times can take the edge off some past skills
the last 12-18 months many markets have enjoyed very buoyant
times. It all started in late 2001 when an avalanche of
buyers arrived and started mopping up the over-supply of
houses that were then on the market. By the middle of 2002
many sales people were short of listings and their marketing
presence dropped as houses sold before any marketing took
This change in the market has meant that many homes have
sold very quickly and easily as the buyers were setting
the pace. This the change in the market was not seen by
many in the industry as an opportunity to build presence
and marketing dominance along with the increase in sales.
This new market was a marked change from the market that
existed from late 1997 through to late 2001. During that
time prices eased and vendors took a lot of convincing that
their home had a value less than they had paid or anticipated.
A good sales consultant managed the listing through to sale
by securing good marketing campaigns and then educating
the vendor with credible and consistent market feedback.
But over recent months it has not always been necessary
to provide this education of vendors as buyers were moving
faster than the average sales consultant, and statistics
were always behind the market. In this sort of market, too
many sales consultants simply focus on getting a controlled
listing, then hoping they could get some marketing in the
media before it is sold. Too often the sale came first and
we saw a new phenomenon: the Secret Agent. We saw the astute
change quickly about the middle of 2002 as the volume of
marketing increased again and homes were marketed before
being released to the eager buyers.
This market has carried on for some months now and both
the buyers and sellers are aware of the heat in the market.
Buyers accordingly follow new listings not sales
consultants - and seek to purchase before competition arrives
from the marketing.
Vendors are now waking up to this heat and in recent weeks
we are seeing a drop in Auction successes under the hammer
and some listings are starting to stick. Are the buyers
cooling off or have the sales consultants failed to educate
It could be a great time to just take stock of how you are
managing your listings and whether you may have lost sight
of a little market reality in the excitement of obtaining
good listings in this market. The market may have softened
our edge Just get a listing and it will sell.
The promise of a premium, and the media speculation about
the property boom, may have convinced both sales consultants
and vendors that a premium sale price is as easy as just
putting it on the market.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Buyers view houses
in terms of the value they see in them not the asking
price. All that price does, is prejudice their view of each
home they see in comparison with others. Vendors likewise,
gain an impression that their home will have benefited from
the market gains more than anyone elses. Compound
this with the average consultants assertions about
premium price possibilities, and no countering of the vendors
opinion of value (I dont want to run the risk of losing
the listing) can lead to an unrealistic reserve on auction
day or a listed price that is just beyond capturing the
interest of the real buyers.
Perhaps its time to take a look at managing some of
your new listings a little differently:
1. Dont treat all auctions the same. It seems to be
popular in this market to run auction campaigns over 3 or
even 2 weekends. This could be done for various reasons:
To retain the buyers who want to purchase now
To reduce the marketing costs so make it easier to
Neither of these necessarily in the vendors interest.
Perhaps you need to look at each listing differently and
assess the vendors expectation and motivation alongside
the property and design a campaign that may be 3-4-5 weeks.
This could provide time to educate the seller to a little
more market reality, and time to work those special buyers
There is no single time-frame that works. You need to look
at each property and vendor and design a campaign that will
achieve a result in this circumstance. One size does not
2. Have you stopped providing your sellers with credible,
consistent and structured feedback on what the market is
saying? When houses sell very quickly we may have got out
of the habit of providing this written and verbal feedback.
For many listings lately you may not have had to write even
one report. Have you forgotten how or decided it is no longer
necessary? It could be time to review the quality and frequency
of the educating feedback you are providing to your vendors.
3. Is it time to check that your feedback is not just a
phone call, but you have continued to provide weekly written
feedback, containing comments from real purchasers and clearly
indicating the feedback is not as we all would have hoped,
but despite that level of feedback there are people interested
in purchasing just at a different level than anticipated.
4. Have you continued to follow these written reports with
a face to face visit? Whatever the feedback remember you
are only the messenger done correctly they wont
shoot the messenger. By fronting up to your vendor to support
your written report you will have the opportunity to gauge
their reaction and reinforce the message.
Whilst many of the industry are in buoyant times there are
still homes that are refusing to sell. Remember there is
no one way to market and sell a property. If you have listings
that are sticking around, avoid the risk that you are waiting
for the current market to work its magic you may
need to take a look at the vendor education you are doing.
So review each of your present listings and ask yourself;
Is it the marketing, the price, the house or is it me?