Competing in a Sellers Market

Supply and Demand are certainly on display in most New Zealand market places.

Nearly every office I visit or talk with has fewer properties listed for sale than this time last year and numbers in many are still falling. Demand for good properties has created a shortage of properties for sale, a rise in values in many markets and competition between agencies for new listings is fiercer than ever.

In some instances I have come across offices with only 10% of the stock level they had a year ago. The months

Likewise I come across offices and sales people, whose stock levels are up marginally and when you examine their marketing and prospecting programmes you can see why.

In almost every case where the stock levels are up, the prospecting programmes have not been left to the sales people - they have been managed and produced by the office. These offices recognised the threats of this market and established their prospecting programmes last year or earlier. Then there are some extremely organised and market-savvy sales people who have always worked their networks and now their professional reputation and competence is making a huge pay-back in this market.

When markets change as the focus moves from finding buyers to finding sellers, your tactics have to change as well.

There are at least three tactics that need amending:

1 Prospecting Focus and intensity

2 Slow the property release to the market

3 Avoid Buyers controlling your day


Let’s examine these 3 tactics

1 Prospecting Focus

This is a time to recognise the value of the personal network and database you have developed over the years. Now is the time to get face to face with al those contacts.

Anybody can - drop photocopies in letterboxes – put promotional advertisement in newspapers – knock on doors – drop business cards – but nobody else can work your network.

The first place to start is with your network of professional affiliates. You need to make sure that as large a pool as possible of allies professional s are recommending you as the best person to deal with. Too often we assume that because we deal with these people some times that they will always refer business to us. You need to continually meet and remind this network that you are in the business and looking for referrals.

So create your personal professional network and include these people;

Solicitors – hand deliver your Agreements
Legal Executives
Conveyancing Specialists
Trustees
Builders
Insurance Consultants
Valuers
Mortgage Brokers
Bank Managers and Mobile managers
Architects and draughtsmen
Builders
Investors
Speculators
Developers
Accountants
Property Managers
Retailers
Factory managers
Schools
Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators
Community Constable

The list can go on but this is enough to get the idea. The next two steps are to create something you can give them that they can give to people, they come across who might need your help. So produce a DLE brochure, postcard or C.V. that you can hand-out.

Then set up a schedule in your diary to make a DAILY FACE-TO-FACE contact with one of these people.

2 Slow the Property release to the market
The Buyers market belief that the first offer is the best offer does not apply in this market. So change your listing presentation and take a position where you aim is not just to sell the property, but to sell it for the best price in this rising market. Organise with your vendor that you are going to co-ordinate the marketing so there will be no inspections by any buyers until the marketing has started and all the buyers can come at once. This gives the vendor time to prepare the product to look its best, and you and your team time to prepare the buyers you have on hand already, to compete with all the possible buyers by holding the property inspections until the marketing does its work. In a rising market the early buyer sis making an offer to avoid the competition from the other buyers. Our job is to achieve the beat price we can for our vendors – so make sure you check the total market pool of buyers before allowing your vendor to sign an agreement. When the marketing does its job in this market you will get to meet more prospects – and many of these to still have to sell – so it’s a win-win. The vendor gets exposure to buyers who may have to compete to own their home, and you get to met more prospects. Don’t sell to the first buyer who turns up – that way you can never be sure if there is a better buyer for your vendor and if you are not careful you will become an invisible agent as your marketing presence falls.

3 Avoid Buyers Controlling your day

There is real temptation in some sales people who have few listings to focus on running buyers around. In some cases you may be better to take a stand such as –“I don’t do buyers on Tuesdays and Thursdays”

I recently worked with a sales person who came to see me because he had no Exclusive or Auction listings. Our remedy was to take his long list of active buyers and put it in the drawer for 10 days. He decided to make no buyer call for 10 days, but would receive calls only. In 10 days he was able to list 3 exclusives and 2 auctions to get his business back on track and him back in control of his days.

Buyers need servicing too but the danger is to let them control your day. Check you diary and make sure you have enough time to work with your vendors or time to find new ones – the buyers will quickly divert your focus and in this market you need to maintain a clear focus on managing the basis of your business – listings you manage and control – listings you market and seek the buyers who will pay the most and then control the negotiations in your vendors interest.

Avoid the trap of being the sales person who advertises they sold a new listing in 2 or 3 days. In this market that is not testing the market fully in your vendor’s interest. Create a listing difference in this market by offering your vendor more than a quick sale – offer the best sale.

IAN KEIGHTLEY


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