Viewing by month: November 2011

Showing a property in the heat

Temperatures across the country have already started heating up, and as summer begins, we can reasonably expect that weather conditions may get even warmer.  For agents in particularly hot climates, such temperatures need to be thought about when showing a property, so as to ensure that prospective buyers are comfortable and focused when considering a purchase decision. 

There are a number of tactics that CENTURY 21 real estate agents may like to consider when displaying a property on hot days in summer.  These can include:

• Offering chilled bottles of water (these can be small in size) to keep prospective buyers hydrated and comfortable;
• Opening doors and windows in a property where possible to allow for a constant flow of air and increased ventilation;
• The use of air-conditioning (where present) at a comfortable room temperature (take care not to set the temperature too low, as a cold house can also be undesirable);
• Switching on ceiling fans where present, and potentially the use of small, portable fans, if convenient, in an unobtrusive way;
• Timing inspections to be held at cooler points in the day, such as in the morning and/or evening where appropriate.  

In employing measures to keep prospective buyers cool on hot days, you could be better able to highlight a property’s ability to offer solace from and withstand such weather.  In addition, the aforementioned and other tactics may help you to increase the chances of interested buyers staying on to further explore the listing, and of retaining interest and visiting again. 

The heat of summer can be frustrating for many real estate agents, particularly those in hot climates, as soaring temperatures have the potential to make open inspections uncomfortable.  However, agents need not fear – as you can see there are many ways for you to ensure that properties shown during the heat of summer can be kept cool and inviting to prospective purchasers. 

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 28/11/2011 at 11:08 AM | Categories:

Communication and delegation - essential project management skills

In a busy real estate organisation, there are often many property listings and other projects on the go at any one time.  Your role as a CENTURY 21 real estate agent will often see you taking on the management of such tasks (working on a project alone or delegating responsibilities to others), as well as assisting colleagues with their projects. 

With a busy team working together in this way, important jobs can sometimes be forgotten along the way.  As such, when managing a team it is important for real estate agents to ensure that team members understand what is required of them individually and when tasks are due for completion.  It is also essential for agents working as part of a team to always confirm the responsibility that has been allocated to them. 

Communication is key when managing a task alone or in accordance with other colleagues.  In the first instance, it is important for real estate agents to make sure they have a full appreciation of the overall project goal, a clear understanding of what is expected of you from the team leader (for example, organising an open inspection or property advertising as part of the sale of a property) and who is responsible for other related tasks. 

A project should have one point of contact – if this is you (as project leader), it is important that you take responsibility for ensuring that lines of communication are open, and that your directions are clear and unambiguous.    

A great project management tip that real estate agents may like to consider is to create a project timeline, which includes a checklist, identifying responsibilities given and when these are due.  This timeline should be distributed to the team so that everyone is on the same page. 

There are certain benefits to defining responsibilities and deadlines when managing a task, whether it be a project that you are working on by yourself or with colleagues.  Such advantages can include:

• The easy identification and resolution of issues as they arise, thanks to clear segmentation of tasks;
• The efficient and timely completion of tasks, due to ownership taken by group members;
•  A reduction in the amount of mistakes made. 

The clear identification of the steps involved in a real estate project usually allows such a project to be managed with greater ease and efficiency, whether this is an individual task or one a real estate agent is working on with others.   To successfully manage a project, CENTURY 21 real estate agents should ensure that clear communication and task delegation are practiced at all stages throughout the process. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 22/11/2011 at 9:06 AM | Categories:

Tweet your way to success

Across all industries, social media is quickly growing in importance as an essential tool for marketing and communications.  However for many people mastering the use of Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (amongst other forms of social media) to connect with prospective clients and other businesses can be daunting. 

As a CENTURY 21 real estate agent being connected via social media platforms and learning to ‘tweet’ could allow you to effectively converse with your clients and be constantly updated with industry information and the initiatives of others.  In addition, the real estate agents who can learn to use such marketing instruments proficiently will certainly be well positioned to work with many modern property buyers. 

Twitter as a marketing tool has huge potential – those selling agents not connected should be wary as you may be missing out.  The functionality of being able to ‘tweet’ information (and simultaneously receive the tweets of others) through a real-time feed that others can follow is an invaluable tool that allows you to disseminate vital information, such as that about new properties for sale or changes in viewing times, quickly and efficiently.

When using Twitter, it is important for agents to note that there may be certain guidelines as to how your CENTURY 21 franchise owner wishes the brand to be used and portrayed via social media platforms. Whether it is a franchise that tweets or you as an employee, it is important that your own online messages remain in accordance with the CENTURY 21 brand guidelines and the conduct codes of your own franchise office. 

As a marketing medium, Twitter gives real estate agents the ability to communicate and share information instantaneously and helpfully with others and has become an invaluable tool to many.  Intelligent agents would do well to study the advantages that Twitter can offer so as to determine whether using it could help to enhance their success. 

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 14/11/2011 at 4:42 PM | Categories:

Buyers value honest agents

As real estate agents, market research is an incredibly important tool to help us understand how we can best work with clients to achieve not only the most successful results in today’s market, but to also ensure both repeat and word of mouth business in the future. 

When conducting such research, a key consideration for agents is to understand what attributes people value in their real estate agents, to see if these present areas where agents can make improvements to improve their chances of success. 

US organisation, the National Association of Realtors, posed this very question earlier in the year when it conducted a survey to compile its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.  According to the results of the survey, which were released in March 2011, 98 per cent of US home buyers and sellers rated honesty and integrity as the most important qualities they look for in a real estate agent. 

Despite the survey being conducted with US citizens, this data gives Australian agents a lot to think about.  Are honesty and integrity principles that are key to your dealings as an agent?

Australia’s current residential property market presents a few key issues that require agents to advise clients on.  It is likely that the agents who are best able to achieve career longevity will be the ones who approach such sensitive concepts with respect and honesty. 

2011 has seen the residential property market experience somewhat of a downturn, with many properties selling at a discount and remaining on the market for longer periods of time.  These conditions require agents to be truthful with clients at the beginning of the process, giving an honest assessment about a number of factors including:

• How much a property should be listed for;
• Buyer demand;
• A reasonable initial expectation of purchase price;
• At what stage a discount on purchase price may be considered;
• The amount a property should be discounted by; and so on. 

In the end, it will be the agents who are honest and who can deliver bad news to clients respectfully who will be able to build the strongest client relationships – with such relationships going a long way to help such agents achieve long-term career success. 

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 02/11/2011 at 9:26 AM | Categories: