It will be critical for agents to spend more time developing their potential buyer databases – in other words, the people who are much more likely to give agents permission to market to them - next year as consumers become more protective of their privacy, an industry consultant has said.
And this is particularly true for agents located in ‘flat’ markets, said Ian Campbell, director, IC Growth Consulting.
“You need one buyer per property, that’s all you need,” he said in an article that appeared in the January issue of Real Estate Business magazine. “We’ve had a decade of good buyer inquiry … realestate.com.au and the [listing] portals have made it easy for agents to generate traffic into their properties.
“Having a reliance on third party marketing portals to push traffic into your properties is separating the agencies. Good agencies are building good databases; they’re tracking buyers; they’re capturing the details; they’re monitoring their movements; and not only in the open home, or post open home when they’ve purchased and they want to make their next purchase.
“Those sort of agencies are really valuing a buyer, and valuing the potential that buyer represents in a market is going to give them a really good edge … in tough markets.”
“Data capture – it’s the biggest hole, the biggest leaking bucket in the industry. You don’t need every piece of stock in the market to meet every buyer in the market – you only need a small fraction because buyers will go to different properties.
“What happens is agencies aren’t diligent and structured and strict around capturing good information from those buyers. Just letting them walk into an office and out again, they’re missing an opportunity for a future sale because that buyer will become a seller.”
Andrew Cocks, executive director at Richardson & Wrench, agreed that principals must harness technology in this regard.
“The adoption of technology to assist with business processes and knowledge management is the key for long-term success,” he said.
“The ability to harness information for the commercial benefit of the business is one of the most important things a business operator can do, however it has been one of the areas where our industry has under-performed … every office needs to better harness and use the knowledge and information they have gathered.”