SUBURB SPOTLIGHT: BELCONNEN

This month Real Estate Business spoke to three agencies from Belconnen, in the nation’s capital, to find out what techniques they use to grow their market share

WITH THE federal election looming and uncertainty setting in, Canberra residents are beginning to tighten their pockets somewhat. So how will the top agencies in the nation’s capital drum up interest for sales and secure more listings?

MARKET LEADER 

PRINCIPAL: Matt Peden
RENT ROLL SIZE: N/A
SHOPFRONT? Yes

HOW HAS THE UPCOMING FEDERAL ELECTION AFFECTED THE MARKET?
It hadn’t until the Budget was announced. I feel it will unsettle people temporarily, but Canberrans are educated and realistic, so I am confident it will bounce back quickly.

WHY IS INDEPENDENT PROPERTY GROUP BELCONNEN NUMBER ONE?
We have a great team of agents. We have a varied group of ages, cultural backgrounds and gender. We can easily match a potential client with an agent that will allow them as much comfort and reassurance as possible.

WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE TO ENSURE YOUR MARKET SHARE?
Consistency comes from results – we over service clients so they become our fans!

WHAT DOES YOUR OFFICE DO BETTER THAN YOUR COMPETITORS?
We always take an ownership in the property we are selling, so we protect the value as it is ‘our own home’. My team know to only recommend a sale when it’s right for the vendor.

WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT DO YOU HAVE?
We prefer to take a more Canberrawide approach through the IPG Foundation, which is a massive contributor to charities. We donate a certain amount of every sale we make to the foundation and they channel it to the areas where it can best assist.
WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE TO HOLD YOUR POSITION?
We set growth goals every quarter and monitor them carefully to stay on track.

HOW CLOSELY DO YOU MONITOR YOUR COMPETITORS?
We don’t monitor their numbers too much, but we do look for new ideas that could be shared. I catch up with the better principals from other agencies and often share ideas.

WHAT ARE YOUR TARGETS FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
Twenty per cent growth on overall numbers and, more importantly, ensuring staff retention and office morale.

IN AN ATTEMPT TO GAIN BUSINESS, DO YOU DISCOUNT FEES?
We are paid to negotiate on the vendor’s behalf, discounting is not a standard we adopt.

THE CHALLENGER

LJ HOOKER BELCONNEN INTERVIEWED: DENNIS VLANDIS
PRINCIPAL: Dennis Vlandis
RENT ROLL: N/A
SHOPFRONT? We have a high profile shopfront on the main street of Belconnen.

HOW IS BUSINESS IN BELCONNEN?
The Belconnen market peaked in 2010 and in the past 12 months supply of properties for sale and rent has increased noticeably. Therefore, prices have eased off more so in the unit market, meaning there is now value to be had.

HOW HAS THE UPCOMING FEDERAL ELECTION AFFECTED THE MARKET?
The forthcoming federal election has predictably created some uncertainty and caution in our market, as it always does in Canberra. Usually, six months after the elections are over consumer confidence returns.

WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE TO ENSURE YOUR MARKET SHARE?
We invest in marketing, but what really sets us apart from our competitors and ensures our market share is a first class customer experience.

HOW IMPORTANT IS REFERRAL BUSINESS?
Referrals are a huge part of our business. I believe a genuine brand ambassador is much more powerful
than any paid-for advertising.

HOW CLOSELY DO YOU MONITOR YOUR COMPETITORS?
It’s important to keep an eye on your competitors but we prefer to lead rather than follow, so we are always looking for newer, better and more innovative ways to do business.

WHAT ARE YOUR TARGETS FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
We hope to recruit more staff to accentuate our growth.

THE CHASER

LUTON PROPERTIES BELCONNEN INTERVIEWED: TIM MCINNES
PRINCIPALS: Richard Luton and Tim McInnes
RENT ROLL SIZE: 80-90
SHOPFRONT? Yes

HOW HAS THE UPCOMING FEDERAL ELECTION AFFECTED THE MARKET?
We’ve had our strongest selling months in the last three months. However, since the Budget I am hearing more and more comments from buyers who are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach.

WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE TO ENSURE YOUR MARKET SHARE?
We do open homes differently to our competitors, which means we attract a lot of attention from buyers.
We really try to personalise the open homes by handing out Luton cupcakes for the kids and doing simple things like introducing ourselves and being enthusiastic.

WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT DO YOU HAVE?
Having recently won the Real Estate Institute (REIA) Community Service Award for 2012, we know that community involvement is very important. We do a lot of li_ le things on a day-to-day basis, but our big initiatives include an annual gala ball for a different charity each year. It is a very fashionable event, people get dressed up and it is a lot of fun. Also, Co-principal Richard just recently walked the Kokoda Trail for Ronald McDonald House Charity.

WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE TO HOLD YOUR POSITION?
All our agents have individual goals and we have a trainer who does one-on-one with them to make sure they are hitting their own targets. From a business point of view, we track our activity very closely so we don’t slip.

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