Planning ahead is what the best of the best do to be ahead of the competition. They plan and then create the opportunity by anticipating their sellers’ next move. They also measure their market’s peak selling periods to take advantage of the natural ebb and flow of the yearly sales cycle.
In the world of real estate, that peak selling period usually occurs during October, November, February, and March. I use an acronym “ON-FM” to reference it. In these four months, we normally find that more than 50 per cent of yearly sales occur. That’s a significant statistic for every real estate agent to know. It gives every agent an insight as to when they should be ramping up their prospecting activities and take advantage of the anticipated momentum.
With that in mind, it’s reverse engineering and working backwards to pinpoint when the optimum time is to connect with your imminent sellers and capture their attention to become their agent or agency of choice. That timeline is normally between six to eight weeks prior to their decision to come to market and prepare their home for sale. For this coming spring, that optimum period is now, and this is what agents on their game are doing to stay one step ahead of everyone else.
Imminent sellers research agents well before they invite an agent into their home and they research the internet to do so. They visit social media platforms, the major property portals, and individual agency websites.
Increasing the frequency of social media posts, (paid and organic) showcasing results, success stories and market wrap-up videos is highly recommended. Sellers are more attentive to these when they appear in their social feeds as they enter their “selling” mode.
An often forgotten activity is updating property portal and website agent profiles, including images and copies. Best practice is to update digital profiles yearly. Imminent sellers review testimonials, past sales history and experience and compare one agent to another. An outdated and irrelevant profile says a lot about an agent’s commitment to excellence.
We know that frequency builds trust and knowledge and results build authority. The tried and proven method of consistent direct mail showcasing recent sales, market statistics and buyer activity is relevant information to an imminent seller.
Quality printed material, whether it be DL cards, market reports and property brochures is a non-negotiable. The “black and white” photocopier flyer is dead.
Best practice is posted addressed mail. It has a 90 per cent open rate and the increased investment pays dividends.
Dial up the dialing
“He or she who makes the most calls wins.” It’s one of my favourite sayings followed by “be fearful of the competitor who is not afraid of the phone” in a close second. This business is about connections. The more connections you make, the more face-to-face appointments you can book, the more business you will win. Outbound phone activity needs to be in overdrive.
Be specific with your dialogue, “Mr and Mrs Seller, if you would like to be sold and settled before Christmas, we need to get started now. Let’s take advantage of the spring selling season and the anticipated market momentum”.
Using the phone is not just about phone calls, it’s voicemail, SMS and email. Follow up with links to blogs, reports and property listings. You can use this incredible tool to do so much by applying a little forethought into your processes. It’s the 1 per cent point of difference and to go a little beyond what is expected that the best of the best do.
Capturing market attention today is also about designer agent brands. Showcasing individual teams, boutique agencies or solo traders has never been more important. Even high-profile agents operating within larger networks separate themselves from the “mother ship” and create a unique brand of their own. Why? Because sellers select successful “agents” not an office. Even the major portals know this and their “search for an agent” defaults to individual sales agents; not local offices. It’s a trend that aspiring agents wishing to take their careers to the next level need to be aware of.
As we continue to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty that increased COVID cases and snap lockdowns create throughout Australia, we must be ever vigilant and resourceful to navigate the inevitable challenges. We must make informed decisions, take immediate action and create a strategy that will set us up for future success.
Wishing you every success in your real estate career.
Manos Findikakis is CEO & co-founder of the Eview Group