Agent Advisor Blog


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Strategies to encourage vendor paid advertising

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Strategies to encourage vendor paid advertising

In our opinion, vendor paid advertising (VPA) is a win-win for both vendors and real estate agents.

We know that investing in extra marketing leads to greater exposure, a speedier sale and top price outcomes for vendors. While at the same time your vendor is paying for advertising that actively promotes your listings, your profile and your agency.

However, sometimes convincing vendors of the strategic value of VPA is the tricky bit. It can be a challenging sell to vendors who are hesitant to spend extra money when they’re looking to profit from the sale of their home.

Some agents avoid bringing up advertising costs for fear of losing a listing altogether.

So, we’ve outlined some strategies agents can use to encourage VPA and that’ll help deal with common client objections.

Explain the benefits

During the pre-listing process, ensure vendors have a clear understanding of the value of VPA and what they’ll potentially be missing out on if they don’t invest in marketing. The best way to deal with the objection ‘I don’t want to pay for advertising’ or similar, is to explain exactly why they should pay for advertising and what is at stake if they don’t.

Key benefits of VPA to draw your vendor’s attention to-

  • It gives maximum exposure to their listing.
  • It helps attract as many qualified buyers & competitive offers as possible (which is especially important if selling at auction).
  • Investing in marketing now will lead to better returns later- hopefully resulting in a great sale price sooner.

If a vendor is still wary fill them in on a hypothetical worst-case scenario- if the property is not marketed properly from the outset, fails to draw interest and then sits on the market for a long while, people start to wonder what is wrong with it. The whole sales process is then drawn out and may reduce the perceived worth of the property. Better to invest now rather than take the risk and lose out later.

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Utilise case studies

At listing presentations show vendors exactly how the marketing campaign will work using past success stories. Have two or three recent comparable sale examples at the ready. Use these as evidence of how VPA helps clients reduce days on the market, attract buyers and achieve sales results above and beyond their expectations.

In each case study include the number of open for inspection attendees, the number of leads acquired and where they came from (online, print or signage), how many contracts were issued and the number of offers made and how many registered bidders attended the auction. For the knockout punch, include the final buyer source (which will usually be from one of the VPA channels) to help justify the extra expense of VPA in your vendor’s mind.

Another highly persuasive feature to add to your case study document is to include the original appraisal estimate, the owner’s expectation, the vendor marketing investment and the selling price. Typically, the selling price will be higher than the owner’s expectations and the profit will well exceed the ad spend. These facts will help to further substantiate the value of VPA and illustrate they'll recoup the cost of advertising and then some upon settlement.

  Example case study flyer to present at listing presentations

Example case study flyer to present at listing presentations

Offer a range of packages

For those clients that are hesitant to invest in marketing, it can be helpful to get them over the line to offer a variety of different VPA packages at different price points. Have different packages made up ranging from basic (signage, online ads and brochures), to moderate (premium online placements, mail outs, database alerts) to the full royal treatment (unique property websites, newspaper features, drone videos etc.) so they understand what’s available.

Sometimes in cases where vendors opt for no VPA or a basic package, you’ll find they’ll want to upgrade their advertising a couple of weeks into the campaign to put their best foot forward and drum up maximum interest, especially if there is a lack thereof thus far.

Also, remind vendors a great thing about VPA is that you’ll be able to monitor interest levels and leads throughout the duration of the campaign. You’ll be able to keep them up to date with detailed stats on enquiries and also validate they made the right choice to invest in marketing.

Flexible ways to pay

Some vendors are put off VPA because they weren’t expecting to have to pay such a high fee to run an effective marketing campaign to get the best price for their home. Vendors may simply not have the money upfront or others may need time to discuss what package they want to go with and how to divide the cost amongst other co-owners.

As a last resort, to cope with these hurdles you could offer your client a payment plan to make it more manageable to pay off the advertising fee in instalments over time. Alternatively, if you were comfortable doing so you could negotiate an arrangement where the vendor pays you for the advertising upon settlement.

We hope these tips help you to overcome VPA reluctance at your next listing presentation.

For more property marketing advice check out our home staging tips for top-price outcomes and what to avoid in listing description copy.

To learn about homely’s vendor paid product please get in touch on 1300 466 359 or help@homely.com.au.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to make your LinkedIn profile work harder

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How to make your LinkedIn profile work harder

With 4.2 million monthly active Australian users, LinkedIn is quickly becoming a vital brand building and lead generation tool for real estate agents.

Many professionals assume LinkedIn is a ‘set and forget’ type of social media or a platform only useful when recruiting new staff.

But this is far from the case. LinkedIn provides agents with a unique, not to mention free, marketing opportunity to amplify their personal brand, enhance their skills, further their careers and even generate leads.

Hubspot research shows LinkedIn is the best social network for lead generation with a conversion rate almost three times higher than that of Facebook and Twitter.

The research concluded the reason behind this was due to LinkedIn’s lack of clutter, clickbait and random social ‘chatter’, where business’ marketing posts are more likely to get noticed than on other more marketing saturated platforms.

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Before revisiting or setting up your LinkedIn account remind yourself that your LinkedIn profile is typically one of the first pages that comes up in a Google search of your name. So, you need to put your best foot forward and treat the content like a public digital resume.

Here are the top ways to make your LinkedIn profile work harder.

The right image

If you haven’t got one already, this is the perfect opportunity to have a professional headshot taken. Formal headshots build trust and credibility with future clients and potential employers. According to LinkedIn users that have a professional headshot get 14 times more views than users that don't.

Key to an effective LinkedIn headshot is to take it from the torso upwards, to smile and wear what you typically would to host an inspection or conduct an appraisal. Also, ensure it is a current picture (nb. It’s a good idea to refresh your headshot every six years or so).

Optimise your headline & URL

Your headline appears every time you’re active on LinkedIn, in search results and on invitations to connect so it’s critical to get it right. When drafting your 120-character headline, it’s important to include specifically what you offer, who you help and how you can help them. E.g. ‘Sales Agent | ABC Agency | Mornington Peninsula property market specialist’.

For SEO purposes carefully consider the key terms a person is likely to use when searching for someone with your skills in your service area. Customise your LinkedIn profile’s URL to feature your name and role (i.e. www.linkedin.com/in/robert-robertson-real-estate-agent) to help with your visibility on LinkedIn and Google search results. This also makes it easier to share your profile. Consider adding the link to your email signature and business cards to get more connections.

A stellar summary

Aim to include three to four paragraphs in your summary outlining your value proposition, market knowledge, bullet points of your special skills, professional achievements and industry experience. By no means do you have to reach the massive 2,000 characters allowed, a concise ‘elevator pitch’ style summary works best.

Include a call to action to conclude your summary so that potential clients can easily get in touch if they like what they see, e.g. ‘Get in touch for a free property appraisal’. If there’s room add a link to your website, your email address, contact number and social media profiles to your summary, as your LinkedIn contact details are only available to your connections. Alternatively, add your contact details to your LinkedIn cover image to help them stand out.

If in doubt take a look at what other leading agents are doing with their LinkedIn profiles for inspiration. As below, we recommend writing your summary in the first person to help encourage people to connect with you by adding a welcoming, personal and genuine feel to your profile. Share some of your proudest achievements, hobbies, interests or volunteering efforts here to inject your personality into the summary.

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Be a joiner

To make the most of your LinkedIn profile and get noticed it is crucial to get active and engage frequently with members you add to your network. This is easy to achieve by joining relevant industry groups, following key influencers, sharing your own original content and commenting on updates in your home feed.

Find different groups by searching for them by name in the search bar or discover recommended groups for you under the ‘work’ icon in the top right corner and selecting ‘groups’. Check out the Real Estate Professionals Australia and Australasian Real Estate Professionals groups to get started.

Request endorsements

One of the most compelling ways to boost your credibility in the eyes of potential vendors and employers is to build up your bank of endorsers on your LinkedIn profile. Get in touch with your best clients and colleagues to request a short written endorsement to showcase their experience working with you and the skills you bring to the table.

Before seeking endorsements make sure your skills list is complete with your major strengths and areas of expertise. Let your endorser know if there’s a particular skill you’d like endorsed and always offer to reciprocate if they’re in your LinkedIn network to sweeten the deal. Alternatively, endorse them and hopefully, they’ll return the favour. 

Are there any special techniques you use to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd? Please share them in the comments below.

 Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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5 apps real estate professionals need to get more done

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5 apps real estate professionals need to get more done

Do you ever wish there were more hours in a day? Do you often find yourself under the pump, staying back late at the office struggling to finish your daily to-do list? Don't worry, there are apps that can help with that!

We know that between answering emails, prospecting, completing paperwork, managing social media accounts, running inspections and fielding calls, property managers and real estate agents are regularly finding themselves pressed for time.

Amongst this plethora of tasks and duties, if time management isn’t your strong suit it can be easy to lose track of important tasks and enquiries, and not work as productively as you could or should be.

Research shows frequently being time poor can lead to increased stress, sacrifices to work quality and missed business opportunities.

Here are five apps that’ll help you get more out of every day.

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The best apps to help real estate professionals with...

