With the heat coming out of the property market and areas such as Western Australia in decline, as a real estate agent what can you do to continue to grow your business?
As part of my AREC keynote presentation, my team and I spent some time interviewing top agents to hear what they do to help build their businesses. Of all the agents I interviewed, some of the standout and similar tactics used by agents included: being disciplined, maintaining focus, not being scared by events beyond their control, optimistic around property market conditions and sense of being well in control of their businesses. I found these answers surprising, and encouraging.
While each agent took a slightly different approach to business growth, overall all shared key commonalities:
• Every agent knew their market inside out through both dedicated research and being locally involved;
• All the top agents knew what was selling, where it was selling, how long it had been on the market and who was selling it;
• They had a clear idea of what they did in their market and what their speciality was; whether it was acreage properties, inner city units or off the plan sales each agent, they knew exactly what was happening in their area. Some of them created their own territories to farm that were not a single suburb but rather a geography such as ‘units on the river side of the railway line’ to differentiate themselves;
• Each agent used data to generate trust – the data that is difficult to find is very popular for building trust - such as how long it took to sell particular properties;
• All agents recognised that buyers and sellers are well informed and at the very least, knew sales prices in the area;
• Agents recognised that they held much better data knowledge on the more subtle aspects of the market, such as the time it will take to sell at the optimum price point and the types of media that work and don’t. They also used insights into their previous sales such as the quality of each sale to help inform. Sharing these deeper insights with motivated sellers helped establish that trust boundary;
• Agents were honest about price points and the trade-offs required;
• All agents were comfortable in having the hard conversation of how much marketing to spend and getting the vendor to pay for it.
• They knew that the price achieved was a factor of how motivated a vendor was to sell, and that getting a vendor committed could be achieved through getting the vendor to pay up front for advertising.
• All agents had good connections to the real estate value chain; the top agents all understood they were part of the service a buyer or seller needed to sell or buy a property. They held good connections to mortgage brokers, conveyancers, building and pest inspectors, pool inspectors, garden maintenance providers and other services and used those connections to make their buyers and sellers lives easier;
• They farmed their markets; knowing the market was one thing but the best agents were actively ‘fishing where the fish are biting’ by pinpointing likely next listings and giving extra attention to them. By using tools such as the RP Professional Prospector Propensity to List, or retargeting withdrawn listings and listings that other agents have had on the market for over 60 days allowed them to ensure they never missed a listing.
One of the great parts of my job is meeting top agents and getting to know how they operate. Without fail I have found million dollar agents to be great people and to be contributors to their community and to their profession.