The Challenge to List well in Winter

Over recent months as buyers have continued to actively seek new opportunities and swoop on new listings, many sales people and their agencies have struggled to build listing numbers to a point where there was any certainty of an on-going supply of sock to sell. Then there is the usual lull in listings in the winter months and so it is time to review some strategies to ensure that we continue to list more than enough properties to continue our business growth.

1 Review your Prospecting Programme
Most salespeople are carrying less listings than usual and so there is time to increase the prospecting activity – and whilst it is important to send out letters, postcards and flyers it’s more important in this market to get face ton face with people. Double all contact numbers for the next 30 days.
Send double out your normal monthly allocation of paper, be it flyers, newsletters, postcards etc. Just double it.

2 Buy a Head set for your telephone.
Most sales people make an appallingly low number of phone calls. Too often we think that the paper we have put in boxes will do the relationship building for us. Get on the phone. Start with 10 calls a day and build to 30. The head set will simply make this more comfortable and act as a daily reminder as you see it sitting on your desk.

3. Get out your old Open Home Lists
Open that bottom drawer again and find those open home lists and start ringing. Go back 12 months or more and start ringing up all those people you have already met. Simply ask if there is any further interest, are they still looking, have they sold yet, do they need an update on the market expectations on their current property(s). Some one in that list is now ready for your help.

4 Mine Your Diary
Get out your diary and go back to the start of the year and write down the name of very contact you have had that you don’t know what has happened to. There should not of course be anyone in that category but there will be. Once again get on the phone and talk to them. Someone in that list is now ready for your help.

5 Talk to your database.
So often I hear about the database sales people are going to build. Just do it. Don’t throw paper at the market and hope it will bring you more business. Letterboxes are suddenly filling up with flyers and brochures as more and more sales people are searching for that elusive winter listing and it’s harder to create a point of difference unless you are prepared to invest in real quality. (See comments below). If you have a personal database of 300 or more people there is a listing amongst them this week. So get on the phone and talk to them – all of them.

6 Get face to face with your Advocates.
Nothing works better than working with the people who have referred business to you before. List out your Advocates, the people who have referred you business, phone them, visit them, take them to breakfast, coffee or lunch, and ask for business. Never assume anything. You won’t be the only real estate person they know – be the one they know best.

7 Try Quality
If yo are going to mail out to your database or work a geographic area maybe its time to up-grade the quality of what you are sending out. Invest in 3 things:

• Colour. Dump the free black and white and invest in colour.
• Double the frequency
• Offer contents of value

The public know the market is active, the media is full of it, and they read it. Research the market and offer comments that are useful and authoritative. So invest in research or pay someone to write it for you.

8 Be Consistent
Stop re-designing your image. So many sales people are slow to use their database etc as they think they have to redesign their look or material on a regular basis and this gets in the way of maintaining frequency. Pick a look or style for you (Your Brand) and use it for a year or two. The look or style will create a brand for you and speed your penetration into your market. The more you change your look, or the more your identity is buried, the harder you will have to work to make sure its you the market wants to deal with.

9 Don’t Discount
Nothing undervalues what you do more, than you offering to do it for less. The best way to get referrals is to do a great job and achieve a sale at the highest figure you can. We all know that takes great marketing and a great negotiator. Don’t show your lack of negotiation skills by offering to discount.

10 Nothing works like a big advertisement
When the buyers are active and responding in volume to great property advertisements, and they look to find something before listing their own, the best way to meet more people in this market is to list and market strongly. In fact the best prospecting in a sellers market is big house advertisements.

So market everything before you allow it to be sold.

Two rules that are more and more obvious in this market:
• Buyers follow the new listings as they are marketed
• Vendors follow salespeople then brands.

It is almost a cliché – real estate is a people business. If that is the case then the people business is about relationships. Your whole prospecting programme it built around creating and nurturing relationships. Having created a presence and reputation in the market, it’s vital to have the tools to secure the listing when the opportunity arises – against the competition that is offering free trips, discounts etc to entice business their way. Such offerings are provided because they don’t have a strong enough relationship building prospecting programme and don’t see that the sale of such a valuable item deserves more than simple retail tactics such as free offers and discounts. Selling a home is about extracting its greatest value for the vendor and this takes great skill, great marketing and superb negotiation.

So take a look at your presentation and see if it addresses these issues and provides you and your vendors with a menu of options to extract this best value, or is it an old style presentation, just list with me and we’ll sell it as. We are best because we sell more. List with us, as we are cheaper.
You have to be better that that today, so review your presentation and focus on meeting the vendor’s objectives.

This market place is becoming more and more sophisticated and we have to continually review our tactics and refresh our skills. Take a look and see what you have changed over the last year and check if it isn’t time to make them now.


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