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The changing nature of off-market listings

24 September 2020 Grace Ormsby
Tony Blamey

“Testing the market” has never been so important for agents operating in an uncertain property marketplace, according to a property platform.

Domain has launched a new product it says will create an “additional touchpoint” in the sale process, enabling a real estate agent to “drive competition, build early momentum and test market interest” in a listing before moving to create a formal marketing process.

Known as “Early Access”, the new product allows agents to create or trigger an early-access alert by adding some very basic details about a property to the Domain platform which will be sent out to high-intent property purchasers as soon as a sale authority is completed, and prior to the creation of a marketing strategy.

It’s a world away from the traditional notion of an off-market listing, or even the lull between completing a sale authority and officially listing a property, according to Domain commercial director Tony Blamey.

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He said: “There’s always been a small proportion of properties that have transacted on market off-market, typically it’s more an opportunistic occurrence when an agent might have under-bidders, or unsuccessful buyers for a similar property, and they’re able to offer another property as an alternative to those buyers who are interested in that similar type of property.”

He added that it’s very rare that an off-market sale process would actually be requested by a vendor.

Now, things are changing.

According to Mr Blamey, “agents really use off-market to provide [an] opportunity for prospective vendors to test the market”.

Calling it a precursor to moving to a full marketing campaign, he considers it a way to test interest in the market immediately “and see how things go”.

The commercial director explained that Early Access can be considered a win for agents, “because they can start the process straight away”, as well as vendors, who “start to get inquiries straight away, and can really feel more confidence around the market and [that] there are genuine buyers in the market”.

Mr Blamey believes the time spent off-market is a valuable period, and by bringing demand forward, it can help an agent and their vendor “decide what level of investment they want to make around marketing based on what they’re saying with really early demand coming through”.

“We hope that it will do things like reduce time on market, and really enable the more efficient transaction of a property — freeing up the agent’s time to spend on finding the next listing,” he said.

The changing nature of off-market listings
Tony Blamey reb
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