Agent Advisor Blog


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A guide to good open house signage

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A guide to good open house signage

When you go to all the effort of holding an open for inspection on the weekend, the signage you use plays an important role in promoting and drawing traffic to your event.

After marketing the listing online, in local newspapers and to your client database, the last thing you want is nobody coming through on inspection day.

So, here are our tips for getting the most from your open house signage and maximising the potential for open house success.

Open for inspection: Sat 16 Jul, 11:00am-11:30am,  83 Cole Street, Williamstown, VIC

Open for inspection: Sat 16 Jul, 11:00am-11:30am, 83 Cole Street, Williamstown, VIC

At a glance a good open for inspection sign will A.I.D. (Attract, Inform and Direct) passers-by towards your open house. Follow these three steps to make the most of your open for inspection signage:

Attract

Signs need to clearly read ‘Open House’ or ‘Open for Inspection’ to avoid any confusion. You want people that pass by to easily discern that you’re holding an open for inspection that day and that you’re not simply advertising that the home is up for sale or lease. So ‘For Sale’ or ‘For Lease’ shouldn't appear on your open house signage and be reserved for use on the sign at the front of the property.

Consider displaying the price of the home to attract more serious buyers to have a look through your open. This will also help to filter out nosy neighbours who just want to find out the price by going through and those buyers passing by who can’t afford the home.

Inform

Your open house sign should state the running time of your inspection, so buyers and renters in the area can easily plan out their day. You want to aim to get your signs set up ideally on the morning of your event, to avoid people fronting up too early, prevent sign theft and allow for passers-by to consider coming back for a look later on.

It’s also a good idea to include your name, office website and mobile number so any interested buyers that miss out on the viewing can check out your listings on your website and get in touch to arrange an alternative viewing time.

Direct

The primary purposes of your open house signs are to capture drive-by traffic and direct registered serious buyers to the property. You want to place your directional open house signs at the entry to the suburb (if there is one), then use ‘keep driving- straight ahead’ directional signs at high traffic crossroads leading to your listing and then a couple in the street itself pointing out the entry way to the property.

On the final couple of directional signs add in helium balloons for increased visibility and so buyers know they're on the right track. Also think about adding the property address in large block letters, so passers-by know exactly which home it is and don’t go barging into neighbouring homes by accident.

Good open house signage can be the difference between a worthwhile Saturday afternoon and walking away with no leads. While we realise signs don’t directly sell a home, their position and format can definitely help to draw people in for a look and a chat. You never know when a curious neighbour could turn into your next listing or a passing dog walker might be looking to downsize.

For more ways to up your inspection game check out these five easy ways to draw more traffic to your open house

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Tweed Heads real estate for sale, and properties to rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely 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!

 

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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Feature Premier Agent: 5 minutes with John Paranchi

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Feature Premier Agent: 5 minutes with John Paranchi

This week our first Feature Premier Agent John Paranchi from McGrath Hunters Hill shares his predictions on the Sydney property market for the next 12 months, three key sales strategies and some advice for agents starting out.

What trends can we expect to see in the Sydney property market in 2016? 

Overall I think we will see steady growth across most parts of Sydney. Of course, some markets will perform better than others. The markets that I service, including Gladesville, Tennyson Point and Putney, will see reasonable growth over the next 12 months. The main reason for this is the relative lack of properties available compared to the demand combined with great amenities on offer, like waterfront parks, great schools, several major shopping centres nearby and easy access to Sydney’s CBD.

With an outstanding track record for exceptional results and speedy sales (in FY14 John sold 65 homes worth almost $90 million with an average of 31 days on the market) what three strategies do you find are key to maintaining this?

1. Positioning and presentation: You need to get an accurate assessment of the property as today's buyers are very savvy to what's under/over priced. It is crucial to get the price range right up front, then go from there to put the right strategy together and get the presentation of the property right.

2. Meticulous follow-ups: Call your hot buyers before the property listing goes live. It’s so important not to be lazy in following up with hot and old leads. Over the years we've all met hundreds of buyers to whom we promise to call if anything suitable comes along that meets their requirements. In real estate it is so important to make good of this promise with follow up calls. Through continuous follow ups you will gain homebuyers trust over time which will make it easier for you to negotiate with them in the future. Which also in turn means a better outcome for you and your vendor down the track.

3. Communication: Consistent communication with both buyers and vendors during the campaign is key. You should call your vendors daily and meet with them weekly to review progress. It’s also a good idea to talk to your contract holders consistently and try to meet with bidders before the auction.

With over 24 years experience as an agent, is there any advice you would pass on to a new agent?

Apart from working extremely hard and following up with every potential buyer, I would definitely recommend seeking out a mentor when you’re first starting out in the industry. Buddy up with a colleague, which does not necessarily mean someone from the same office, to help you through the process and help to find your feet.

What do you find most challenging about working in real estate? How do you and your team work together to overcome these challenges?

I think the toughest thing about working in real estate is the emotions, both on buyer and seller sides. For most people buying or selling a home is one of the most emotional transactions you'll ever make, so we need to relate to and empathise with our clients and be mindful of their emotions. The best way to go about this is through consistent and transparent communication throughout the selling process.

