Viewing by month: December 2011

Prepare for the summer real estate season

As professional real estate agents, historical experience has generally taught us that autumn and spring are usually the busiest seasons in terms of the buying and selling of real estate, with activity often somewhat quieter over summer, particularly during December and January. 


However, if the previous year in real estate has taught us anything, it is that the concept of seasonal activity can be turned upside down.  For example, in the traditionally busy spring selling season just passed, rather than seeing increased levels of activity as is usually expected, the season was instead, in many areas, a continuation of the relative slowdown in sales activity experienced across 2011. 


However, with the Reserve Bank’s decision in November and December to cut the official cash rate by 50 basis points, it could be the case that the 2011/2012 summer is uncharacteristically busy – with interest rate movements perhaps enough to entice those who have delayed their buying decision to make a real estate purchase. 


Professional real estate agents need to be aware of this potential increase in activity and adequately prepare to make the most of it.  This could mean delaying your holidays by a short while, or making sure you are ready to deal with the potential for an increased number of enquiries than you would usually get over this period. 


It may be worthwhile for you as an agent to educate your prospective clients that have expressed an interest in listing their property in the New Year.  By preparing these clients to have their properties ready to go early in January, they may be best positioned to capture the initial buyer interest that the New Year could bring. 


2012 looks like it could be set to be a busy year for residential real estate, and what better time for this activity to start than in January? To make the most of these potential business prospects, real estate agents should be prepared and ready to act.

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 21/12/2011 at 4:30 PM | Categories:

Simple ways to stay in touch with clients over Christmas


The Christmas and New Year period is a busy time and presents an opportunity for real estate agents to effectively build upon client relationships by employing simple means of staying in touch. 


As a CENTURY 21 real estate agent, many of your clients, including vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants, will appreciate you taking the time to let them know how you may be contactable over the festive season, in preparation for any issues they may have during this time (e.g. a water leakage in a rental property). 


Your simply being contactable (whether clients end up contacting you or not) usually resonates well with customers, and ensures the CENTURY 21 brand remains front of mind for their future real estate activities. 


A few simple, yet effective ways of staying in touch with clients over the holiday season that agents may like to explore are as follows:


Send personalised Christmas cards

An incredibly simple yet appreciated gesture, Christmas cards which are personally written and signed, and which can include a small message (e.g. “Congratulations on the purchase of your first home in September, it was a pleasure to work with you”) are usually very well received and can set agents apart from the competition.  Christmas cards are also a good opportunity to provide your clients with the best contact details for you over the holidays and some indication as to your own plans to help them feel as though they can get in touch with you easily if need be. 


Be social

With the busy nature of the Christmas period, it is sometimes easy to skip social functions to which you as an agent are invited.  However these events are key ways to cement current client relationships, as well as to develop new business opportunities for 2012.  Real estate agents should keep in mind that while these events are social in nature, the agent is, in essence, on show and should be respectful to the host and avoid overindulging in alcohol etc.   


Switch on your out of office

As you run out the door on Christmas Eve, definitely remember to switch on your out-of-office automated email reply, so that clients firstly know that there is a reason for you not replying to an email and secondly, to let them know how you may be contactable in emergency situations. 


As can be seen, maintaining client contact doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult or time consuming – activities that require a small effort on your part can often lead to increased customer satisfaction and client retention, new business opportunities, and career success for you as an agent.   Clients will usually appreciate the effort you have taken to keep them informed, keeping you as an agent front of mind during the festive season and often improving your prospects for new business in the year to come. 

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 12/12/2011 at 10:22 AM | Categories:

Stress management tips for busy agents at Christmas

For professionals across any industry, the Christmas period usually represents an incredibly busy time of year.  And with the additional workload that must be processed as many people prepare to go on leave, along with the heightened frequency of social activities, increased levels of stress can often be an unwelcome addition to life at this time. 


So why do people get stressed? For real estate agents in particular, stress can often be attributed to a number of factors, including a larger than normal workload that must be completed within strict time constraints, the need to achieve results for expectant parties such as vendors and buyers, and the necessity of managing issues that can arise through the stages of a property transaction. 


These factors often build up – causing stress and preventing agents from functioning at their optimal capacity.  This can lead to the loss of efficiency, which in turn can result in further stress.  Definitely not the most pleasant cycle. 


There are a number of ways that real estate professionals can look to diminish the build-up of stress in their lives at Christmas, thus allowing them to get work completed on time, and enjoy their well-deserved time off.  Some of these methods can include:


1.       Setting personal deadlines for tasks well in advance of when they are actually due.   Agents are then in a position to be able to deal with any issues that may arise without risk of missing important deadlines. 


2.       Maintaining exercise.  This can be difficult over Christmas given the additional social engagements many people have on their calendars, however exercise can be an essential ingredient for clearing the mind and remaining healthy.  Try to fit it in where possible – e.g. walking to work, waking up earlier a couple of times per week. 


3.       Prioritising tasks and reducing the time spent on jobs that can be completed at a later date. 


4.       Preparing as much as possible before the start of the working week, including meal plans, laundry and chores.  This will maximise the personal time you have at the beginning and end of every day, allowing you to achieve additional time for sleep, exercise and loved ones etc. 


While stress can push real estate agents to be more productive, at heightened levels it can become overwhelming, potentially serving to impede efficiency and success.  By practicing good time management skills, planning ahead and staying healthy, busy real estate agents can look to lessen the impact of stress on their lives over the eventful Christmas period, allowing them to enjoy a well-deserved break.

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 07/12/2011 at 8:58 AM | Categories: