Viewing by month: October 2012

How to make your listings stand out this spring

As we near the middle of spring, it is likely that some agents will be facing difficulties in converting certain listings on their books. There are several potential reasons for this including over-pricing, ineffective marketing and issues specific to the properties themselves. In some instances – however, it could simply be that a listing has become lost in the crowd. To prevent or rectify such, a real estate agent should look to focus on two key selling concepts:  marketing and presentation.

 

Marketing

 

A marketing campaign, if executed effectively, can function to reinvigorate interest in a particular property and garner stronger offers from prospective purchasers. This is why it is important to make sure that each individual component of your marketing campaign is both integrated and effective. There are several important variables to consider when revamping a marketing campaign:

 

·         Make sure that photos of the property are professional and impactful; high quality images are the centrepiece of most effective marketing collateral and in the context of real estate listings, the reality is no different. If the photos you are currently using to market the property don’t lend themselves to making buyers think “Wow -  that property could make a great home or investment property”, consider hiring a professional photographer to take some new and improved shots;

·         Think about whether the marketing of the property has been fully maximised – both online and offline. Today, most buyers begin their property search online, and many offline advertisements drive customers online as well. As such, the strength of your online presence and digital marketing strategy should be something that you examine closely;

·         Consider whether you are actually marketing in a way that is conducive to selling the property – in its current state – and at its current stage on the market.  Properties that have been on the market for long time-periods often need to be marketed in more creative ways. As such, you should reflect on whether you are thinking laterally and adapting your strategy.

 

Presentation 

 

 

The importance of presentation during the marketing-for-sale process cannot be overstated.  In reality, most buyers know exactly what they’re looking for and make decisions about whether to consider purchasing a property within a minute or so of viewing it. This means that the presentation of your property needs to be impeccable – right from the point at which a prospective buyer walks through the front door until the point at which they leave.

 

 

To this end, you should ensure that the property is de-cluttered, depersonalised and physically intact. In addition, you may also want to consider implementing some presentation strategies that work particularly well during spring. For example, spring usually sees buyers become more interested in viewing the outside areas of a property. As such, you may benefit from drawing buyer focus outwards towards well maintained gardens, outdoor features and the like.  

 

You may also want to suggest that clients take a step further by undergoing a building and pest report. Showing this kind of initiative will likely give potential buyers an immediate sense of trust and security when viewing the property.

 

There are many different things that you can do as an agent to give your listings the best chance of standing out in the market. However, effective marketing campaigns, combined with professional presentation, remain two of the most sure-fire ways to convert your listings this spring. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 26/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Important tips for agents – both new and old

It is often asked within the real estate industry: what differentiates a great real estate agent from their good or not-so-good counterparts?  The answer to this question is far from uniform, with analysts across the board weighing in with different opinions regarding what gives an agent that special “it” factor.

 

And for young agents, particularly those starting fresh out in the field, the question can be even more disconcerting; most new agents are concentrating on simply finding their feet within the profession and could benefit greatly from some basic career advice and guidance. To this end, we have decided to share the following article by CENTURY 21’S Chairman and Owner, Charles Tarbey, which originally appeared in the September edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.

 

Lessons learnt are best shared

 

What wisdom have you acquired over your career that you wish could be passed on to your younger self?

 

When you’ve been working in this industry for as long as I have, you’re bound to pick up a few bits and pieces of wisdom along the way. Here are a few of the most important lessons I wish I could go back and teach a teenage Charles Tarbey at the start of his career in 1972.

 

Be patient and be focused

 

The first and most important thing I’d advise an agent who is just starting out is to be patient and to focus on working with the best in the real estate industry. It’s easy to just concentrate on making money as quickly as possible (a view I held when I was young), but achieving and sustaining success is more complicated than that.

 

What you learn in your first years working in real estate is so important. Choosing the people you work for and the people you work alongside should be a key focus for you because, for better or worse, the experiences you have with these people can set you up for the rest of your career.

 

The real estate industry has lost many quality people who could have contributed a great deal to buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants if they had started in the right company with excellent training platforms and the knowledge of industry experts. A lot of good people left the industry because of the first place they worked. Don’t let yourself become one of them; find the right place and the right people for you.

 

Having said that, you can actually learn a great deal from ‘bad’ operators by learning what not to do. This can be more of a risk, but if you stay focused and be patient, in time you will find the ideal agency for you. This should be one that will provide you with the training, guidance, leadership and mentoring you need, with access to people who have achieved a certain level of success.

 

Getting it write

 

One of the most important things that too many agents take too long to learn is to write down everything that could potentially impact on their work. This is especially important when it comes to promises you make to clients.

 

New agents should always carry a notepad and pen, or make notes electronically on the spot, to ensure they always have accurate records of what’s been said and agreed upon in any discussion. As we say at Century 21: “If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.”

 

Keep your promises

 

What I’ve found in real estate is that the jovial, happy agent who always wants to help often only completes half of the service process. They are only to be taken at face value as they have a tendency to not write down reminders that help them to follow through. It’s so important to be able to deliver on what you say you’re going to do.