Email overload

Spark by Readdle

If you fall victim to hundreds of emails flooding into your inbox aka ‘email overloard’ daily, Spark is the email add-on for you! You can set up your unified Smart Inbox with existing Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo or Outlook accounts to have all your emails combined in one handy place.

The best thing about Spark is it intuitively prioritises your emails into groups (personal, notifications and newsletters) and puts the most important ones at the top of your inbox for immediate attention. It also provides you with Smart Notifications, so you only get notified about the most important messages.

 Image: Spark

Image: Spark

Communication

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a fantastic free tool to communicate with clients and team members. Use group chat to make announcements, share videos, images and delegate tasks to colleagues.

Also, save time by taking photos of your open for inspection forms to send directly to an admin assistant for input into your CRM system. This simple action will save you from having to hold onto the hard copies of all your lead sheets from the weekend and ensure you're ready to make follow-ups first thing Monday morning.

Tasking

Any.Do

One of the easiest ways to break down a lengthy to-do list into more manageable bite-sized chunks is with Any.Do. You’ll never forget or put off an important task again with the app’s time and location-based reminders, voice capture capabilities (great for when you’re out and about) and recurring event capabilities. You can also share lists and attachments, as well as chat with and assign tasks to other team members within the app.

Any.Do syncs across Android, iOS, web and desktop devices and works seamlessly with Google Calendar, Exchange and iCloud.

 Image: Any.do

Image: Any.do

Social media management

Hootsuite

Take back hours of your week using a social media scheduling and management service such as Hootsuite. You can now save more time than ever, where since early 2018 Hootsuite has allowed users to schedule automatic Instagram posts. Posting to Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter multiple times a day without the hassle of having to manually upload posts will save you loads of time.

You can also keep track of your performance on each of your professional platforms using Hootsuite’s analytics, to get a better picture of what your audience is and isn’t engaging with.

Impress clients

RP Data Pro by CoreLogic

RP Data Pro ensures you’ll have everything you need in the palm of your hand to wow potential clients at inspections, appraisals and while you’re out and about. You can research market trends, comparable sales, generate valuations, create and send postcode reports all from the convenience of your mobile.

CoreLogic also provides complimentary training with every app purchase so you can learn how to maximise the wealth of property info you’ll have access to. The app is available for iOS & Android.

 Image: RP Data Pro

Image: RP Data Pro

We hope these apps aid in putting some of your time management pain points to bed and help maximise your precious working hours.

For more ways smart technology can boost your professional success take a read of what’s new in real estate tech and eight productivity boosting tools.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

Disclaimer: The information provided is a general guide only. Homely has no association or interest in any of the apps or their affiliates mentioned above.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How Facebook’s News Feed changes will affect your real estate business

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How Facebook’s News Feed changes will affect your real estate business

On January 12, 2018 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some pretty major changes to how Facebook’s content is ranked on its users’ News Feeds.

With these changes, Zuckerberg emphasises that the goal given to his product team is to move away from helping users find relevant content to helping them have more meaningful social interactions.

Zuckerberg says the change was motivated by the findings of academic research-

‘The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good.’

Put simply, public content (posts by news outlets, brands and businesses) will be outranked by updates from friends, family and groups by the new News Feed algorithm in an effort to strengthen users’ relationships and well-being.

So, the changes sound like a good thing for individual users, but could potentially be bad for business.

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What does this mean for real estate businesses?

While these changes are being rolled out, you may notice your post reach, likes, video views and referral traffic from Facebook decline as your posts get deprioritised.

If you’ve invested a lot of time, money and energy into cultivating your Facebook business page and you don’t want all this hard work to go to waste you’ll be looking for tactics to effectively navigate this change.

Here are some steps you can take to help your real estate business continue to benefit from its presence on Facebook and stay competitive.

Tactics to deal with these News Feed changes

Less is more

It can be easy to get bogged down in routinely posting the same kinds of content five or six times a week hoping that’s all it takes to stay top of mind with your followers. But with this new algorithm, you’ll soon realise your effort will be much better spent focusing on quality rather than quantity.

Consider each and every post carefully to ensure it a) will spark conversation and b) provide value to your audience. As you put more effort into making quality, valuable and engaging posts, you may even find you can post less frequently while getting more engagement on posts.

For example, instead of posting ‘just listed’ and ‘just sold’ properties daily, share your latest fantastic client testimonial and invite readers to share their own account of when an agent went above and beyond for them.

Encourage discussion

In an effort to create more ‘meaningful social interactions’ the News Feed rejig prioritises content that generates conversation between people.

To ensure your posts rank higher in the News Feed aim to craft updates in a way that will invite longer comments, reactions, sharing and back-and-forth discussion among your followers and their friends.

Try sharing a recent experience you’ve had locally in your service area that you're followers are passionate about or interested in (think community events, team sponsorships, local businesses and recreation). For instance, share a post about your favourite coffee spot and ask readers to nominate their own business for the best coffee in town.

Experiment with live video

Facebook states the overarching aim of the News Feed changes is to move users away from ‘passively reading articles or watching videos’. So, we know that pre-recorded video content from businesses will be shown less and page posts that generate conversation will rank higher.

Facebook’s head of News Feed Adam Mosseri shared that ‘live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos’. Facebook views live video as a more personal way to interact with followers and therefore will continue to encourage businesses to benefit from it.

The good news is you don’t need to eliminate video from your Facebook content strategy completely and you can use the above insight to your advantage. Try out live-streaming an auction, local event or inspection to drum up engagement on your Facebook page.

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Up your ads

According to Ollie Moore of Facebook Australia, ‘Facebook reaches 80 per cent of the internet population in Australia’. He goes on to say that more than 15 million Australians use Facebook every month. With this kind of reach your business can’t afford to not explore the huge potential and value of Facebook as a marketing tool.

Dip your toe into the vast ocean that is Facebook Ads by investing in a marketing budget for your business page. The News Feed algorithm changes won’t affect the visibility of paid posts- making paid content the only sure-fire way to be seen by your target audience and grow your page's following on Facebook.

Look into the many Facebook Ads opportunities available to promote your content, generate leads and grow your website visits. It may seem complicated at first but Facebook has a support centre available for messenger chat assistance around the clock. Alternatively, you can hire a digital marketing specialist to optimise your Facebook page ads for you.

While these News Feed changes may seem unappealing at first glance for your business, there are still strategic ways to use Facebook to your advantage. We hope these ideas put you on track to continue to leverage Facebook to engage your audience and benefit your business.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to craft an outstanding agent bio

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How to craft an outstanding agent bio

It’s crucial that your professional biography conveys the right message because it’s where potential clients form their first impression of you.

You only get one shot at a first impression after all, and if you want your bio to bring in new business there are key features you need to include to both attract and engage clients.

 When rewriting or drafting your bio remember your aim is twofold:

  1. To build trust with clients,
  2. and promote the unique ‘value-adding’ skills you bring to the table.

Here are our five tips on how to craft an outstanding agent bio.

Keep it fresh

The start of a new work year is the perfect time to review and update your bio. Include your credentials, latest achievements, awards and any new skills you’ve developed.

Aim to revisit and revise your bio every six to 12 months to make sure it is current and tracks your professional progress.

A word of caution- Avoid coming across as immodest by selecting just three of your greatest career achievements to date to include. Clients can easily be put off by overly boastful and advertisey agent bios. They want to know you as a real person and how you’re equipped to help them.

Don’t forget to upload the revised version to your company website, professional social media accounts, marketing materials and property portals.

Showcase skills & professionalism

Be sure to describe how you’ve developed certain skills (e.g. negotiating, a second language or auctioneering) or specialty areas (in a particular suburb or type of property) to show potential clients your value and exactly how you'll support their real estate needs.

Feature a headshot alongside your bio so potential clients can visually connect with you by putting a friendly face to a name. If you haven’t already, hire a professional photographer to get a well-lit and high-quality result that will enhance your credibility and professionalism further.

Go that extra mile to engage clients by making a video bio to illustrate your tech savviness and authenticity. A video allows you to provide a clearer snapshot of your personality, passion for the role and work ethic than a written bio ever could.

A personal touch

A great way to generate leads and stand out from the competition with your bio is to create a connection with clients on a more personal level. Use one to three sentences to give clients a sense of your personality, passions and to depict what kind of person you are.

This could relate to your family life, what drew you into the real estate industry, how long you’ve lived in the area (to highlight your local expertise), hobbies, community service or whatever piece of yourself you think your target market would appreciate and relate to best.

You want to establish yourself as a hardworking, honest and real person who can relate to clients' wants and needs, so adding a personal touch to your bio is a must. 

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A call to action

Towards the end of your excellent bio you want to provide somewhere for clients to go if they’re hungry for more information about you. Add in your contact details (office address, phone number and email), links to the professional social pages you’re active on and client testimonials. This way they can get in touch easily straight away or connect with you online and come back to you when they’re in need of your services.

Posing questions like ‘Do you have a query about a location I can answer?’ or ‘Would you like a free appraisal?’, also help to prompt potential clients to engage with you beyond your bio.

