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5 rules for following-up leads

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5 rules for following-up leads

In some ways knowing how to go about making follow-ups can be more challenging than cold calling people and getting leads in the first place. Follow-ups are one of the most important ways agents have to proactively seek out business and get the process rolling with prospective buyers and sellers.

The purpose of making follow-ups is to qualify leads, gather information about them and begin to build a working relationship. So it is vital you have a clear follow-up strategy and tactics in place to make the most of interactions with your leads.

We’ve developed five rules to help guide you in making better follow-ups, to boost your conversion rates and ultimately grow your business.

rulesforfollowingupleads.Appointments

Rule # 1: The purpose of making follow-ups is to book appointments.

When following-up a lead remember your main objective is to book in a meeting with them. You’re not connecting with them to check in, to have a chat and bond with them, to update them about the property market, to get your name out there or any other reason other than locking in an appointment time.

Once you've found a genuine prospect ask ‘When can we set up an appointment to start getting ready?’ and reassure them that you can always make time to sit down and answer any questions they have about buying or selling. Your office is the best place for an initial consultation, but you should be adaptable and open to other suggestions. If the client is unable to come to you offer to meet at their local café or even at their home.

Rule # 2: Your secondary aim is lead disqualification.  

The most successful real estate agents understand the importance of making follow-ups to filter out bad leads. Better agents typically have less leads in their client database because they're mindful of not wasting time and resources continually following-up people that are not seriously looking to buy or sell in the near future. You’ll find that maintaining a database of thousands of leads is too daunting and time intensive, so it's invaluable to weed out the time wasters early on. 

When following-up enquiries from your website, online listings, your open houses, advertisements or wherever you have collected your client database from over the years, you need to get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer as to whether or not they are genuinely interested. This way if you confirm they aren’t interested you can delete the lead and invest your time, resources and energy in serious leads and finding better prospects.

Always keep in mind consumers can be hesitant and hold back when talking to salespeople as they fear they will somehow get talked into signing their life away over the phone. So the best approach when following-up is to let them know you won't be offended if they turn you down and that it's okay to say no if they’re not interested.

Make sure the script you’re using for your follow-up calls provides an opportunity early on to allow the client to say they’re not interested. Having this chance to be heard lowers the prospect’s resistance, enhances trust and makes them feel more comfortable to communicate their true goals and uncertainties if they decide to continue with the call. 

Rule #3: If you don’t get onto a lead try getting in touch using a different means of communication.

Before disregarding and deleting a lead completely from your contact list make sure you try another method of communication. Nowadays there are many ways to try to communicate with and reach out to prospective clients. 

Simply because you can’t get onto a prospect and they don’t return your call, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested. Some people are impossible to reach via phone so it’s always a good idea to test out and hone your sales skills via text message, email, direct mail and even social media to get their attention. You should try at least one other form of communication other than phone before you classify a lead as unreachable and you remove it from your database altogether.  

Rule #4: Determine whether or not they require your services.

A common mistake a lot of agents make when following-up is qualifying potential clients based on the lead’s interest level alone. Without any other information, finding out a prospect’s level of interest in your services is largely meaningless.

To qualify the lead in a more meaningful way ask yourself:

  1. Do they need your services?
  2. Do they want your services?
  3. Can they afford to take action?
  4. What timeframe are they looking at?

A lot of buyers and sellers use the line ‘I’m interested’ as a bit of a cop out and a way of evading commitment to you and other agents. If they are interested ask follow-up questions like ‘When do you plan on moving?’, ‘Have you spoken with a lender yet?’ or ‘Do you need to sell your current home first?’ to see if they are a genuine buyer and/or seller.

Rule #5: Categorise your leads for more time efficient and productive follow-ups.

The best ways to categorise your lead pool is based on the timeframe in which they are looking to do something and the prospect’s level of commitment. You could categorise leads using letters, i.e. ‘A’ for client’s taking action within 30 days or less and ‘B’ for clients taking action in 30 to 90 days and so on, so you can easily prioritise calls and know when you need to make follow-ups.

To classify your leads by level of commitment use the categories ‘committed’ for those that are dedicated to working with you and you're almost certain they will list or buy with you, ‘probably’ for those clients that might do business with you, who are about a 50-50 chance of working with you and use ‘possibility’ to define those where there is a small chance they will work with you.

To have a healthy stream of business you need a reasonable amount of leads in each category. When making follow-ups you should aim to cultivate leads upwards from the 'possibility' category, to 'probably' and eventually to 'committed' clients.  

