your CRM, and allocate three hours to calling this group per day. Make notes and create follow-up tasks for each prospective buyer.
- Build real EQ around purchasers: establish their motivation for buying. Understand their budget and non-negotiables. This time spent with buyers builds rapport and helps you match listings accurately.
- Send them automatic, relevant email alerts from your CRM. Ensure alerts are set for new listings and price changes to your existing stock list.
- Contact ‘hot’ buyers weekly (those who want to purchase within three months) and ‘warm’ ones monthly (those who want to buy within three to six months).
- Review email reports to see ‘click’ activity and observe which buyers show most interest in your listings. Follow the most enthused up with a call.
- Use technology to build buyer profiles, ranking them in order of motivation. Sophisticated CRMs help you work large databases and make more connections.
- Arrange private inspections wherever necessary to make the sale, building genuine rapport.
- Help buyers understand that now is the time to buy. They’ve less competition and vendors are more open to negotiation.
This is an opportunity for those who are organised, focused and motivated.
Serve your vendors
- Communication is critical in a shifting market where vendors are uncertain. Educate consistently around changing market conditions in their area with recent results.
- The real market feedback they need to hear is from the prospective buyers walking through the door. On top of your regular phone call, make sure you also send a well-structured vendor report with detailed buyer feedback and outline other factors that are influencing the price or days on market.
Build your rent roll
- Take every opportunity to build your business value by adding clients’ existing or newly purchased investment properties to your rent roll. Rent rolls are your saviour in a fluctuating market.
- Have ready investment information on hand for purchasers, such as current rental appraisal and recent rents achieved for similar properties.
- Show collateral that demonstrates how your property management department is the only one to work with.
Drive efficiency in your agency
- How can you improve your business whilst reducing costs?
- Assess your processes and consider how efficient they are. Do you have too many manual tasks? How can you use technology to better serve and reduce double handling? For example, a good CRM will allow you to automatically feed buyer leads from portals into your CRM and avoid duplicates. This task alone can save hours of manual data entry per week.
The key to riding the real estate market’s peaks and troughs is commitment to a considered plan. It’s time to do the work and communicate, communicate, communicate!