Carefully edit & proofread

We’re firm believers that the best agent bio is a short agent bio. So, carefully edit your bio to make it as succinct and easy to read as possible. Between 250 and 400 words, no more than four paragraphs is a good target lengthwise. You want your bio to be something that can be breezed through in about a minute.

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You don’t want your accomplishments and skills to be overshadowed by spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. These kinds of blunders point to a lack of attention to detail and professionalism. No client wants these kinds of errors in the marketing materials of their most important asset, so triple check that the text is correct before publishing. Check for mistakes using spell check, by reading it out loud and having a friend or colleague proofread it for you.

What to include in an agent bio summary-

  • Credentials & up to three accomplishments.
  • Special skills & experience.
  • A hint of personality.
  • A professional headshot or video bio.
  • Call to action & contact details.

For additional ways to generate more business online check out our guide to building your personal brand, ways to get more leads from your website and what Australia's best agencies are doing socially.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Dos & don’ts of settlement gifts

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Dos & don’ts of settlement gifts

Settlement gifts are a pillar of strong client-agent relationships and fostering return business.

With the new year well underway, now is a great time to take stock and reflect on all your current marketing practices.

Have your clients been pleased with the settlement gifts they received last year? Have you seen a lot of repeat and referral business from satisfied old clients? If you answered no to either of these questions it may be time to reassess your gifting strategy.

The idea behind giving a settlement gift is to show clients your genuine appreciation for their business by leaving them with something to remember you and your business by.

A secondary objective is that by delighting clients (both vendors and buyers) with a gift you’ll encourage word of mouth referrals and loyalty by showing your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Giving gifts to people that are buying into your service area is especially important for your leads pipeline too. Remember the buyers of today are the vendors of tomorrow, and gift giving will promote the trust and loyalty you need to keep clients coming back.

Investing time and money in the right kinds of settlement gifts will potentially reap you rewards for years to come. Here are some of the key dos and don’ts of client settlement gifting.

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Do make it personal

You don’t have to spend a fortune when selecting unique presents for clients. When it comes to memorable gifting it really is the thought that counts. 

In every interaction with your clients listen out for clues to guide your choice of a suitable personalised gift. Ask open-ended questions like 'How do you spend your weekends?' and 'What amenities do you need close by?' to learn more about them.

Make notes in your CRM as you go to refer to later to tailor your gift to suit their personality, stage or life and interests. This will ensure your client is all the more thrilled on settlement day when the gift arrives.

For example, if they mention how much they enjoy swimming laps you could get them a membership at their new local pool. If they’re a keen foodie a voucher to a cooking class at a local bistro would be a winner.

Giving each individual gift that little bit more thought gives the impression you've spent a great amount of time and care to choose the right item. This will make your client feel much more valued, appreciated and listened to, and indicates the care and attention to detail you bring to your business relationships.

Don’t assume one size fits all

It’s important to be strategic when choosing the right gift for each of your clients.

Keep in mind not everyone drinks alcoholic beverages for personal, cultural or religious reasons. Unless you know your client is a craft brew aficionado, it can be a safer option to steer clear of alcoholic gifts altogether to avoid a faux pas.

Also, once the bottle is finished, the memory of the gift disappears into the recycle bin. So, something for the house or garden can be a wiser choice for longevity. A gift that your old client uses, walks past or has to water every day becomes a talking point and a fond reminder of the great service you provided, bolstering repeat business and referrals.

Don’t go corporate

It’s best to give corporate branded gifts a miss for settlement pressies, as clients view these as generic and lacking thought. They'll be more likely to appreciate and be wowed by something they can use long-term or with a voucher for fun day out.

If you find out your client is a rev head, a hot lap in a V8 car would blow their mind.

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Something they can hold onto and appreciate over time or the memory of an experience will help reinforce your professional bond better than any branded mug or calendar ever could.

Do opt for practicality

If you’re unsure what to gift a particular client, you can’t go wrong with something practical that you know they need.

If you're aware that your buyers are planning on renovating their new home a gift card for the local hardware shop or whitegoods store will be sure to come in handy. For an elderly client, perhaps you can put them in touch with a local gardener and cover 6 months of lawn maintenance.

This shows clients just how much you care about anticipating their future needs and how you can best help them even after the sale is done.

Don’t hire a courier

The best form of client gift giving is in person to cement your bond. That way you can gauge their reaction and learn how different gifts are received.

Hand delivering also gives you a chance to touch base and subtly ask if they know of any friends, neighbours or family looking to sell or buy.

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If you’re unable to hand deliver a gift, a thoughtful hand-written note from yourself goes a long way to show you care and take time out to personally communicate with your clients.

Do think local

Support local business at the same time as introducing your clients to a speciality item or hotspot from their new suburb to make the gift that little bit more special and personal.

A hamper featuring goodies from local artisans and food makers always goes down a treat. Add a platter or cheese knife set to use at their housewarming party, so they’ll still have an item to remember you by once all the edible items are consumed.

This is the perfect way to welcome newbies to the neighbourhood and showcase your good local relationships and knowledge of the area.

According to Realtor Magazine the most common settlement gifts include flowers, plants, hampers, home accessories, alcohol, food and then sweets. We believe the best settlement gifts are the unusual ones with a personal touch that have a longer shelf life than food, flowers and champagne...

Out of the box settlement gift ideas-

  • A family photography voucher.
  • Wine glasses.
  • iPad with an engraved thank you message on the back.
  • Google Home Mini.
  • An experience voucher (e.g. hot air balloon ride, tickets to a gin making class, gold class film voucher).
  • A practical voucher (e.g. for the hardware store, a local café or restaurant).
  • A magazine subscription in your client’s favourite hobby or area of expertise.
  • A tree seedling.
  • A family pass to a local zoo or cultural attraction.
  • A house plant.
  • Coffee table books.
  • Local produce and homewares hamper.
  • A homebrew starter kit.
  • Luxurious bath products.
  • A charitable donation.
  • A fire pit.
  • A bocce set.
  • Flowers and a vase.

We hope you've found these recommendations useful. Are there any sure-fire winners you frequently gift to your clients? Please share them in the comments below.

For more ways to grow your referral business and build customer loyalty take a read of our tips to show appreciation for client reviews and the best ways to ask for referrals.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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5 things for agents to do before 2018

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5 things for agents to do before 2018

With just a handful of sleeps to go the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. Hooray!

While we’re all looking forward to celebrating with family and friends and maybe taking some time off for R&R, it’s important not to check out completely at this time of year and make the most of the valuable last few days spent in the office.

Here’s our to-do list to make sure you’re prepared to put your best foot forward at work in 2018.

1. Get into the festive spirit.

Schedule a festive message to be sent out to everyone on your client database and on your professional social media channels over the Christmas and New Year break. Better yet, for those extra special vendors or buyers that have recently moved into their new home send a Christmassy housewarming gift with a personal note thanking them for their business and wishing them all the best for 2018.

Pass out small tokens of appreciation at the office to wish your colleagues a Merry Christmas like candy canes, mini puddings, chocolates or bottles of wine. Also, consider giving a larger gift to anyone that was instrumental to your success in 2017, i.e. an old client who referred business several times or a particularly hard-working assistant at the office. 

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2. Declutter your workspace.

Let go of all the papers, outdated open house flyers and forms that have been cluttering up your desk, filing cabinet and maybe even your car boot for months. That way you’ll return to your organised workspace ready to start fresh and fill them with new opportunities and business in the new year.

This also applies to your digital workspace. Delete files, text messages and emails you no longer need, organise your desktop, documents and images into monthly folders and a 2017 folder that you can easily refer back to at a later date if need be. It would be a shame to lose any of your hard work so back up all your important documents, images and contacts accumulated throughout the year onto a safe external hard drive or cloud storage solution.

3. Review & reflect.

Review the goals you set at the start or middle of the year and see how many you achieved, and what ones you need to revise and perhaps rollover to include in your 2018 objectives. Ask yourself ‘What single achievement am I most proud of?’, ‘What new skills did I learn?’, ‘What do I want to spend more time on in 2018?’ and ‘What is my number one career goal for 2018?’ to get started.

Note down your strengths and weaknesses to identify any areas you want to work on in the new year. Seek out and book courses, seminars and industry events that’ll further your professional development. Reflecting on your wins and losses is an important step to help clarify all the good things you’ve done in 2017 and also the areas you need to focus on to further your success in 2018.

4. Think ahead.

As a typically quieter time of year in the real estate cycle, December can be a good opportunity to take care of those dreary admin tasks you put off in busier times. Update your professional headshot, client testimonials, your personal website or blog, your LinkedIn skills and professional biography. Include the new skills you’ve developed and all your achievements and accolades received from the past year. Order new business cards, your branded 2018 calendar magnets to letterbox drop and any other marketing materials that need a refresh.

 Image: Clever Trade Products

Image: Clever Trade Products

5. Schedule some me time.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can also be a draining and stressful one, between wrapping up everything at work, looking after the kids and getting all the Christmas shopping done. So, whether it’s a night at the movies, reading a book, taking a bush hike or a yoga class, set aside some time to unwind and recharge on your own. You know what works best for you.

