Since opening my first office as an ambitious 22-year-old, there are few things I haven’t seen and done in the real estate industry.
I’ve loved every second and feel humbled to have dedicated my career to helping Australians find their dream homes. The industry has given so much to me, and so it has become my personal mission to share my learnings with the next generation of professionals, so they can continue to push the boundaries in such a dynamic, thriving and significant industry.
Over the course of my career, there have been ups and downs, but rarely – if ever – has the housing market been more in the spotlight than it is today. The Australian property market is booming and showing few signs of slowing down. In such a competitive, saturated market, competition is intense. Standing out needn’t be as daunting as you think, though. Here are a few learnings from my career that could help you start or scale an empowering and financially rewarding career.
Turning strategy into sales – the first 90 days
For every real estate agent or business, the first 90 days are essential. They set the tone; the momentum for a great start can have long-term positive implications, but a slow start can be difficult to recover from. The best news is the harder you work, the greater the rewards. You also need to be smart, strategic and effective, too.
A day in the life of a real estate agent is busy, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to tick off your entire to-do list. So prioritise the most important things. An agent’s ability to respond quickly, more effectively and more meaningfully than the competition can be a huge advantage. Don’t waste time on mundane, non-urgent tasks if you can spend that time nurturing a lead or closing a deal. Put yourself in their shoes, too. By asking yourself “What is going to keep this customer awake at night?”, you’ll be able to deliver a solution that specifically solves their issue.
Be targeted with your marketplace, too. If you work in a marketplace that has a low turnover, you must secure a very high market share to compensate for the lack of transactions. That’s not a sustainable strategy, so ideally, identify a market with a reasonable turnover and with good market share. The way you operate within, and are viewed by, this marketplace will determine how often you’re invited into a listing presentation and what you can charge.
If you can compartmentalise, tackle the essential jobs effectively and target your market with strategic solutions, you can’t go far wrong. However, you don’t have to work alone, and that’s where technology comes in.
Incorporating tech into your real estate arsenal
Successful real estate agents know the importance of building trust and providing a convenient and meaningful experience with every lead, customer and tenant. Technology isn’t replacing that; it’s enhancing it by allowing you to automate mundane, time-consuming tasks and spend more time communicating with, and wowing your customers, on their terms.
Text messages have a 98 per cent open rate and a 200 per cent higher response rate than email, phone call and Facebook, so I prioritise this fruitful channel through Podium. Your message, offer and properties are irrelevant if you’re sending them via channels people don’t use. If you provide the convenient, courteous and meaningful communications that consumers demand and recommend, your leads, listings and sales will be healthier for it.
Real estate is a competitive and fast-paced market, but it’s also fair. If you’re determined, passionate and strategic, you’ll see the results. As eager as you likely are to stand out, target sustainable strategies and achievable growth. If you can become 1 per cent better each day, the top 1 per cent will be in reach sooner than you realise.
Tom Panos is a real estate agent coach, influencer, author and auctioneer.