Categorising your leads and systematising your follow-up process allows you to get a clearer picture of your business's position and helps you to forecast growth.

Following these five rules should help to improve your lead strategy and your follow-up processes.

Are there any script lines you find particularly effective when making follow-up calls? Please let us know in the comments section below.  

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. 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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Seven home-staging tips to make your listings shine

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Seven home-staging tips to make your listings shine

Ensure your vendor’s house shines for its open for inspection by recommending these simple low cost staging techniques. Explain that when it comes to selling their home it is important to market it effectively to potential buyers in the most attractive way possible.

Clever staging can be the difference between a quick sale and a house that sits on the market for months, which is not good for you or your vendor. 

Here are seven easy tricks to pass on so sellers can skilfully stage their home without breaking the bank, and most importantly tempt buyers to make an offer.

What staging techniques should I focus on when getting a house ready for inspection?

1. Depersonalise

One of the most important things a buyer needs to do when inspecting the property is to imagine themselves and their belongings living there. To help make this happen recommend that sellers pack quirky, valuable and personal items away and ideally store them away from the home.

All photos and portraits should be removed from view. Generally, wedding photos and family mementos draw a buyer’s attention to the seller’s family and can stop them from seeing the house as their own family’s future home.   

Removing personal photos, collections and quirky keepsakes also means there is nothing to distract or detract from the overall home itself. The seller needs to make sure the house is the centre of attention.

2. Deep clean

Remind sellers that noticeable grime, dust, pet odours and dirt are very off putting and gives potential buyers the impression that the home is uncared for and hasn’t been well maintained.

Make sure they pay close attention to cleaning light fittings and windows (inside and out) to make sure the place is light and bright come inspection time. From shining floors to gleaming appliances and spotless bench tops, every surface should be sparkling clean and pristine.

If they have pets, have the rugs and carpets steam cleaned and remove litter trays, as there is no bigger turn off to buyers than the smell of wet dog as you enter a house.

If they cannot handle a deep cleanse themselves or their house is especially large suggest that they hire a professional cleaning service to give the place a thorough once over.

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3. Let there be light

Buyers want ‘light and bright’, not ‘dark and dreary’, so make sure the house is lit up like a Christmas tree for inspections and listing photography.

When staging the home for photography try to chose a sunny day and make the house appear as bright as possible. Have vendors open all the curtains and blinds and turn on every light in the home, even switch on lights on the range hood and oven to show off the appliances and kitchen.

A fresh coat of paint can also work wonders to lighten and brighten up spaces and makes a property a feel clean, new and well maintained.

4. Declutter and organise

Too much clutter makes homes feel messy, small and cramped. Have sellers clear out extraneous items, like piles of mail and magazines, shampoo and medicine bottles in bathroom cabinets, and remove toys, shoes and clothes from overflowing cupboards.

This can be tricky for some, but is worth the trouble to demonstrate to potential buyers just how much space there is for all their things.

If the vendor is moving out shortly after the sale it can be a good idea to have them pack up and put into storage off-season clothing, books, extra linen and DVDs to really show off the home's storage space.

5. Scent appeal

Prior to an open for inspection advise buyers to wipe down bench tops and surfaces with their favourite subtle all-natural cleaning product to give buyers the impression of cleanliness.

However, make sure they don’t over do it. Being overwhelmed with powerful and competing smells when inspecting a home can be very off putting for buyers. So let sellers know to keep the potpourri, aftershave, fresh coffee and air freshener use to a minimum.

6. Simplicity is key

When arranging furniture remember ‘less is more’. The aim here is to lead buyers' eyes to the room’s best assets. For example, make sure sellers don’t block off large windows with bulky furniture or crowd and take focus from a feature fireplace with a TV and armchairs.

A few simple décor touches of bright colour, like a turquoise throw rug or quirky vase help to add personality to spaces and photograph well for listings.

7. Create a sense of luxury and comfort

A seller doesn’t have to spend a fortune to make their home welcoming and to achieve a sense of luxury. By simply buying fresh fluffy white towels or bathrobes to hang in bathrooms, displaying fresh cut flowers in a crystal vase and pretty throw pillows for beds can make a home look luxurious and feel inviting.

Unlit decorative candles or bottles of luxury hand soaps are great styling tools to recommend for sellers to add a sense of comfort to their home and lightly fragrance the air as buyers move through the house. 

In preparation for an open for inspection remind sellers to focus on depersonalising, cleaning, lighting, decluttering, subtle fragrances and making the house feel comforting and homely. All this will help to make the property more attractive, allow potential buyers to envision themselves living there and hopefully achieve a good sale price.