Also, make your health and appearance a priority. Book in a check-up with your GP and dentist. Get a haircut, book a massage and spring for that new power suit. Go on, you’ve earnt it! By taking some time out to just focus on yourself you can ensure you welcome the new year revitalised, fit and ready to perform at your peak.

With just a little bit of planning and foresight now you’ll be able to switch off and enjoy your Christmas break safe in the knowledge that you’re prepared and well equipped to achieve bigger and better things in the new year.

For more things to do before the Christmas shut down check out our marketing ideas to get ahead this holiday season and ways to show appreciation to clients.

Happy holidays!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What makes a good leader in real estate?

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What makes a good leader in real estate?

When managing a team or mentoring new recruits it’s so important to put your best foot forward and lead by example.

The most successful real estate businesses are driven by strong leaders that are skilled in the art of motivation and management to get the most out of their team.

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Earlier this year, research was conducted by CoreLogic and TMJ Coaching with the aim to glean a better understanding of the state of leadership in the real estate industry by surveying 508 real estate agents online.

The 44-page analysis Real eState of Leadership proposes the stereotype of self-taught street-smart agents is currently being challenged by a new breed of business-educated and managerially savvy agents.

The report suggests this ‘new breed’ of principals and agents run tighter more profitable ships, have better employee engagement, and are more disciplined and transparent when it comes to client management.

Australian agents in leadership roles deserve a pat on the back, as results showed 66 per cent of agents surveyed rate the quality of leadership in their organisation as good or excellent.

However, not all agents are experiencing this managerial shift, where 34 per cent of respondents described their agency’s leadership as average, poor or non-existent.

Here are our key takeaways from the report in terms of where agents are succeeding, what areas could use work and strategies to become better leaders in the future.

The leadership behaviours agents & principals are best at:

Vision & strategy

68 per cent of respondents rated their bosses vision and strategy for their business as good or excellent.

Strategies-

  • Discuss your business vision statement and core values at least once a year.
  • Discuss and revise your three to five year strategic business plan annually.
  • Avoid overwhelming your team by breaking down yearly KPIs into more reasonable and achievable bite-sized monthly and weekly goals.

Empathy & making time for people

67 per cent of agents surveyed rated the skills of their boss in empathy and making time for people as excellent or good.

Strategies-

  • Schedule formal one-on-one meetings and draft individual performance plans.
  • Take responsibility when things don’t go to plan.
  • Deal with challenges in a calm and proactive solution-oriented manner.
  • Mentor individuals that are capable of and interested in leadership roles.

Communication & a clear sense of direction

64 per cent of respondents rated their bosses’ communication skills and ability to have a clear sense of direction as good or excellent.

Strategies-

  • Implement a formal induction program for new staff.
  • Set and revisit company goals regularly with team members to stay motivated by reminding everyone how each individual's actions help the business work towards common goals collectively.
  • Actively listen to team members to better understand their concerns, motivations, and to identify and resolve any issues swiftly.

Leadership behaviours that need the most work:

Team building & getting the most out of people

18 per cent of those surveyed said their bosses team building and getting the most out of people behaviours were poor or disastrous.

Strategies-

  • Encourage team members to bring ideas to the table to improve your business.
  • Invest in team building exercises (i.e. attend conferences) and regular training by industry experts.
  • Discuss staff careers, success planning and performance appraisals.
  • Offer reward and recognition programs, awards nights and incentives to keep team members motivated.
  • Coach your team to work collaboratively and in conflict resolution.
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Work-life balance

19 per cent of respondents rated their bosses approach to work-life balance as poor or disastrous.

Strategies-

  • Keep staff happy and inspired by scheduling fun and engaging social activities, coffee catch ups and weekly team meetings.
  • Stay positive and build team members up by focussing on the good stuff- This is especially important when 61 per cent of respondents said 'personally staying positive in changing times' was the most important challenge their business is facing at the moment.

Administration & management skills

16 per cent of survey respondants rated their bosses’ admin and management skills as poor or disastrous.

Strategies-

  • Share results (listing conversions and prospecting activities) in weekly team meetings.
  • Record wins on the whiteboard, noticeboard or in the staff newsletter. By recognising, sharing and celebrating each other’s successes, people feel valued and will go that extra mile for the business.
  • Actively seek feedback from co-workers and employees.
  • Keep a record of any conflict or critical incidents that occur to look back on and learn from.

We hope these six skillsets and strategies inspire you to become a more successful leader.

Are there any attributes that you feel make a great leader in real estate missing from this list? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Maroubra real estate for sale and properties for rent in Syndey. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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10 tips to keep safe at inspections

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10 tips to keep safe at inspections

The real estate industry can be competitive and at times perilous. Behind the cheerful demeanour, firm handshake and warm welcome that real estate agents offer strangers every day belies complete uncertainty and the knowledge that every client could be a potential threat to their personal safety.

Agents are often on their own, alone in an empty house, waiting for someone they’ve likely never met but who knows their name, what they look like, their exact location and what time they’ll be there. It doesn’t take much to see why this scenario could end in tragedy.

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Sadly according to Safe Work Australia, there were 46 workplace deaths between 2003 and 2015 in the Australian real estate services industry.

Of that number, 48-year-old agent Lorelle Makin, diehard St Kilda fan and loving mother, was showing a vacant property in Melton when she was bashed, gagged, sexually assaulted and strangled to death by a prospective buyer. Then there are stories like Keith Chan, a 26-year-old real estate agent who had his car rear-ended and was bashed with a hammer, kicked and chased down with a knife.

Hearing shocking reports like these is a wakeup call for agents to reassess their safety when they’re out of the office.

So why are real estate professionals such a huge target for workplace violence and even death?

  • Agents often meet clients alone: Most incidents involving the death or assault of an agent is when they’re working alone or in an isolated area.
  • Visible signs of wealth: Most cases where agents are attacked is with the intention of robbery.
  • Gender: Women are approximately 75% more likely to be attacked than men.
  • Working closely with complete strangers: Agents are frequently required to meet face to face with members of the public alone.
  • Oversharing on social media: Announcing open houses on professional social media profiles allows would-be criminals to easily identify a time and place to target agents.

But what can be done to best protect yourself at an open house? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests following these safety tips when showing a vacant property:

1. Don’t be ‘too nice’ for your own good. Follow your instincts and don’t lower your guard. If you’re feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, just leave the property.

2. Let potential buyers walk in front of you. This will make it harder for an attacker to trap you and will give you the best possible chance of escape. Always keep the front door open so you can make a quick getaway.

3. Park where you can’t get blocked in. Make sure as you exit your car that you have a clear line of sight to the property and look for potential places to hide.

4. Meet the neighbours. Having someone else know where you are and having a potential ally in the event of an emergency is never a bad thing.

meeting neighbour.jpg

5. Be aware and work in teams. The most common place for agents to be attacked during an open house is at the front door while accessing a lockbox. Also, make sure to turn your back against a wall to avoid being attacked from behind. If you can, enlist the support of coworkers to work inspections with you and return the favour. You’ll also be able to talk to twice as many potential clients this way.

6. Establish your escape routes. Familiarise yourself with the floorplan of the property you’re about to show. Walk around and think about how you might get in and out of each room.

7. Check out your guests as they arrive. As soon as a prospective buyer arrives, ensure you greet them and get them to complete your sign-in sheet.

8. Never go into certain rooms. Places like bathrooms and walk-in robes should be avoided because they provide little in the way of escape routes. If you must enter such rooms with a buyer, insist that they enter first.

9. Close in teams. Remember there’s safety in numbers. Convicted criminals that have attacked agents in the past have said ‘if there’s one agent in the open house working (alone) I know I’ve got (that agent). But if there are two or more, I’m out of there’. So work in pairs to open and close the property if possible.

10. Carry a personal duress device. A collaboration between the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) and WorkSafe Victoria resulted in the Real Estate Agent Out-of-Office Safety document.
One recommendation was for personal safety/duress devices be made available to all employees while on site in accordance with Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) obligations. 

A personal safety device is a duress button that can be pressed to send an alert or notification to a dedicated point of contact. There’s quite a few floating around the market and they come in all different shapes, sizes and price points. But nearly all lack a key piece of functionality.

Several popular duress apps/devices all sound promising on paper, but only send a text message or email to a contact when activated. Emails and text messages can be easily missed, and rely on the contact realising that it is a real emergency, calling 000, and trying to explain who you are, who they are, where they are and what is happening.

What is needed is 24/7 monitoring and a dedicated team of operators ready to send police directly to your location the moment you declare there’s an emergency.

And while dedicated duress buttons and devices may look impressive, remembering to carry around a piece of plastic can be more of a hindrance than a saviour. You need to always remember to bring them, charge them, have them close at hand and not forgotten at the bottom of a bag or stashed away in your glovebox.

Agents are always on their phone, always have it in their hand or pocket, and this is where the duress button should be. Why waste money and risk your safety on bits of plastic that only provide an SMS service?

The BodyGuard has launched in Australia, and it is the first app that requests police for you. It has removed the vital moments needed to declare an emergency through the traditional method of dialling triple zero. Because in an emergency, a threat isn’t going to stop and wait while you talk to an operator.

