I have always been proud of my clearance rates as an agent. I pretty much sell everything my team takes to market, regardless of market conditions. So, what's the secret?
There is no secret. However, in a harder market where often the vendor may have to accept less than their initial price expectations, it will come down to trusting their agent’s advice. How do you build trust?
Answer: You build it via frequent, honest communication.
If by auction day the vendor knows you have done everything within your power to get them the best possible price, and they trust you, then more than likely they will sell.
I cannot stress enough just how important it is to get your campaign “right” from the beginning. Being in control from the start will set you up for a successful and enjoyable campaign. Get off to a poor start and they will be all over you like a rash for the rest of the campaign, making selling the property a challenge.
So, how do you get off to a good start?
I sit down with my vendors for a half-hour meeting a few days before we go to market. This is where I outline the process ahead and set their expectations. In this meeting, I cover the following important items:
1. Who will be the main point of contact and what is the preferred method of contact
2. When you will hear from us and vendor reports
3. Marketing and open houses
4. Buyer management
5. What is the reason you are selling, if the buyers ask us
6. The three levels of feedback (buyers that are interested, qualified buyers that are not interested, neighbours and friends)
7. How we handle offers; sometimes your first offer can end up being your best offer
8. Price adjustments — based on feedback (in week one if required)
9. The auction strategy
10. Any questions
Having this important meeting within a few days prior to going on the market will help to eliminate any nasty surprises for the client, and clearly outlines the bigger picture and journey ahead.
It is important to walk them through the process explaining how we do things. It also demonstrates to them that the agent takes their responsibility to the vendor seriously, runs a professional systemised process, and importantly, above all else, is in total control.
For an investment of 20–30 minutes of my time, I cannot tell you how much time this meeting saves me down the track, and how much possible angst it abates.
Last financial year, I sold 95 per cent of my properties at or before auction in an average of 14 days. I acknowledge we have been in a buoyant market; however, I do believe that these numbers back up the fact that what we are doing works.