Why do you list with Homely and what do you like about the Premier Agent product? 

The reasons I list with Homely is because it's clean, easy and fast to use. What I like about the Premier Agent product is that a potential client can really dissect the performance of any agent. They can easily see what an agent has sold up to three years back, and the map listings feature is a powerful way to showcase how active you are in your core area.

View John's Premier Agent profile here or take a look at one of his current listings on Homely at 48 Melba Drive, East Ryde, NSW.

Learn more about Homely Premier Agent or sign up!

Agent bio:

John Paranchi is a Sales Agent with McGrath Hunters Hill. Consistently ranked at the top of McGrath’s 650+ agent network, ranked as high as Number 6 in Real Estate Business Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Agents’ and awarded The Number 1 Sales Agent in the Australian Real Estate Awards. A Partner at McGrath Hunters Hill, John has an outstanding track record for exceptional sales results in any market conditions. With 24 years of local sales experience, John has lived in the Ryde/Gladesville area all his life and has an unbeatable knowledge of the local market. He has set suburb records in every one of his specialty areas of Gladesville, Putney, Tennyson Point and Ryde – a feat none of his competitors can match.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney and right across Australia. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

 

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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8 step guide to quality marketing in property management

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8 step guide to quality marketing in property management

Traditionally the goal of advertising and marketing a rental property has been to get it leased, but if done well you can leverage your exposure to help win more business for your agency.

Why is quality marketing in property management important?

Highlighting the importance of quality marketing to your landlord will not only assist them in getting their property leased quickly and for potentially more money, it will ultimately give your agency free exposure to new clients.

Pushing paid marketing and advertising on your landlord will not only maximise your profit on each management, but also help you lease properties quicker and give you a superior position in the marketplace. It’s also important to remind landlords that all the marketing and advertising expenses incurred while leasing their property is an immediate tax deduction come tax time (ATO Guide for rental property owners 2015).

With interest rates at an all time low many tenants are purchasing investment properties to make the most of the tax benefits from renting them out, and then renting a property to live in for themselves. That’s evidence enough to make sure you put effort into your marketing and advertising to impress anyone viewing your ads as they could potentially become your new landlords.

With the internet at our fingertips it's important to showcase your client’s home in its best light so you can attract as many potential tenants to the inspections as possible and also to avoid being outshone by your competitors.

Maximise your property listings and agency's exposure with quality advertising and marketing with the below eight recommendations:

1.  Professional photography.

Gone are the days of taking a few photos on your digital camera and hoping they’ll attract quality tenants, as computer savvy consumers are now expecting more from real estate portals and agents.

While they say kitchens sell homes, in the rental world professional photography is the key to attracting plenty of people to inspections and getting a property leased to quality tenants quickly. Good quality photos will make the property look bigger, lighter and show it off in its best light!

Based on a standard three bedroom home in Melbourne’s South East on homely.com.au, a property with professional photography compared with basic low quality photography had 75 per cent more views on homely.com.au than one with lesser quality photography.

2. For lease board.

Erecting a for lease board not only makes it easier for potential tenants to find the property, it's also free advertising for your agency; especially when there is a leased sticker on the board!

3. Written copy.

Agents are known for long winded written description essays in ads, but these days professional photography should be doing all the talking for you.

Instead of rewriting Ben-Hur simply stick to an easy to read format that people will actually be able to get through. Include three paragraphs selling the area, dot points highlighting the property's main features and then two sentences of any extra inclusions or benefits the property or area might have.

4. Social media.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media are great tools to market and advertise your properties, but don’t over do it by spamming your followers with just property listings. Instead share quality and relatable content, with only the occasional property listing to encourage likes, sharing and ultimately to win you more business.

Having a ‘listing of the week’ post is a great way to get attention for a property you’re struggling to rent and attract potential tenants from amongst your followers. Plus your client will love the extra exposure.

5. Marketing handouts.

While physical brochures and rental lists might be seen as old school, they’re a great way for potential tenants to remember the property they’ve inspected and encourage them to investigate other properties your agency may have on the books.

Giving each person who comes through your inspections something with your contact and agency details on it ensures they can easily contact you again in the future.

6. Database and email marketing.

Collecting contact details from anyone that inspects your properties is vital to help grow your database so you can stay in touch perhaps using a monthly newsletter to stay front of mind.

Sending a weekly rental list to your database of potential tenants will be helpful to those looking for a new home and help build an ongoing relationship with clients who may one day turn out to be landlords or vendors for your agency.

7. Virtual inspection videos.

A video walk through on your ads is a great way to showcase your property listings and really show off their best features in a way that a photograph cannot.

Many sales agents have been using video walk throughs on their property ads for a while now, but by using video walk throughs in your rental listings it could help set you and your agency apart from your competition, which will impress potential clients looking at your property ads.

8. Marketing your success.

Property management can sometimes be a thankless job, but when you’re praised make sure you shout it from the rooftops! Advertise it on social media, in listing presentations, record your clients’ video testimonials for your social media platforms and website, or even put it on a big sign outside your office.

