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Nurturing your database

19 May 2014 Petra Sprekos

petra sprekos smallFostering client relationships through effective and regular communication with a database is not something every agent does well. That’s because the current average property journey of an individual – from buyer to seller and vice versa – is around 10 years, making building those ties seem a low priority.

Blogger: Petra Sprekos, general manager of realestateVIEW.com.au

But the property market isn’t so black and white. In real terms, the property cycle could be significantly shortened if, for example, a buyer is waiting to offload one property before they can purchase another.

The realestateVIEW.com.au Housing Sentiment Report released last month demonstrated these nuances, showing that 66 per cent of next home buyers are relying on profits from a sale to fund their next purchase.

What’s more, many buyers are also investors with multiple properties and could be selling another elsewhere – our report found 13 per cent of 41-50 year-olds surveyed classified themselves as seasoned investors.

Even renters – often the ‘forgotten’ property hunters – could very well lead to your next listing. Twelve per cent of renters surveyed already owned at least one investment property.

A comprehensive database that covers people at all points in their property cycle – be it renting, buying or selling – can help agents to capitalise on these potential listing opportunities. The next step is to ensure you’re nurturing those leads and building relationships, and this can only be done if communication is a two-way street. Make sure you’re engaging with your contacts through their preferred method (either in person, by phone, email, social media, or through surveys) to understand their current property situation, needs and challenges.

Rather than a passive record of names, a database should be treated as a vehicle for agents to actively forge relationships and give back through expert advice.

Renters – the ‘forgotten’ property hunters – are an example of market segment that is rarely engaged as it should be.

The Housing Sentiment Report also examined the affordability concerns of buyers and renters, and found many Australians are stuck on the rental roundabout – one third of tenants have been in the rental market for five-plus years, with affordability a major deterrent to entering the property market.

  • Half of renters believe they can’t afford a deposit

  • 32 per cent believe they can’t afford mortgage payments

  • 28 per cent of renters say they haven’t bought a property because they can’t afford to buy where they want to live

  • 25 per cent think the market is overpriced

Aside from the obvious conclusion – that housing affordability pressures are breeding a nation of renters – the findings raise the question of who, besides property managers and the media, are communicating with renters? Does anyone within the agency ask them why they are renting instead of buying? Who is informing them?

While agents aren’t responsible for helping renters save for a deposit, they are local market experts who can assist renters on their journey to buying a property. Our findings clearly illustrate that many renters are choosing this option not because they don’t want to buy, but because they’re simply struggling to make it past the first hurdle. Fast forward two or five years, and perhaps that renter has saved a deposit and is ready to buy. Indeed, they might already be investors looking to sell. Will they come to you?

Agents have an opportunity to leverage not just their sales databases, but also rental rolls, working with their property management divisions to refer clients in need of market advice to them – especially those renters who are also property owners.

The point is, whether an agent has a large, current database, or one in need of an overhaul, its effectiveness hinges on what they do with it.A database should be used by agents to demonstrate they care about their clients’ property journeys. It requires nurturing through the supply of useful information via regular emails, personal visits or phone calls.

realestateVIEW offers numerous tools and data to assist agents with this process and cement their roles as the only experts in property transactions. This includes the most reliable auction results, recent sales, median prices and suburb profiles and co-branded reports to share with your clients. We are also the only portal offering renter data, including median weekly rental prices, to help you stay in touch with what’s happening in this segment of the property market and advise investor clients on rental yields in particular suburbs.

Soon we will launch additional features such as a ‘hyperlocal’ function that will make us the only portal to give agents the ability to provide their own unique and expert perspective on what’s happening in their local area – information your database will find invaluable.

While tackling a database may not seem like the best use of an agent’s time, it is one of the most effective ways to build client relationships and should be at the top of their priority list. 

 


 

petra sprekos mediumAbout Petra

Petra Sprekos is the general manager of realestateVIEW.com.au. Under Petra’s leadership, the portal has grown to more than 1.1 million unique visitors a month with over 350,000 property listings for sale and rent, contributed by more than of 5,000 agencies nationally. Petra graduated with Honours in Business before pursuing her Masters, where she completed a 70,000-word thesis on entrepreneurship in the property industry.

 

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