BodyGuard-Photo13 (1).jpg


BodyGuard offers three distinct methods of declaring an emergency, to better adapt to different situations. Simply tap the app to declare an emergency instantly. This will broadcast your location, video and audio from your phone to the 24/7 BodyGuard Operations Centre (BOC) who send authorities to your exact location.

You can enable monitoring if you don’t feel safe, (e.g. during opening or closing of an open inspection). If the threat subsides or you feel safe again, you can cancel the monitoring. The BodyGuard Operations Centre will only request police on your behalf once you’ve declared an emergency.

The real estate industry can be a hazardous one. So, it’s best to be prepared. Plan ahead, familiarise yourself with your surroundings, team up and ensure that if something goes awry, you have a way to tell someone you’re in trouble and have help sent your way.

Author bio:

James Pini manages the partnerships division for real estate agencies at BodyGuard, Australia’s number one security app. James assists agencies in deploying and maintaining their personal security protocols, helping thousands of agencies protect their most important assets - their agents.

BodyGuard is available Australia-wide for $79.99/year.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Maroubra real estate for sale and properties for rent in Syndey. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Listing description tips: 12 features home buyers covet

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Listing description tips: 12 features home buyers covet

Having already covered the words and phrases to avoid in listing descriptions, we thought it’d be equally valuable to discuss the features and keywords buyers are most interested in.

We know high-quality listing photos and videos catch a buyer’s eye initially, but it’s the listing description that reels them in, gives them greater insights into what living in the house is really like and entices them to attend the inspection.

A lot of agents rely on generic adjectives such as 'charming', 'spotless', 'unique' and 'luxurious' when describing a property, but studies show that objective ‘quality’ focused words achieve better sale outcomes.

Analysis of over 2 million US home sales by Zillow Digs shows feature specific listing keywords can help sell houses faster and for more money.

Zillow Chief Economist Dr Svenja Gudell says, ‘When it comes to real estate listing descriptions- words matter’.

‘Your listing description is an opportunity to highlight specific details and finishes that might not be visible in photos’, Gudell reminds agents.

If your listing has one or several of the following features you’re in luck. Be sure to draw potential buyer’s attention to them explicitly in your property description to optimise your property ad.

Here are 12 of the top performing keywords buyers will pay a premium for that are worth showcasing in listing descriptions to achieve speedy, top-price sales.

Barn doors

Rustic home features were a big winner in Zillow's study. Surprisingly homes with barn doors sold for 13.4% more than expected and 57 days faster than homes without this feature.

 103 Sydney Street, Willoughby, NSW

103 Sydney Street, Willoughby, NSW

Shaker cabinets

A timeless and simple kitchen cabinet style, homes with shaker cabinets sold for 9.6% more than expected and 45 days faster than homes without this feature.

Farmhouse sink

Homes with trendy and highly functional oversized farmhouse sinks sold for 8% more than expected and 58 days faster than homes without this feature.

Subway tile

A hugely versatile, classic and on-trend tile choice, homes mentioning subway tiles sold for 6.9% more than expected and 63 days faster than homes without this feature.

Exposed brick

The rough texture of exposed brick is a clear winner with homebuyers seeking character and warmth within their home’s interior. Homes with this feature sold for 4.9% more than expected and 36 days faster than homes without it.

Frameless shower

Buyers are drawn to the sleek look and ease of cleaning these types of showers provide. Homes with a frameless shower sold for 4.6% more than expected and 38 days faster than homes without this feature.

Pendant lighting

A great way to show personality and style, homes mentioning pendant lights sold for 4.6% more than expected and 48 days faster than homes without this feature.

Stainless steel

References to stainless steel suggest to buyers the home features updated and easy to clean big-ticket appliances. Homes that highlighted stainless steel sold for 4.2% more than expected and 42 days faster than homes without this feature.

Backsplash

Homes that referred to a backsplash sold for 4.1% more than expected and 46 days faster than homes without this feature. So, whether it’s tiled, glass or mirror, be sure to describe the backsplash adorning your listing’s kitchen.

Heated floors

This is an especially important cosy feature to emphasise if your listing is in a colder part of Australia and during winter campaigns. Homes with heated floors sold for 4.3% more than expected and 28 days faster than homes without this feature.

Tankless water heater

A great example of a feature not typically photographed for real estate advertising but is greatly appealing to buyers. Homes with tankless water heaters sold for 4% more than expected and 43 days faster than homes without this feature.

Outdoor kitchen

A hugely popular feature for Australian homeowners, outdoor kitchens are a big drawcard for people that frequently entertain outdoors. Homes with outdoor kitchens sold for 3.7% more than expected and 19 days faster than homes without this feature.

We hope these keywords helped clarify what specific features are worth mentioning to engage potential buyers and optimise sale prices and time spent on the market.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Maroubra real estate for sale and properties for rent in Syndey. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Australia's top real estate influencers to start following

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Australia's top real estate influencers to start following

All real estate agents aspire to use the power of social media to grow their business, engage with more consumers and generate leads. But sometimes that's easier said than done.

For this reason, it’s worthwhile to start following the industry influencers that are at the top of their game to learn what strategies you can implement to boost your online presence.

The digital media ranking system BrandData has ranked the top 44 Australian real estate brands and franchises online presences by tracking follower and engagement measures across various digital platforms (including Twitter, Facebook, website, Instagram and Youtube).

The top 10 Australian Property Agent influencers as of October 25, 2017 based on the BrandData rankings are:

1. LJ Hooker

2. Ray White Group

3. McGrath Agents

4. Harcourts

5. Century 21

6. Raine & Horne

7. Barry Plant Real Estate

8. Elders Real Estate

9. Jellis Craig

10. Nelson Alexander Real Estate

Using the data from these rankings, we can see which agency or agent is the top influencer on different social portals.

Here are our key takeaways from studying the top influencers in real estate on the most popular social media platforms in Australia.

Ray White Group- Facebook

Ray White Group was ranked first for Facebook engagement. With over 10,000 likes their Facebook page is a masterclass on soft sell marketing techniques, where the focus is on building trust, fostering long-term relationships and engaging with their audience rather than just sell, sell, sell 100% of the time. Featuring a treasure trove of posts including competitions, how-to videos, property news, VIP events, agent profiles, corporate reports, white papers and the occasional listing, this is the page to check out if you’re ever stumped for Facebook content ideas.

One of our favourite types of posts they frequently share is their incredible range of original blog content. We think part of the reason their page is so successful is that they create and share 'value adding' helpful blog content to engage with different members of their audience sporadically. This reinforces the Ray White brand in readers’ minds as property experts who are committed to servicing their many and varied followers. This strategy is a win-win for Ray White as the blog articles are also great for SEO and driving traffic from Facebook straight to their website.

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Ray White Group- Twitter

Ray White Group also ranked first for engagement on Twitter. Just shy of 8,000 followers, the content strategy on their Twitter account is similar to their Facebook page but with greater emphasis on sharing and retweeting news, current events and videos.

Research shows Tweets with images see five times higher engagement rates than those without and images increase retweeting by 150%. All Ray White’s posts contain large high-quality images with a short text summary, which helps to explain their success with the platform.

Ray White also shares and retweets lots of relevant video content, which is a great strategy for upping engagement with followers and industry networking. Studies show that 82% of users watch video content on Twitter and that adding video to a tweet gives you a 28% boost in engagement.

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Nelson Alexander- YouTube

Nelson Alexander was ranked first for YouTube engagement. They've had over 1.5 million views since starting the YouTube channel in 2013. As far as we can tell, winning features of their YouTube channel and video content include:

  • Clear and sophisticated branding.
  • High-quality video production.
  • A variety of different videos on offer including listing videos, guided listing tours, vendor interviews, auction footage, auctioneer and office profiles.
  • Constantly uploading new videos (several times daily).
  • Videos are optimised for mobile viewing.
  • Sharing of YouTube content on Twitter.
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Gavin Rubinstein- Instagram

The only individual real estate agent to make the top 44 Property Agents on BrandData’s list, Gavin Rubinstein is ranked first for Instagram engagement ahead of all the major Australian real estate franchises.

An agent at Ray White Double Bay, Gavin regularly shares Instagram stories and posts with his 14.5K followers. His posts are successful at building his brand and profile by providing glimpses into not just his professional life and achievements, but also titbits from his at times glamorous and everyday personal life (think holiday snaps, red carpet events and even cooking dinner). Gavin’s stellar Instagram account can be chalked up to:

  • Knowing his audience- Gavin’s Insta marketing is geared towards the high-end lifestyles of followers and the clients he caters for in the Sydney property market.
  • Adding value- Frequently posting quality, attractive, interesting and relevant content with his target audience in mind (typically every three to four days).
  • Variety- Sharing the perfect balance of business philosophy, self-promotion, listing videos and personal posts to give followers a sense of who he is.
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We hope these insights into what the best of the best influencers in Australian real estate do socially helps to guide your social media plan.

For more ways to improve your online presence take a look at our tips to develop a social content plan, a guide to becoming an Instagram pro and how to build your personal brand.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Maroubra real estate for sale and properties for rent in Syndey. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to handle negative client reviews

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How to handle negative client reviews

No matter how good an agent you are, it’s inevitable that while helping clients navigate the various, at times perilous, stages of the buying and selling that things will go wrong occasionally. 

