SIMON HARRISON, a former number one salesperson in NSW and number two salesperson internationally with a major real estate group, literally knows what he’s talking about.
Mr Harrison, who only recently opened his own office under the Belle Property brand, has a very clear idea of what has helped deliver him success.
The secret of his success is as simple as picking up the phone, but perhaps doing so a little more regularly than most salespeople do.
“We have a philosophy of contacting every one of our clients every day,” says Mr Harrison.
He believes honest communication with the vendor is the best way to gain their trust, and that includes providing regular updates on how their deal is progressing.
“It is hugely important that we have effective and relevant communication with our sellers, and that every energy is put into ensuring no sale opportunity is missed,” he says, “but the key is that our clients actually witness this.
“We conduct open inspections twice per week but, in addition, we focus on a minimum of two buyer appointments outside of these set times every week – for every property.
“We send out detailed written reports every week for every property, and have weekly face-to-face meetings with our clients.”
While Mr Harrison admits that calling a client every day might sound “silly” at first, he is adamant that keeping the vendor in the loop always pays off in the end.
“It’s not like we’re picking up the phone and asking how their day has been,” he continues. “We talk about relevant feedback about the campaign, relevant updates and information – and from that point of view, we have an obligation to give them very honest feedback.
“It’s not like we don’t pull any punches, but we certainly don’t look through rose-coloured glasses.
“I think it’s about being real, it’s about what cards are in front of you and it’s about dealing with those cards. From our point of view, [clients] turn to us for solutions and options, and no matter how bad the news might be there are always solutions and options,” he says.
Making sure that each and every vendor is given some phone time each day can be a task in itself, which is why Mr Harrison organises his time as effectively as possible.
“I carefully manage my day by writing everything down,” he says.
“As a salesperson I run a team of three – myself as the lead agent, a junior agent [James Bennett] and a sales and marketing manager [Deborah Neilsen].
“I focus on ensuring my team’s list-to-sell ratio is as high in this market as when things are brighter. This is by far the best listing tool we have.”
Mr Harrison runs an auction-focused business and works to get buyers in a confident position to perform within the 30-day timeframe.
“If we see a vendor is not in the strongest position to lead into an auction, we consider what other options might be available,” he says. “It’s about providing those solutions to your client so they know you’re in control. Making sure they don’t freak out and think, ‘We’re not in the best position, all we can do is sit and hope’.
“We make the recommendation for what we believe will be the best for the client to get their home sold,” he says, “and I feel that when we talk to the owner and they say they prefer private treaty we can discuss the reasons for that and why they prefer that method of sale.
“If we really feel it is an auction-oriented property, and that that will get the best result, that’s what we talk to them about.”
Mr Harrison believes that a truly honest agent, who has a genuine concern for getting the best result, is all it takes to be successful in real estate.