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Learning to appreciate the long game

By Juliet Helmke
28 June 2024 | 13 minute read
andrew ligdopoulos lj hooker reb d0wsq7

When it comes to selling off-the-plan, long-term thinking is the bedrock of success for this project marketing head.

More than three decades of experience selling new homes has given Andrew Ligdopoulos time in the industry to hone his craft – an effort that has clearly paid off, with the principal of LJ Hooker Project Marketing ACT and his team of 13 sales agents attaining the number one spot in REB’s 2024 ranking of the nation’s Top 50 Sales offices.

Their efforts, assisted by five support staff, saw the office complete 898 settlements totalling $501,032,798 during the last full financial year prior to the rankings’ release.

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As the principal explained during a recent episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents, success in the off-the-plan sector comes from a different set of strengths than selling existing homes, and he believes the secret lies in being able to think ahead.

When it comes to his own business, as well as that of his developer client, Ligdopoulos stressed that so much of achieving a positive outcome relies on painting an accurate picture at the outset and maintaining that vision over the years it takes to bring a building to completion.

“You need to be able to paint a vivid and also realistic picture of what people are to expect at the end. The worst thing is to try and set expectations that are not met at the end of the day,” he said.

He described it as a “fine line” that agents have to walk in presenting what they know about a project and what they believe will be the outcome. To obtain as much information as possible about a development, as well as any changes that might impact it, Ligdopoulos stressed that constant communication and a strong relationship with the developer is imperative.

“We’re reliant on a developer, builder, the subcontractors, to deliver on that message,” he said, noting that painting an accurate picture of an end product will impact a consumer’s satisfaction with his service as well as the business that delivered their home. If a client is dissatisfied with the developer product, that comes back to him.

That’s why management of expectations over the several years that it takes to construct a house or apartment block is so important, and something that Ligdopoulos believes many new entrants to the project marketing field may not realise.

“From the day you meet someone to the day they have their apartment delivered or a set of keys, it could be two years you’re dealing with that person. Whereas in the established market that period is a lot shorter,” he noted.

“What a lot of agents are not prepared for is the time involved and the effort over that long period of time. They don’t understand what is required. So we find that a lot of businesses who try and move in the field are not prepared or don’t have the resources to put in that time over that period,” he said.

Having established himself as a go-to name in the sector, Ligdopoulos noted that now many developers come to him to test their assessment of the market before firmly embarking on a project, meaning that his involvement with a major new build can stretch to five years and beyond.

From his perspective, the sooner his team is brought on board, the better, as they’re able to plan for the release of information and capitalise on early excitement.

Based on recent performance, playing the long game is clearly paying off.

Listen to the full episode here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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