We’ve previously discussed the importance of client testimonials, showing appreciation for reviews and how to get them, but we haven’t covered the flipside: how to respond to negative reviews.

As an agent clients entrust you with their most substantial asset, so it’s only understandable tensions and emotions run high if your service is anything but flawless.

But this doesn’t mean your professional reputation should suffer and be damaged for every mistake you make, causing you stress and potential loss of future business and income.

Research shows 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and negative reviews make 60% of consumers not want to use a local business.

With those sorts of numbers, it’s imperative agents have an action plan for managing negative feedback online. Here are the steps to take when handling damaging reviews.

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Acknowledge

Burying your head in the sand and ignoring feedback is one of the worst things you can do when faced with a bad review. It shows potential clients that you don’t listen or care about your clients when issues arise.

In a timely manner respond to the reviewer directly so potential clients can see that you’re responsive, proactive, willing to listen and resolve clients’ concerns swiftly.

Your aim in responding isn’t to 100% satisfy the aggrieved client and have them remove the review altogether, but to influence everyone who reads it in a more positive way.

By openly getting involved potential clients may consider doing business with you after all because of how well you handled that difficult situation.

Empathise

It’s important to not get defensive or personal when writing your response, even if you believe the client is in the wrong. Remember this is a public forum where your words will exist in searches for your name and business forever.

First, thank them for taking the time to write the review. Let them know you always welcome any client feedback that will help improve your service for others.

Second, apologise in a professional and empathetic manner. This will go a long way towards the possibility of mending the relationship, making amends and getting other readers to empathise with you, as everybody makes mistakes.

Respond

Extend an olive branch to the reviewer and offer a way for them to contact you directly offline to have the issue resolved. This keeps your response brief and prevents the discussion from escalating on the public forum.

Again, this will show potential clients that you’re approachable and if any problems arise you’ll work hard to personally have them taken care of. 

Resolve

Once the complainant’s issue is resolved, go back to the review and post an update in the comments explaining the action you’ve taken and the outcome. This illustrates that you take responsibility for your actions and your commitment to solving client issues.

Every time you deal with criticisms, negative reviews or complaints it can be beneficial to view it as an opportunity to learn about how you and your team can improve your service.

Keep a record of all customer complaints and negative reviews to look for common threads in your service or behaviour that can potentially be improved upon. By doing so you can look at ways to resolve frequent issues and prevent negative reviews from happening again in the future.

What tools can help?

A free and simple tool you can use to manage your online reputation is Google Alerts. It’s easy to set up weekly or daily email alerts for mentions of your name and business.

Also check out socialmention to track and measure what people are saying about you and your company across social media and the web.

If you’re already using Hootsuite to automate your social media posts, it has a handy feature that allows you to set up a ‘mentions’ stream for all your social media accounts. This way you can monitor various platforms all in the one place at a glance.

ComplaintSearch by Go Fish Digital is a good way to check up on your online reviews. It performs a specialised Google search on over 40 complaint websites for mentions of your name, franchise and any other terms you want to check.

complaint search 1.jpg

Remember, a well-crafted response to a negative review will help showcase your professionalism and dedication to customer service more than a negative review could ever hurt your reputation.

With these tips and tools, you’ll be responding to client reviews and managing your online reputation like a pro in no time.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Words of wisdom from 7 star agents

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Words of wisdom from 7 star agents

While not all agents can sell $50 million worth of real estate in 19 days or hit $1 billion in settled sales during their career, we can learn from the superstar agents that do achieve such impressive feats.

With the hectic spring selling season in full swing, it can be easy for agents to lose sight of their professional goals, their sales strategy and to get burnt out.

So, we thought it’d be worthwhile to share some words of wisdom from the best of the best to get inspired and keep motivated this selling season.

7 star agents.jpg

On success

‘When everyone asks me why I’m successful and I have no database, it’s great to email and text people, but you know what? There’s nothing better than picking up the phone and talking to someone, because usually in real estate we’re either talking to people who are struggling financially or going through separation. Sometimes people just need to hear your voice, that it’s going to be okay. That we can get the house sold and they can move on to the next stage of life.’

- Melita Bell, RE/MAX (Source: Elite Agent) 

 

‘Be authentic, build relationships in every part of your community and never stop learning. Find yourself a good mentor or coach who can help you achieve your potential and who makes you accountable. We all have the ability to succeed, but it comes back to how much we want it (the work ethic) and controlling the mind (do you have a positive attitude or one of fear or excuses?)’

- Leanne Druery, Gardian Real Estate (Source: Elite Agent)

 

‘I think understanding that when someone entrusts to you with their most valued possession, that you’ve got to provide them with guidance, persistence, strategic mobility and negotiation skills that they can’t get anywhere else. A lot of my clients are discerning business people who recognise what quality service involves, which sets a high benchmark for me and my team.

You must be highly adaptive, and if you don’t have the time to upgrade your skills, you need people around you that can address that shortfall. I invest heavily in digital initiatives and making sure I use people with astute knowledge of the sector, making sure the content and strategies are cutting edge and have strong ROI.’

- Vivien Yap LJ Hooker (Source: The Real Estate Conversation)

 

‘You need to give your clients some real reasons why they want to come to you not someone else. What's your point of difference?

You need to know your market, and be a trusted advisor. You need to have the capability to give them the right advice in advance on how to sell their property successfully, not just put it on the market and try your luck.

With your professional knowledge you should be able to tell them what's the best approach to attract the most buyers, what sort of marketing you should use, how to make your clients' property standout from so many properties on the market.

Then last but not the least, I think you should really care about your clients and their properties, and they can feel that you care. The business is all about your clients, your buyers, your vendors, and the properties. Not about you, not about how much money you can make.’

- Nancy Hu, Fletchers Real Estate (Source: REB podcast)

On prospecting

‘Communication for me is really important. That's with the vendors and also the buyers. I'm meeting vendors throughout the campaign two or three times face-to-face, communicating to them where we are in the campaign. When the auction day comes, there's no surprises. Everyone, the buyers and the vendors are all under one page. We are selling everything, so it's working.’

- Marnie Seinor, McGrath (Source: REB podcast)

 

‘Frequency builds trust. I made sure I had such regular contact with the people in my area that by the time they were ready to sell I had a foot in the door. The vendor could feel a strong sense of commitment, energy and enthusiasm which even today still puts me ahead of my competitors.

If you asked me what the best form of prospecting is in the beginning, the answer is simple: it was cold calls. I built this business on cold calling. It doesn’t work for everybody, but it worked for me; I had an angle and it worked.’

- Gavin Rubinstein, Ray White Group (Source: Elite Agent)

On productivity

‘I figure if I cannot have a good income producing business on 50 hours a week after this many years I am doing something wrong. But then I realised I spent 15 hours of those 50 hours in my car, driving from home to the office…Honestly, getting a driver changed my life.

People rob themselves of so many hours a week they would be unaware of. There’s at least a few hours a week for lunch and coffee breaks. I reckon there’s at least 25 hours a week that are unproductive. I don’t think you can have a productive business and work part-time. I needed those 20-25 hours back. So I got the driver and the efficiencies in my week have been huge.’

- Michael Willems, Ray White Group (Source: Elite Agent)

On work-life balance

 ‘All my work is finished by 5pm or 6pm. All my phone calls are finished. The minute I get home, I put the phone on to charge and turn it on silent and no-one has ever complained that I don’t call them back until the next morning.’

- Michael Willems, Ray White Group (Source: Elite Agent)

power off.jpg

 

‘I work 80 hours a week on average. The reality is I’m always on and contactable. I find balance by taking four breaks throughout the year, during school holidays as this is when there’s a downturn in my markets cycle; it’s on these breaks where I recharge, to ensure that during the high cycle I’m always performing at my peak.’

- Gavin Rubinstein, Ray White Group (Source: Elite Agent)

 

'It’s important not to let real estate control you, because if you let it, it can be all-consuming. Make sure you continue to invest in your health and your personal relationships – because a million bucks can’t buy this back.’

- Leanne Druery, Gardian Real Estate (Source: Elite Agent)

 

We hope you have gleaned some useful knowledge from these pearls of wisdom. For more tips to achieve success in real estate take a look at what is involved in a star agent's weekly routine and four things successful agents do every morning.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The complete package: Property marketing must-haves

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The complete package: Property marketing must-haves

Over the last decade, the real estate industry has shifted dramatically with most consumers now relying on online services to shop around.

As marketers, we must adapt to the ever-changing industry, pushing the boundaries of what agents can use to maximise the impact of their property listings on buyers. Combining various mediums to create a full and engaging picture for buyers is key to getting them to enquire and in the door at inspections.

In sales, the importance of first impressions cannot be understated and so it’s vital to work hard on perfecting the ultimate combination of products to get your listing to stand out in a crowded online marketplace.

At Urban Angles, we were fortunate to recently work with an agent on a Brighton residential sale that employed a clever marketing strategy. Taking advantage of traditional and new technologies, the campaign resulted in record breaking results for the suburb.

