Act now to get a big head start on your rivals

As we near the end of the year, there is temptation to take your foot off the pedal and glide into December and relax through January.

While I am all for taking a break and recharging your batteries, there is an opportunity at this time of year to get a significant head start on your competition. Preparation now will create opportunities early next year. Sales earlier in the year create momentum – and boom, you are away for 2016. Here are some reasons why you may want to keep your head in the game over the next few weeks.

The obvious one is that most agents will take leave at this time, so there is less noise in the marketplace from your competition. This is a great time to get out in your market and promote yourself as the area expert. Letterboxes are normally bombarded with cards and brochures, but at this time there is hardly any activity.

Make sure your marketing message is clear. You want to let people know you are available and that Christmas and New Year are great times to find out how much their home is worth. Door knocking is brilliant: people are home, they are in a festive spirit and far more likely to start a conversation as they don’t have the pressure of work. That said, right before Christmas, parents are usually strung out with kids off from school and fever pitch excitement from them in the build-up to Santa coming… or is that just me?

There is often upheaval and change over Christmas and New Year. People have time to focus and reflect on their situation and what lies ahead. They want to know what their options are. Vendors tend to make decisions at this time – and even if they’re not ready to make a decision yet, they will want an expert opinion on where their asset sits. It’s a great time to catch all decision-makers in a far less stressed state. It’s also generally a great time to build relationships.

Lack of stock creates more competition from buyers. All agents aim to sell their stock before Christmas; this does not always happen, but there is still significantly less stock on the market and buyers looking for a bargain, perceived or otherwise. There is also the expat factor: this is the time of year that expats receive their bonus. They are cashed up and looking to buy back in Australia. Keep an eye out for these buyers in your market, especially if you have a market geared for investors.

The more people you can connect with over the next few weeks, the more opportunities you have for appraisals, which will convert to listings and sales. Activity breeds activity and your 2016 targets will be more achievable than ever. The old adage of the harder you work the luckier you get is true. Prepare now and opportunity will knock.

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Penelope Valentine

Penelope Valentine

Penelope Valentine is the general manager of LH Hooker Collaroy and Newport. Over the last 13 years Penelope has honed her skills in the property industry working in some of Australia's most prestigious real estate corporate roles. Her passion for all things real estate combined with her relentless determination to build business-leveraging innovations and a customer-centric focus has afforded her the opportunity to drive significant change in the organisations she has worked in.

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