While bleak market forecasts continue to shower down in abundance, not all is dark and dreary for the Australian real estate agent. Sure, housing investment has flatlined and banks have restricted financing, but smart agents will take advantage of today’s market conditions and walk away with a stronger business. With better tools than ever and more marketing channels at their disposal, agents can get in front of more people for less cost and have better mechanisms to find buyers and sellers, and match them. So long as agents use effective strategies and tools that reach larger audiences, keep them connected with contacts, identify the market movers, win listings and sell properties, any agent can improve their business.
So, what does that strategy look like? Well, to keep it simple, let’s discuss 5 steps you can take today that will help anyone win more listings, and sell more properties.
1. Grow your database – On average, 5% of your database is in real estate mode, at any one time. So, the larger your database, the more potential clients you have. With apps like Homepass and CRMs providing simple signup forms, you should be collecting names, phone numbers, and emails from everyone you come in contact with. As well, you should be encouraging website visitors and your Facebook audience to subscribe to your newsletter. To incentivise audience subscription it helps to offer exclusive content, such as sneak peeks of listings soon to hit the market.
2. Connect with contacts – If only 5% of your database is in property mode, 95% are not…. yet. That means they probably don’t want to receive emails full of listings. Instead of annoying your entire database, losing contacts through unsubscribes, and damaging your reputation, send different types of content that your database would find valuable, whether they’re in the market or not. Lifestyle articles, market updates, local news, and events work well to engage a wide audience. As your subscribers start revealing market interest, effective email systems can personalise their messages to ensure their emails focus on guiding interested subscribers further along their property journey.
3. Identify the market movers – All of your digital platforms, from emails and Facebook, to your own website, should be designed for lead capture. This means all pages should guide visitors to the services they require using clear calls-to-action and simple landing pages. Once the systems in place, it’s set and forget, freeing you up to focus your time where it matters.
The most effective systems will provide revealing content to help you uncover your contact’s market intentions as well. This could be a “10 tips to get more from your property sale” blog post, or a suburb market report. As your contacts view the content, you learn about their property motives and interests. This lets you have informed conversations from the very start. If you connect with them fast enough, you can capitalize on the opportunity in isolation, which greatly increases your odds in winning the listing.
In addition to your marketing systems, an effective CRM with clean data will work behind the scenes to identify leads within your database, and from online portals. As your database grows, and your relationships improve, contacts will naturally develop into leads. The challenge is identifying them as fast as possible so you can win their business. Luckily, an effective marketing system and CRM can take care of it.
4. Leverage your systems to win listings and sell – Once you’ve identified the leads, it’s time to show off the systems that will help you convert them to clients. For listing presentations, let the homeowners know about your revolutionary marketing strategy, and the cutting edge software helping you execute it. For iRealty, you could discuss our lead generation technology that identifies leads before anyone else and alerts the agent immediately. In ReNet’s CRM you can discuss how the Touchpoints Manager identifies buyers from contacts criteria and can immediately alert them of the new listing, and create buzz from day 1. If you have the tools, show them off and make sure your potential clients understand your cutting-edge strategy.
5. Prepare vendors to sell – Market conditions will likely make homeowners a bit nervous about selling. What they don’t realise, is during a cooling period, now is a better time than ever to sell. They might respond, “How could that be?” It’s simple! The longer they wait, the less their property is potentially worth. If property prices drop 10% over the next year, a $750,000 home today will only be worth $675,000 in a year. Homeowners will be forced to wait even longer for property prices to correct, before gaining ground on previous highs. So, unless they want to wait three to five years, today is better than tomorrow to sell.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the market is booming or not; there will always be people in property mode. The agents with systems in place to grow and connect with their audience, identify the market movers, and win listings will inevitably end up on top. If you have space to improve your systems and implement the tips above, you will improve your business.