Principal boosts sales with co-listing system

An award-winning selling principal has grown her volumes by one third with a new model that emphasises shared listings and work-life balance.

Jodie Hedley-Ward, licensee in charge at Next Property Group Kawana Forest, was named Next’s salesperson of the year for 2014-15 after winning the same award in 2013-14.

During that time, she grew her sales from 56 to 75, while also transitioning from agent to principal.

Ms Hedley-Ward said her Sunshine Coast office co-lists most of its properties, which she said results in better service for clients and means less stress and greater productivity for agents.

“Even if just one agent is the lead agent, if any of the team are not busy at that time on the weekend, they’ll be there at the open homes,” she told REB.

“We’ve often got two or three agents working at open homes so we can maximise what’s going on there. Then the agents get to know each other’s stock, so they’ll meet buyers at their opens who they can then introduce.”

Another benefit is that staff can attend to family situations or take leave without worrying that their clients will suffer, according to Ms Hedley-Ward.

Ms Hedley-Ward, who entered the industry in 2012, said she realised during her first award-winning year that her heavy workload was unsustainable, especially as she had two children.

She had also come to the conclusion that offices would be happier and more productive places if the agents cooperated with each other rather than ruthlessly fought for listings.

That led her and her husband, sales manager David Hedley-Ward, to creative this cooperative selling system when they opened the Kawana Forest office in January 2015.

Generally, only one agent goes to listing presentations, although sometimes there are two. Either way, clients get informed about the co-listing model.

“We talk about our collaborative approach, the fact that there won’t just be one agent who you hope will deal with all the responses,” Ms Hedley-Ward said.

“They’ll have at least two people on site and more than one agent making sure that every email is responded to and every phone call is taken care of quickly.”

When two agents share a listing, the commission is split equally. Sometimes, a third or fourth agent will help out with a weekend open home, but that is a pro bono favour. When other agents refer a buyer, they get 30 per cent and the two listing agents each get 35 per cent.

“I’ve seen so many great agents burn out. They could be top performers, you see them on a high for a year or two and then suddenly they’ve exited the industry because it got too much for them,” Ms Hedley-Ward said.

“The guilt factor for mums can also be huge. I just don’t want that for anyone on my team.”

[LinkedIn: How many hours do you work in an average week?]

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