Off market sales a success for prestige properties in Adelaide

Angela and Michael Stentiford from Ouwens Casserly Real Estate say that agents need to be more creative in a tough market.

Angela and Michael Stentiford from Ouwens Casserly Real Estate have begun to reap the benefits for their clients by selling a large majority of their high-end homes off market.

Their last three sales totalled over $7,700,000 this Spring Season. Two of those sales had only one group through and the other a single open inspection for three selected buyers.

With the market becoming slower, Michael Stentiford says agents will need to be creative if they want to survive in a tougher market. FInding a niche in the prestige property market allowed the pair to develop the strategies to capitalise on off-market sales.

To be successful in this style of sale required these agents to invest considerable time in working really closely in understanding their buyers requirements so they don’t waste either parties time.

“We are very targeted with market segmentation and also write a lot of handwritten notes. We only work with 40-50 buyers at any given time. Anything below $1.5 million we take them to general competitor market. When we get to $1.5-2 million plus range, it’s almost like a pyramid. When we work with buyers looking in $3-4 million range it’s a very small market and very few properties available, we know who everyone is. We have to know what specific features they are after.”

A background in IT has allowed Michael to harness tech to get better market reach. Angela’s background in styling and personnel gave her a good matchmaking ability to match the right property to the right buyer.

“We will remarket our market segments through Facebook ad campaigns, so specifically targeting demographic and socioeconomic groups.”

The Stenifords identified that this market in Adelaide was not being serviced as well as it should, so they focused heavily on buyers and could see that there was frustration among buyers and vendors when it came to selling prestige property. Michael also says that becoming leaders in a niche area of the market also allows for longevity in an industry that is constantly evolving, says Michael.

“I take a longer-term view on things. The range of skills necessary to be an agent in 2020 will almost be impossible. I’ve met very good agents in past but I’ve never seen a super agent as such. As the range of skills required grows with social media skills, database, human and marketing skills, we are well and truly on the way to becoming a team solution. Not one person has that lot of skills. That’s what people will be expecting of their agents in 2020.”

“The good agents will then pick their niche and exploit it. No one loves the open inspection process. There’s a fundamental dislike of whole buying process, it’s time-consuming, lack of professionalism and lack of transparency. So off-market sales addresses all of those issues.”

Michael’s key points for agents who wants to be successful with off-market sales:

  • Know it is a long-term commitment, this is not a short game
  • Intimate knowledge of their buyer’s needs
  • Excellent database skills
  • Premium market focus
  • Natural “matchmaking” ability
  • Advanced negotiation skills.

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Azal Khan

Azal Khan was a in-house features writer for Elite Agent Magazine.