Using this sale as a case study, here’s our guide to using the right marketing tools to elevate the success of your campaign and foster record breaking sales results.

brighton prop.jpg

Choose the right photography package

It’s crucial to understand what suits your listing and how you wish to have the property portrayed online. Photography is the first thing buyers look at, which is why you want your listing photography to look its absolute best and showcase the right features.

From photographers, floorplanners through to stylists, you’re best off turning to an experienced team who understands your market to get your listing photography spot on. Rely on the pros to assist in choosing how to best promote your listing and to achieve highly professional and attractive results.

It’s not your job to know what would work and look best for your marketing campaign. A professional real estate marketing team will help you decide what would suit your specific listing and be able to advise you on what photography package options will work within your vendor’s budget too.

In the case of the Brighton residence, the vendors recognised that this property needed to be captured at both day and dusk to be shown off in the best lighting. They also had the property brilliantly styled to really give it a freshness and wow factor.

brighton.jpg

Use video to elevate your online presence

With video accounting for 74% of all internet traffic in 2017, this is anticipated to increase to 80% by 2019, and with people spending on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without, videos need to be part of every listing campaign.

Buyers are now expecting videos and as vendors are becoming more and more social online there is an ever-increasing demand for shareable video content.

Picking a great video team for the right property is hugely important. If executed poorly, a low-quality video can make a place look small, dark or uninteresting. Great property videos add to the marketing campaign by selling lifestyle perks or tapping into a buyer’s emotion.

Key elements of a great listing video:

  • Showcase what’s unique, interesting and/or appealing about the residence.
  • Evoke a feeling or lifestyle over and above the photography alone.
  • Feature high-quality footage captured on professional equipment.
  • Include engaging music selection that appeals to a broad demographic.
  • Agent details and a call to action.

The Brighton residence gained the exposure and attention it deserved using our Prestige Video package capturing the essence of the property over an entire afternoon (example below). 

Give buyers a real sense of your home with a 3D tour

There has been a lot of talk about Virtual Reality (VR) content in the real estate marketing industry of late, as the technology brings a fantastic new way to engage with the market.

Statista.com forecasts an unprecedented 900% increase (yes, 900%!) in the worldwide market for VR content by 2020 – that’s a market size of $143 billion US. That’s an astounding figure, and it clearly demonstrates where online content and marketing is headed.

We’ve recognised the promise of VR and have become a leader in virtual tour technology in real estate having built out own platform, Virtual Inspector 3D. Our VI3D opens doors to buyers locally as well as interstate and offshore allowing full access and an intimate understanding of a listing without having to physically see it.

We incorporated this technology into the Brighton residence campaign and we think the results speak for themselves. Increased view times, better engagement and access to remote buyers, what more could an agent want from their campaign!

 Brighton residence 3D tour

Brighton residence 3D tour

VR tech, like the Virtual Inspector 3D, is the ultimate marketing tool. It not only showcases a virtual property tour but your existing marketing material, including photo gallery, video, floorplan, property details, location and an enquiry tool.

With the VR capabilities of Virtual Inspector 3D potential buyers can view a home tour in a VR headset, and it’s compatible with any Google Cardboard Viewer or Samsung Gear VR viewer.

We hope these tips on selecting the right marketing tools for your listings help to elevate the success of your future campaigns and leads to the achievement of impressive sales results.

For more tricks to nail your marketing campaign take a look at these home staging tips and what to avoid in listing descriptions.

Company bio:

Urban Angles are property marketing specialists providing residential and commercial photography, floorplans, video, web programming, 3D visualisation & design.

Our creative edge, advanced digital technology and superior image quality attracts buyers and gets sales results. Urban Angles are commissioned by Australia’s leading property groups, agents and builders.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The best tech for property managers

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The best tech for property managers

In the past, we’ve covered productivity boosting tools and great apps for real estate agents, so we thought it’d be worthwhile to shortlist the must-have technology making the lives of property managers (PMs) easier.

The following five tools are essential for savvy and efficient PMs when it comes to workplace safety, booking inspections, streamlining reporting and training.

PM apps.jpg

Safety 

InspectSafe

If safety is a concern for you and your team when you're out at inspections flying solo this cloud based app has several innovative safety features that’ll give you peace of mind. If there is an emergency or threatening situation you can send instant ‘distress alerts’ to key personnel for help. The app also transmits your current location and silently takes video and audio until assistance arrives.

But wait, there’s more! InspectSafe also allows PMs to dictate inspection notes using voice recognition, to automatically plan inspections, take, store and review property inspection photos, facilitate maintenance requests and make professional condition reports. It's the complete package.

Cost: Software starts at $50/month.

StaySafe

This app is a great way to help PMs working on their own feel safe and secure at property viewings and alike. Starting a session on the app when performing an inspection for instance, triggers a timed session and location tracking that is viewable in the company’s StaySafe Hub. The PM can easily trigger a discreet panic or duress alert at any time. The app will notify your emergency contacts of your location by email and SMS if you don’t check-in after the inspection.

Cost: $10.99 from the App Store. 

 Image: StaySafe

Image: StaySafe

Scheduling inspections

InspectRealEstate (IRE)

IRE’s Register Online Rentals booking system is a fantastic tool for PMs to save time arranging, communicating with tenants and rescheduling property viewings. IRE has automated the whole process where tenants can book inspections online 24/7. Once an inspection is booked tenants can automatically receive a confirmation message, your office’s rental application form and an inspection reminder closer to the day. If the inspection is cancelled or rescheduled all registered tenants automatically get notified by SMS.

Encouraging tenants to pre-register for inspections is a great way to expand your database where you can keep in touch and notify them in bulk about similar properties. You can also utilise your database to impress prospective landlords with the number of tenants you have on file looking to rent a property just like theirs.

Also, check out IRE’s KeyTracker system if you have keys frequently going missing for the properties you manage. KeyTracker will alert you whenever a key is taken and returned and who by. It also automatically alerts the key borrower by SMS when the key is overdue.

Reporting

Rentfind Inspector

If you’re not a fan of the time and effort it takes to manually create lengthy inspection and condition reports, then this is the app for you! Rentfind is equipped with different formats specific to Australian states and territories allowing you to create professional looking reports with the touch of a button. Best of all the app saves you lots of time by auto-filling the data from previous inspections as a starting point, leaving you to simply update the comments and images sections. It also has voice to text dictation saving you from having to type in all your comments.

Cost: App is free to download (with a 30-day free trial). Packages start from $55/month.

 Image: Rentfind

Image: Rentfind

Training & upskilling

Real+

If you feel like you or your team need to brush up on any property management skills and best practices, check out the excellent live webinars and courses via the e-learning platform Real+. Their Property Management Fast Track course covers everything you need to become an expert property manager including state specific legislation testing, interactive learning modules, and assessments. Their 40 minute PM webinars run weekly on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm (AEDST), which are great to attend and join the Q&A with the rest of your PM team.

Cost: $99 per webinar (for non-members), $450 for Property Management Fast Track course.

 Image: Real+

Image: Real+

Are there any other property management technologies or apps that you couldn't function at work without? Please share them in the comments section below.

Happy leasing!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Tips for your best spring selling season yet

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Tips for your best spring selling season yet

Historically spring is the busiest time for selling real estate in Australia. With auction clearance rates reaching record highs and eager house hunters emerging from their winter hibernations to attend sunny weekend inspections, you can’t afford to not put your best foot forward.

Here are the things you can do to prepare for the peak selling season and ensure this spring is your best yet.

Work your database

The tail end of winter is when you need to check in with all the long-term prospects in your database. For vendors thinking about putting their home on the market in spring remind them that now is the best time to get any maintenance or repairs completed to maximise the value of their property. If your follow ups are left to the last minute in September, vendors won’t have enough time to make any renovations or fixes to take advantage of this spring selling season. Also have a list of advantages of selling in spring ready to email potential clients after your follow up calls.

It’s a good idea to have the contact details for local trustworthy trades (i.e. painters, landscapers, carpet cleaners and handymen) at the ready to pass on to potential sellers to help them prepare their home in time for a spring campaign. They’ll appreciate your local knowledge and remember you when they need an appraisal.

Joint prospecting

With the rise in popularity of rentvesting, you may be surprised by how many clients have been sitting right under your nose in your property management (PM) database. Join forces with the PM department to see if any landlords are thinking of selling or buying another investment property. If they’re looking for another property and you sell them one of your listings, then they come back to your PM team to manage their new property, it’s a win-win-win for all parties.

Also have the property managers alert you to any renters that are considering becoming a rentvestor or if any are looking to buy their first home after not renewing their lease (with the new stamp duty concessions in certain states this will become more prevalent). Return the favour by referring any vendors looking for short-term rental accommodation after selling their home to your PM team.

Ramp up your advertising efforts

In the lead-up to spring you need to be across a variety of different advertising platforms to raise your profile. Advertise your current listings in local newspapers and online, letterbox drop and door knock around your service suburbs, and you may even want to explore local outdoor advertising options.

