Overall, the property market started 2014 with the same momentum it ended 2013.
That said, with interest rates low and most pundits predicting little change this year, the market looks set to remain relatively healthy.
The nice news for agents is that transactions volumes are high and the RP Data leading indicators show that they will remain high over the next few months.
Investors are the dominant force amongst home buyers at the moment, with almost 40 per cent of housing finance commitments coming from this group, a rate close to historical highs.
As an agent I hope the systems and processes you have setup, and the contacts you have built up, are translating into you growing faster than the market and faster than your competitors.
How do you know if you are doing better than the market? If your business is 20 per cent better than last year, but the market is up 30 per cent in transactions then you have actually gone backwards! You might be feeling good, but you aren’t making the money you could be.
How do you know?
A simple count of sales in your target area and the percentage you had of those sales is a good start. Using a tool like the RP Professional sales list view, you can filter your postcode, suburb, or custom territory by sales in a particular date range. If you are specialised to a certain property type, for example units, then filter on only those properties.
Count the sales in each quarter of last year for the whole market using this list, and calculate your share. This gives you a quick snapshot of how the number of sales is trending and how your share compares. You can then do the same with current listings to get a good feel for where you stand.
Now that you have the insight into what is happening, what do you do about it?
My suggestion, based on talking to some top achieving agents, is to ensure you are operating your business as efficiently as possible, with maximum focus on both acquisition and customer service. Use the tools, databases, contacts and other strengths you have available in a disciplined way, and measure your success repeatedly.
How many listing appraisals did you attend? How many did you win and how many did you lose? How many listings did you sell? How do you up both the number of prelisting appraisals you attend and your conversion to listings and sales?
If you are losing listings repeatedly to one agent, how are they getting the listing? What are their secrets?
If you measure how well you are doing, you can test new approaches and see what impact they have on your sales funnel. This means you can focus on what makes you successful and get more efficient at what you do.
If you have any tips as to how you measure your success it would be great to hear from you.
Here’s to the positive start to the year continuing!