The Sellers Market continues to test the Industry

Last month I wrote about the need to maintain your marketing packages for property, rather than being seduced into selling to the first prospect that comes along.

We are still seeing advertisements from salespeople and their companies, promoting their skill or fame, because they sold a property in the first few days. Indeed there are stories of salespeople competing for, and winning listings by decrying the need for any marketing, and telling vendors, "You don't need to worry about any marketing as homes are easy to sell at the moment."

Nothing is further from the truth! So this is a market that sorely tests two aspects of the real estate salespersons business:

1 The networking and prospecting systems,

and

2 Their listing presentation skills.

The key to continuing to prosper in such a market, is surely now your skill to secure and market controlled stock.

Those that are continuing to grow their business in this market have long ago realised the power of four key issues:

1 Use Databases to maintain and build relationships and leads for future business.

2 The simply business simplicity of making sure that any listing opportunity is secured,

3 That any secured listing is fully exposed to such an active market before a sale is completed, and

4. When an offer is imminent there is a calling of interest from all that company's sales team to ensure their vendor is given every opportunity to achieve the best price.

So what needs to be running for you to ensure there is a flow of potential listings?

Prospecting is really a relationship building exercise that sets out to make you the preferred realtor of all those in your contacts sphere.

So if you haven't already got a database running with at least 300-400 contacts you are already behind the eight-ball.

This database needs to contain:

all your past clients

all your current and potential customers that you know, who are active in the market place:

open home visitors

recent appraisals

People who have initiated contact with you

And use the computer matching facilities and e-mails to make contact easy and frequent.

All your personal contacts

I am continually amazed at the number of salespeople who are hung up over entering all their personal contacts into their database. If anyone wants to help you it is those who know you best. Not only do they change houses, but they know other people who do that as well. So if you haven't got this working yet now is the time. This works best when you have a resource in your office to manage and schedule this for you. Sitting at a computer is not the best use of your time. If the office can't or won't do, then pay someone to do it for you. But do it!

Remember to schedule time to produce a monthly letter or newsletter, or hopefully your company or brand is producing something you can personalise.

Each month, post your entire database something of value, then ring them up.

Better still, actually go and visit some on a regular basis - say 5 a day.

Recent client feedback from focus groups tells us that people don't really mind receiving all that stuff in the mail, but they often comment, "Why don't you just come and talk with us?"

Then there is Geographic Marketing or Farming.

This is done superbly by the top people who understand the need to be not only consistent, but ensuring quality is evident.

There is ample scope now to produce quality material and get away from black and white photocopies. Get some professional photographs taken and have an expert design you some unique postcards - even get several thousand of the same one made and spread these through your specialist area at high frequency .

Use programmes such as QVRP to produce mail merged letters to whole streets and then follow these up with a phone call. If you are not making at least 20 phone calls a day looking for business, then you must be a lucky agent with a ready flow of listings in the pipeline.

Why not produce your newsletter in sufficient quantity to cover both your database and geographic area with the same publication? Then drop the postcards in-between.?

Such an effort will require that you discipline yourself to repeat the process on a regular basis. So many salespeople do it once or twice and say it doesn't work.

Two things to remember here:

Repetition builds recognition, and it may take 7 or more repeats to start achieving that

And

Go talk with people - nothing works as well as getting face- to-face with real live people!!!

So what to do with that Listing Opportunity?

This is where you make or break your business today.

This where you need to be an expert:

fully rehearsed

in possession of all the market facts and trends

prepared to handle all the customary objections

committed to using all the tools at your disposal

A superb Pre-Listing Presentation or C.V.

A masterful Marketing Submission

Both of which are fully comprehensive and allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of the market

Your marketing skills

Your negotiation skills

Your consultative approach to working with your vendors to develop a joint venture to presenting their home to the market.

Your unique selling proposition

So how long is it since you updated and rehearsed your presentation skills?

Is it time to produce something on your laptop?

Having spent all that time and effort running a prospecting programme to generate listing leads, it appears we should give even more time and effort to ensure we have a sales presentation for our vendors that will secure us the business.

To close I would like to share a comment from a Dunedin salesperson who was out door-knocking in the recent snows:

"Never have I found so many people at home. To a person they all said "Oh you poor thing, come inside" Never have I got to speak with so many people whilst prospecting. And this on a day when most other salespeople stayed at home too"

IAN KEIGHTLEY


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