Upgrade your agent profile and current listings to have prominent positioning across the real estate portals you use. That way when potential clients search for an agent or look at what’s currently listed in their area, your face, name and company logo will keep coming up. Remind vendors that in spring the competition for comparable properties is extra fierce so they need to spend that little bit extra on marketing so their home stands out on the crowded listing results page.

Preparation is key

You can’t afford to get complacent or burnt out during your busiest and most profitable time of year. If you do, this will have a flow-on effect to the amount of referral and repeat business you get over the next few months. Set goals for returning calls and emails, and for the amount of appointments and new properties you want to list. Reaching your goals, fulfilling promises and exceeding client expectations will snowball into referrals and return business. There are only so many hours in a day, so you need to be wise with how you use them.

So, before the busiest time of year hits, plan out how you’re going to spend every hour of your working day and what actions you’ll take now so you can field a greater volume of enquiries and client requests later. You need to get into a stellar weekly routine to ensure you use your time as efficiently as possible so you and your business are all set to thrive this spring.

For more ways to succeed next season check out our guide to preparing vendors for a spring sale.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to meaningfully grow your client database

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How to meaningfully grow your client database

Everyone knows how important using a database is to be successful in real estate these days. Utilising a database effectively is key to productively managing relationships and continually adding new clients to your prospecting pipeline.

It’s all well and good to add every new lead you come across into your database, but unless you go that step further and make detailed and relevant entries it’s likely to be a waste of time.

But what if you’re just starting out and you’re struggling to foster a quality client database? Or perhaps your database isn’t as easy use day to day as you’d like?

There are many ways to expand your database, but here are some of the best ways to ensure you’re growing your database in the most meaningful and useful way possible.

Clean up your data

Sometimes you need to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter before you can utilise a tool effectively. Before you can use your database properly and even think about expanding it you need to clean up your data to avoid confusion and improve productivity.

Start by exporting all your contacts into an excel spreadsheet. Then sort them by different fields (name, address and so on). You’ll quickly spot and be able to delete any duplicate and incomplete contacts (those missing email addresses, phone numbers and follow up notes etc.). This is a great start to making your database more manageable and meaningful.

Also, don’t be afraid to remove old contacts that never went anywhere and are no longer relevant to your business processes. It’s only natural that these will accumulate over time so it's good to get into the habit of a clean out every few months or so.

Quality over quantity

It can be tempting to add every person you meet at your opens into your CRM, but you’ll get so much more out of your database, not to mention it will be much more manageable, if you just focus on adding the hot buyers, owners and potential sellers you meet at inspections. Try these five questions to quickly qualify leads to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

This way you can focus and tailor your marketing efforts to each different cohort that are most likely to convert into a client in the short term. For example, update potential sellers with sales results in their area to keep them up to date with what their property is worth and motivate them to seriously consider selling.

Stay in touch with hot buyers (those that are requesting contracts, have pre-approval, are bidding at auctions and making offers) by sending them your newest relevant listings or special personalised invites to VIP inspection previews.

Utilise personal & professional networks

This may seem counter-intuitive to the point above, but adding people from your professional and personal networks to your database can be greatly beneficial for your business. Add Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts and even relatives to your monthly newsletter mail list and/or recently sold market updates.

They may not stand out to you as the hottest of leads, but fostering long-term relationships with these groups will position you as a ‘real estate expert’ in their minds. Your personal connection also sets you up for referral business and to receive any real estate related questions they may have over their lifetime, setting you apart from their local agents.

Get creative

Think about out of the ordinary channels you can use to supplement your database with quality leads that many agents are neglecting and avoiding. Go old school and pound the pavement for an afternoon of local door knocking and letter box dropping.

Introduce yourself to sellers on popular ‘for sale by owner’ websites and marketplaces. Let them know if they change their mind or don’t achieve the result they wanted, you’re ready to offer your expertise and assistance. You never know where you might strike gold!

By undertaking these four ways to maintain and grow your database, you'll soon notice a change in the quality of leads in your pipeline and the ease with which you nurture client relationships.

For more ways to up your database game check out the best CRMs for agents and the features of a good database.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What are Homely client Street Reviews?

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What are Homely client Street Reviews?

If you’ve listed a new property on homely.com.au lately you’ll have received an email about our latest product feature, client Street Reviews.

Client Street Reviews are an Australian property portal first, an exclusive tool for agents that list on Homely.

Here’s a bit of information on how this new feature will be beneficial to your clients and your business.

 Union Street,  Prahran

Union Street, Prahran

Why request Street Reviews from clients?

  • A Street Review is a unique way to market a property whereby your client explains the specific advantages of living in their home and location.
  • Every month, hundreds of thousands of homebuyers and renters read and contribute to Homely's street and suburb reviews to help them find their perfect home. Your vendor can connect with this unique audience to help them sell their property.
  • Street Reviews paint a clearer picture of what it is like to live in the suburbs you service most, in turn driving new business to you by encouraging others to move there.
 For your client to complete

For your client to complete

For every new property listing you have on Homely we’ll email you a reminder to send to your client to complete a Street Review for their home.

It only takes a few seconds to fill in your client’s name and email address to send them a request to complete a review for their street.

Of course you can fill out a street or suburb review for where you live or work anytime on our Suburb Reviews section.

 

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Fairfield real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Extravagant inspections: 4 creative marketing ideas

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Extravagant inspections: 4 creative marketing ideas

All over the country agents are upping the ante by hosting open for inspection events to promote and sell luxury listings.

From a Cirque du Soleil themed soiree in Forde, a Gatsby themed pool party in Griffith and a designer converted church with harpist, heavenly nibbles and free flowing champagne in Paddington (pictured below), agents are going all out to make their inspections more extravagant to appeal to big ticket buyers.

 Images: Black Diamondz Property Concierge,  265 Oxford Street, Paddington, QLD

Images: Black Diamondz Property Concierge, 265 Oxford Street, Paddington, QLD

Out of the box marketing ideas such as these can be a great way to promote not only luxury homes, but all types of properties to engage with and capture the interest of a whole new audience of clients.

While showy events may not be every agent’s cup of tea and are not always within the marketing budget, here are four ideas guaranteed to draw a crowd and get people talking about your open house and business.

Grand final BBQ open

Let’s face it Aussies are suckers for sport and a free snag. So why not try scheduling an open during the AFL or NRL grand finals or other big sporting events. You’ll be surprised by how many people will drop by at half time for a squiz and a chat about the game (and real estate!). Bill the open as a grand final party and invite attendees to don their footy club clobber and colours. If anything, the footy gear will provide a good talking point to break the ice.

Fire up the barbie to delight potential buyers with a complimentary sausage and to exhibit just how good the large patio area is for home entertaining. The smell alone will beckon passers-by and neighbours inside for a look. This idea also works especially well if your listing has a man cave or cinema room with incredible surround sound that you want to showcase to buyers, by broadcasting all the thrills and spills of the big game.

Carnival themed garden party

This is a great idea for a family geared property with a big back yard and during school holidays, when mums and dads are stuck for entertainment ideas. Think free face painting, show bags, snow cones, fairy floss and even a kid-friendly Ferris wheel if space allows.

Create buzz around your carnival open house with a promoted Facebook event and letterbox drop, this way you’ll get to network with other locals on the day who may be thinking of selling too. Even if they don’t come along, they’ll be impressed by the creative lengths you go to for the sake of marketing your clients’ homes.

Don’t forget to share photos of the event on your website and professional social media pages so future clients can also get a glimpse of your innovative approach to hosting inspections.

Invite-only cocktail evening

Send out party invitations to hot leads that have registered their interest in the home and qualified clients from your database for an exclusive viewing. Twilight cocktail parties are ideal if your listing has pretty city or harbour views or exterior lighting that looks its best at night time. It’s also useful for attracting buyers that can’t typically make daytime inspections.

Roll out the red carpet and go the whole nine fancy yards with a string quartet, canapes, waiters and champagne on arrival. Make your VIP clients feel like celebs with red carpet photography, a photo booth and promote a special Instagram hashtag for the event on the night.

By hosting elaborate and exclusive VIP viewings you’ll become known as the go-to agent in your suburb for selling luxury property. You’ve got to spend money to make money, right!

Play up the style

Draw attention to what makes your listing unique by using the interior decor or architectural style of the home as a cue for your open house event theming. For example, if the home has a Spanish flavour why not host a lunchtime viewing with a delicious tapas self-serve platter on offer. For an Art Deco property you could go for a Great Gatsby roaring 20s poolside theme, as did Canberra agent Holly Komorowski in the marketing of the Griffith property below.

 Image: @hkrea, 44 Frome Street, Griffith, ACT

Image: @hkrea, 44 Frome Street, Griffith, ACT

For a French Provincial beauty serve up macaroons, brie and crackers, croissants and coffee while playing French music over the sound system to create a magnifique atmosphere for a weekend brunchtime viewing. Go that fun and extravagant Francophile step further by hiring a crepe chef, mime and caricaturist.

If you’re worried about your listing getting lost amongst the competition try hosting an open house event for a change. Think about what specific features make the property unique and develop an inspection theme and time from there.

See also: Six essentials to sell a multi-million dollar property and easy ways to draw more traffic to your inspections.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

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