 

As I’ve said in my books on real estate, character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the mood in which it was made has left you. Not only is it critically important to follow up on and deliver on your word, it’s also important to keep promises you make to yourself. Simply put, if you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do.

 

Keeping in touch

 

Another big issue for real estate agents, especially those just starting out, is that they promise to keep in touch with vendors, yet after the first week of listing will stop calling if they don’t have any success. By the third week of listing, there are probably only about four per cent of agents who are still communicating with their sellers. The other 96 per cent of agents are likely to be found sitting around hoping that the property will either miraculously sell or the seller will just go away. The principle of staying in touch with the customer and keeping them informed applies as much to experienced agents as it does to someone who is just starting out.

 

Reputations can be completely destroyed if agents don’t follow through with what they say they are going to do. This is particularly a problem when you’re starting out because building a good reputation is so important in the early years of your career.

 

Form good habits

 

When I think back over my career in the industry, one of the key habits I adopted during my early twenties was to transfer everything that I had not completed onto the next day’s task list.

 

I can’t say I’ve done it 100 per cent of the time, but more often than not before I went to bed I would have my diary and tasks in order for the next day. When I got in my car in the morning I knew exactly what it was I wanted to achieve and what tasks I wanted to complete that day. I wouldn’t let my activities be completely dictated by day-to-day occurrences such as phone calls or visitors to the agency.

 

Since 1978, writing down everything I have to do for the next day has probably been the most powerful habit I have formed. It has helped to ensure that I have kept my promises and remained in regular contact with customers, potential customers and other stakeholders. To this day, I have every diary since 1978 in my study at home and continue to adhere to this process.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 19/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

How to create and maintain an effective workspace

As a busy professional, it can sometimes be difficult to create and maintain an effectively organised workspace. Nevertheless, through taking some time out each day to organise and structure your workspace, you can work to ensure that your productivity, efficiency and overall performance is maximised. 

 

Here are five tips to help you create and maintain a functional and productive working environment:

  

1.       Make sure that you understand your own working habits: in order to organise your workspace effectively, you firstly need to be aware of factors that help and hinder your job performance. As such, you should reflect on the environmental factors that bear on your productivity. Ask yourself: What motivates me? What helps me to concentrate? What distracts me? The answers to these questions will ultimately help you in developing strategies for maximising the utility of your workspace.

2.       Focus on your desk space: your desk space should be an area which offers you quick and easy access to the equipment that you use most frequently. Therefore, if you have unused or distracting objects on your desk, throw them out or transfer them into storage; this will likely enhance your concentration and increase the clarity of your thought processes.

3.       Store information efficiently: it is commonly the case that when you need a file or document the most, it is nowhere to be found. In these situations, there is great potential for not only stress but also damaging inefficiency. To counter such, you should consider implementing systems that order and store files according to priority and relevance. This will help you to stay organised and on top of your daily, monthly and yearly tasks.

4.       Keep your electronic devices synchronised: as a real estate agent, you likely spend a large proportion of your time out of the office – something which necessitates the ability to work and communicate on-the-go. As such, it is always a smart move to have your electronic devises linked to one another so that wherever you are, you can access and communicate important information.

5.       Be strategic with your workspace: the optimum impact of any workspace is to motivate and stimulate the productivity of the individual that works within it.  It is therefore important to surround yourself with objects, images and messages that reinforce goals, positivity and self assurance.

 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 11/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Clarity and jargon in the property market

For any real estate agent, communication will be one of the most integral aspects of their day-to-day job; whether communicating with a colleague, prospect or client, the ability to convey information in a clear and succinct manner, is one of the most important ingredients that go into fostering productivity and success. As such, I have decided to discuss two communication concepts that I feel are particularly relevant to the real estate profession: the importance of clarity and the place of jargon. 

The importance of clarity

Expressing information with clarity can enhance your ability to build trust, rapport and understanding with clients. Given such, it is important to invest enough time in explaining to your clients the market factors and conditions that could potentially affect their outcomes. Through being up-front and clear with clients from the start, you can increase the degree of transparency in your relationships with them – something which will ultimately put you in a better position to manage their expectations, should you encounter difficulties at a later point in time.

Clarity can also be fostered through consistent communication; by regularly reinforcing key messages and consistently keeping clients up-to-date regarding their property affairs, you can not only empower them to make more savvy and informed property decisions, but you can also reduce the likelihood that they will misunderstand and/or overlook critical information. 

The place of jargon

As most real estate agents will know, industry jargon can be used to give clients and prospects perceptions about property that may not be entirely accurate. This, however, is never a smart approach; results ultimately speak for themselves and if you mislead your clients into forming unrealistic expectations, the outcome will almost invariably be a negative one. 

In light of such, the best approach is often to steer clear of using real estate jargon with your clients. This is not to say – however, that you should not educate them on the meaning of commonly used real estate terms. The reality is that your clients are engaging in a highly competitive environment where industry jargon is likely to be circulated at one point or another –not necessarily always in your presence. Given this, it is always a smart idea to demystify common real estate terms at the start of your relationships with a client; this will ensure that they  are empowered with the requisite knowledge to make smart and informed property decisions. 



1 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 05/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories: