The festive season can be an ideal time for real estate agents to pick up some additional business, a number of agents have said.
This is despite the findings of the most recent Real Estate Business straw poll, which found the majority of respondents saw no benefit for agents or agencies in working through the Christmas and New Year period.
In an online survey conducted between January 10 and 18, 56.3 per cent – or 272 - of the 483 respondents said there was nothing to gain business-wise during this period.
Carmen Briggs, principal at Harcourts Inner West in Brisbane, said while she closes her office over the Christmas break, her telephone remains switched on during this period.
“It’s just part of being in this business,” Harcourts’ number one Australian residential sales agent for 2011 told Real Estate Business. “Agents may miss listings if they don’t have their phone switched on.”
“And my family is used to my phone ringing,” she added, although unlike years gone by, her most recent Christmas Day wasn’t marked by a phone call. But she did get a call from a prospective buyer on Boxing Day.
While the phone might be switched on though, she said agents who spent part of December setting up a pipeline of business for January should be able to take a week off between Christmas and New Year’s.
In certain situations she encourages sellers to wait until January to list their property, as buyers can be scarce on the ground during the festive period. Moreover, this time only adds to the days on market number, which in turn can scare away potential buyers down the track.
Edwin Almeida, managing partner at Sydney-based Just Think Real Estate, said he was surprised with the result.
“Being in the minority that voted yes, our office certainly gained twofold,” he told Real Estate Business.
“We picked up listings that may have otherwise gone to a local agent, as we weren’t from the area where we got called out to do a market appraisal.
“We [also] gained greater rapport with our existing vendors by showing them our office was willing to go the extra mile for them.”