Are there any other staging techniques you use that prospective buyers love? Please share them with us and our readers below.

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. 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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Six essential elements to sell a multi-million dollar property

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Six essential elements to sell a multi-million dollar property

When you receive a listing there are a number of typical steps you go through in the process of marketing and selling that home. Such as organising photography, posting a sign out the front, advertising the home online and having an open for inspection.

When you receive a multi-million dollar listing the way you go about making the sale requires a different set of tactics. A sign in the front yard and an ad in the local newspaper simply won’t cut it in these special cases.

What are the essentials when selling a multi-million dollar property?

We’ve come up with six essential elements you should contemplate when selling a multi-million dollar property.  

1. Networking

More often than not luxury homebuyers will be working with an agent who specialises in high-end real estate. So the best way to tap into this segment is to make sure your property is exposed to high-end agents and luxury agencies that already have relationships with high-end buyers.

You can foster your professional network by hosting private open houses for agents, advertising your listing in agent only newsletters, even arranging private viewings with individual agents to get their feedback on what will drive enquiry for that particular property.

2. Presentation is key

Street appeal and interior staging is more important than ever when selling a multi-million dollar home. Luxury homebuyers are especially visual, so having a clean, organised and visually pleasing home is vital to help them to envision themselves living there.

To ensure the home is ready for showings you may need to advise the seller of minor changes they can make to increase the value of the property and make it more likely to sell. For instance, you could recommend a fresh coat of paint, window cleaning, to restain stairs and decking, pressure cleaning of paths and driveways, de-cluttering of spaces, rearranging or hiring furniture, to replace old carpeting and enhance the landscaping if need be. It’s also a good idea to remove any valuable or rare items (i.e. art or collectables) to allow the home to shine.

A gleaming example of an immaculately presented and beautifully styled luxury home is 81 Alfred Street, Kew, VIC

Howtosellluxuryhomes_KewMansion

 3. Profile potential buyers

What type of professional, entrepreneur, international investor, large extended family or film star may be interested in your listing? It can be tricky to predict who your likely buyer will be, but we recommend considering as many potential candidates as you can before planning your marketing strategy.

Think about who your potential buyers are, where they currently live, what they care about most, what they read, watch, hear and are exposed to. You can then go on to tailor your advertising to the marketing channels that will be most effective in reaching and connecting with your buyers.

4. Exclusive events

A perfect way to attract high-end buyers is to host VIP invite-only events. Some agents go as far as getting luxury brands on board to sponsor their open house parties. Raymond Bolduc, founding realtor of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and ultra-luxury property specialist, is well known for hosting lavish parties when he wants to close a deal. To sell a home on North Bay Road in Miami Beach, Florida, Bolduc hosted a gala at the house for 500 people, complete with yachts and Rolls Royces.

Exclusive events can also be a great way to bring in potential buyers you wouldn’t normally have access to. The sponsorship from a luxury brand or real estate agency allows you to access an extra contact list to spread the word about the event and more importantly your high-end listing.

5. Set realistic goals

Prior to setting an asking price you should check the listings of similar properties in the area, both online and in person. This will allow you to gauge the quality of your property with an honest and impartial eye and lead to setting a reasonable asking price.

Viewing properties in person also helps to get into your buyer’s mindset, as they will be shopping around and making the same comparisons between your listing and comparable homes on the market. Pay attention to what is going on in that particular suburb. See if similar houses are selling and what they have gone for in the past before setting your price.

6. Multi-channel marketing

To effectively promote a multi-million dollar property you need to utilise a range of channels. Think print, online and social media. Professional photography, a virtual tour and floor plans are must haves when advertising the property online. Distinctive signage, multiple web site listings and print advertisements (locally, nationally and internationally), first-rate direct mail and even editorial media type coverage are essential to bringing in qualified buyers.

Some fantastic international real estate websites to use include:

There are a few more considerations to make when targeting overseas buyers. Ensure your website is accessible on overseas search engines and utilise international real estate sites to promote your listing. It is vital to create a high quality virtual tour video of the home’s interior and exterior to include in your online listings. This allows potential buyers, no matter where they are in the world, to view the best features of the home, and get a feel for the lay out and size of the property.

158 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, NSW is a great example of a well executed virtual tour video and gallery. 

howtosellluxuryhomes_PointPiper

Networking, staging, profiling, exclusive showings, realistic pricing and multi-channel marketing are the six essentials you need to cover to successfully sell a multi-million dollar property. Are there other tactics you've had success with in the past? Feel free to contribute below.

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. 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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