Part of being a good agent is thinking in to the future and planning. With the end of the year approaching, there are a few weeks left for you to:
- Close out current listings.
- Win listings for next year.
- Build rapport for the future.
But in order to do those three things you need to plan and figure out what is the most important to you. If your office is booming, and you have 15 listings to handle currently, then pipelining may not be your number one priority, as you will want to close out as many deals for next year, with the remaining ones already providing a platform of stock for you to get stuck in to early next year. However, if you, like most agents are wanting to win more listings and prepare yourself for next year, then you need to do these three things before the year is out.
1. Get back on the phones:
Now is a great time to start prospecting, and on a large scale. Getting in touch with the market and prospecting will give people ample time to consider selling their home over the holiday period when you are forced to be inactive. This is much better for you, rather than the prospects taking 3/4 weeks to decide if they want to sell their home in the middle of prime season. If you have had some success in a particular market this year you should be doing two things in those suburbs. Firstly, letter box dropping every home, wishing them well over the holidays and asking if they want to get in touch to discuss a possible campaign in the early year, and secondly, calling these homes with results you have had this year that are recent and relevant. If you can call a prospect and say you received $150,000 over reserve for a house in their street, are they interested in getting an appraisal early next year, you will be giving them information, and also not putting them on the spot. When they find out the appraisal is 100% free and that can organise it when it suits them, the uptake will be a lot higher.
2. Create a due date for 'Everything'
The end of the year is really good for setting deadlines. The first thing you should be doing is picking up the phone to every person you are currently working with and say, 'There are three weeks for me to work on whatever you need to get a deal done, what needs to happen, how can we make this happen, and is there anything further you need to see from me?' - By doing this, you re-evaluate time expectations and can re-establish what will be done by the end of the year, this is really important because otherwise vendors and prospects may not hear from you until February, and you can have a really tough time convincing them you care about them if you haven't set deadlines about when you will be back in touch. You should establish a date you will be getting back in touch with every person you need to, and this should be conveyed in an emailed. At the end of the year, they should receive a Christmas card, and well wishes, with a closing paragraph stating "I wish you the best over the holiday period, I'll be back in the office on (insert date) and I'll give you a call on the (insert date) to check in. This is something very few agents do and will help a lot. Also, make this personal, if you've dealt with a prospect looking to find a home in Port Melbourne, sending a message saying:
Whilst we haven't had luck finding you your dream home in Port Melbourne so far, I'm really confident that we will be able to find the perfect place in 2015. You've been great to work with and I know that when we do eventually find you your little cottage across from the beach, you, Samantha and little Jack will absolutely love living there.
Have a nice break, and let's tackle this together in the first week of February. If you need me you can get in touch when ever you need and I'll do my best to be back in touch ASAP. (Please note I'll be overseas from the 14th Jan - 31st Jan and will not have communications access) otherwise I'll give you a call on the 3rd of February and hope to see you at my 2015 market introduction meeting on the 6th Feburary at our offices, 121 Beach Street, Newport, 6:00pm
Licensed Estate Agent"
3. Organise an end of year event, and a beginning of year event.
A really good thing to look at doing, and planning over the next week or two are two events. One to finish off this year, and more importantly, one to start next year. A lot of people plan Christmas events and say goodbye for the break, and don't get in touch until 6 months later. One way to avoid this is to establish an end of year event, a small Christmas drinks that whilst it may cost you a bit, is a great networking event and something your prospects and clients will appreciate. After you have done that, the next thing you do will make you stand out even more. Pick an evening in mid- February and in the middle of Jan, send out an invite to your lists informing them that you are presenting a market seminar and update on what to expect for 2015. People come back from holidays with energy and crave information, they also don't want to miss out on what the market may have in store, so organising an event for next year will be well received and also put you on the front foot as THEIR go to agent throughout the year. It can't be stressed how important an early year engagement with your clients is.
These are the three most important things you can do to wrap up what has been a sensational 2014. If you get these three things in place it will relieve your anxiety and prevent you being worried about coming back with no plan of action to tackle 2015.
About the Authors:
Todd Schulberg handles all things marketing for Homely.com.au - Living and breathing property, Todd has a keen interest in the movements in the market and how agents can utilise new tools and technology in order to be more connected. Using all things social, Todd suggests different ways that agents can engage and think outside the square with their marketing approach.
Rocky Bartolotto is the National Sales Director for Homely.com.au - Rocky's extensive experience in introducing new product offerings to the market and client management abilities makes him one of the most knowledgeable property specialists in the country.
In addition to his time working in the online space, Bartolotto is also one of Sydney’s top auctioneers, with over 4000 auctions performed through his business Auction Services.