Elite AgentOPINION

Tips from Tom: How to reach the top 1 per cent

I’m proud to have spent my career working in Australia’s thriving real estate sector.

It’s an industry I love, and my mission is to share my learnings from over 30 years with the next generation of real estate professionals.

As the Australian property market continues to boom, competition to stand out intensifies.

Here are a few insights I’ve learnt since opening my first office at 22 that could help you build an empowering and financially-rewarding career.

Attract business, don’t chase it

I’m always asked about the secret to earning bigger commissions, winning bigger listings and becoming successful. The answer – which shocks many – is attract business, don’t chase it.

In the 70s and 80s we were taught to cold call strangers every day, using the ABC (always be closing) model. Today, it’s about smart calling, building trust and ABE (always be educating).

People will want to work with you if you listen, understand their problem, solve their problem and build trust.

According to a survey by Nielsen, 92 per cent of respondents say that a positive recommendation from friends, family or trustworthy sources is the biggest influence on whether they buy a product or service.

If you establish a relationship with people before the sales opportunity, the engagement will be about trust and value rather than a sales opportunity. Instead of chasing business, it’ll come to you.

Generate more listings and sales in 90 days

The first 90 days are crucial. While the harder you work, the greater the rewards, you must work smart and strategically too.

There is never enough time to do everything you have to do, but make time to do the most important things.

The ability of an agent to respond and act faster than competitors can be their greatest strength. And ask yourself ‘What is going to keep this vendor up at night?’. Then deliver a solution that specifically solves that issue.

Furthermore, if you target a marketplace that has a low turnover, you need to have a very high market share to compensate for lack of transactions.

Ideally, identify a reasonable turnover marketplace with good market share – this is more sustainable.

The way you’re viewed by your marketplace will determine how often you’re called into a listing presentation and what fee you can charge.

Know your audience

There are four main types of buyers, each with their own traits and trigger points.

The best agents know how to attract and cater to each buyer.

The ‘Passive Buyer’ is not actively looking but passively notices real estate through offline media such as print, agent brochures or signboards.

The ‘Active Buyer’ invests lots of time and energy, particularly online and is very data driven.

They often sit on websites for months and will only buy a property rationally – when the price is right.

The ‘Local Buyer’ lives local, eats local and buys local, always skimming through the local paper.

And the ‘Out of Area Buyer’ may live interstate or overseas, and uses the internet, virtual tours and videos as their primary search tool.

Each buyer has different traits and intentions, and one-size-fits all strategies don’t work.

Recognise each buyer, then tailor your approach accordingly.

Befriending technology

Remember: there is never enough time to do everything you have to do, but make time to do the most important things.

Crucial to my success has been identifying what jobs can be streamlined and enhanced through technology.

Take communication, for example. For me, communications platform Podium has been essential in helping me build loyalty through an exceptional ‘stay in touch strategy’.

It’s an SMS-based platform designed to help real estate agents communicate with customers on the most convenient channel for them: their smartphone.

Text messages have a 98 per cent open rate and 200 per cent higher response rate than email, phone call and Facebook.

You might have the best message in the world, but it means nothing without effective communication.

It provides the convenient, courteous and meaningful communications that consumers demand and recommend

Real estate is fair; if you put the work in, you’ll reap the rewards.

These strategies can help you become 1 per cent better each day, and if you dedicate yourself to listening, learning and constantly improving, you will be 365 per cent by this time next year.

For more information, visit podium.com.au

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Tom Panos

Tom Panos is a real estate coach, trainer and speaker with 22 years of experience. For more information, visit tompanos.com.au.

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