Homely Premier Agent is also a revolutionary way for you to share your success with potential clients. It showcases all your reviews along with a success map of all your recent leased properties to help you cement yourself as an expert in your area, which will ultimately help to win you more business.

We hope these eight steps will guide you in successfully leveraging your marketing and advertising efforts to generate more business for yourself and your agency.

 

Author bio:

Rory Cook has worked in the real estate and property management industry as a Property Manager and a Business Development Manager for over four years. He currently is a Business Development professional at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website Homely.com.au

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney and right across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

 

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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4 things successful agents do every morning

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4 things successful agents do every morning

Like brushing your teeth and drinking your morning cup of coffee, there are certain morning routines and rituals that the most successful and productive agents have in common.

As the old saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and a successful real estate business most definitely can’t be built in a day either. So it’s important to remember every seemingly small admin task, blog post idea and every follow up call you make puts you one step closer to further business growth and sets you on the path to success.

We all know that effectively running a real estate career and agency lies in a mountain of details, procedures and daily tasks. The key to having a successful one is to give particular focus and regular attention to the four following areas that are the life blood of your business.

What four things do successful agents do every morning?     

1. Set and review goals.

A great way to start the day is to sit down and spend some quality time thoughtfully planning out your daily strategy. Note down what you want to achieve for that day and set very specific achievable goals for yourself. You could use an old fashioned pen and paper to-do list or time management app (like Wunderlist, Toggl or MyLifeOrganized) to prioritise tasks (whatever works best for you). On your to-do list decide how much time you’ll spend on each task based on the time you have available and the urgency of each task. Don’t forget to schedule in some buffer time for interruptions and coffee breaks.

It can also be a good idea to make time each week, perhaps on a Friday or Monday morning, to review your longer term goals and projects, and to track the progress you’re making. This way you’ll either feel satisfied that you’re making progress or you’ll know you have to dedicate more time to the project the following week.

2. Tackle admin work.

The huge amount of mundane day-to-day tasks needed to keep a real estate business running smoothly can seem overwhelming at times. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get the boring things out of the way and get on with your day. Using each morning to chip away at some admin tasks can not only keep the huge pile of paperwork on your desk at bay but also helps to remind you of other tasks that may have been put on the back-burner that need your attention.

Returning every email, phone, text or website enquiry that came in overnight is one of the first things you should do. Next, attack the paperwork, such as contracts, agreements and rental records, then file them away in the appropriate file. Lastly, jot down your meetings, upcoming open houses, inspections or phone calls you have for the day and prepare whatever you need for each one to go off without a hitch.

3. Focus on lead generation.

You should always make some time, no matter how brief, to focus on lead generation in the morning. Take a second to organise your database. Even if you only update 10 records that day you’re still making progress. You could try reaching out to homeowners with expired or private sale listings and see if they need your assistance. Alternatively, take 10-15 minutes to reconnect with an old client. See what their current situation is or if they know anybody in need of your services to up your referral business.

4. Spend a moment on marketing.

The most successful agents make time every day to work on promoting themselves and their business. In the morning, take a moment to review your marketing strategy and update your tactics as required. For instance, you could update your agent profile on Homely by refreshing your sold properties, writing a review for your suburb, contributing to a Q&A topic or connecting with your followers. Other marketing tasks could include planning out your social media updates for the month and ad spend. Finalising the design for your marketing collateral and business cards. Brainstorming ideas for your blog. Updating the information on your website by adding in neighbourhood events, info for upcoming open houses, refreshing your listing photos and updating the sold properties.

Getting into the habit of planning out your day and tackling a few of the above tasks every morning will help to boost your efficiency and productivity for the rest of the day. Developing a business focused morning routine helps to bring in a steady stream of leads and has a great effect on your businesses growth.

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely team

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

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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Feature agent: 5 minutes with Ben Munro Smith

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Feature agent: 5 minutes with Ben Munro Smith

This week we had a quick chat with Ben Munro Smith from Belle Property Balmain to get some insights into Sydney's property market, advice on what it takes to be a successful real estate agent and the best spots in Balmain worth stopping for a bite.

What kinds of trends are you seeing in the property market in Sydney’s Inner West at the moment?

People are looking further afield than we have previously seen. More and more people are choosing key lifestyle suburbs and then beginning the search for the perfect house. As an agent, this is fantastic because it means we get to work with people from all over Sydney. The Balmain Peninsula has so much appeal to Sydneysiders, we make most people’s lists!

What do you find most challenging about your job?

One of the biggest challenges about working in real estate and certainly one of the things that makes me love it, is that you always need to be ‘on’. It doesn’t matter how many opens you’ve had that day or how many properties you’ve sold that year – it is absolutely imperative to make sure you are representing yourself and your clients in the best possible way.

I’ll never forget what my grandfather told me when I got my first job, you need to treat each customer as if it was your first for the day. I’ve tried to take that attitude with me to every job I’ve had since.

In what ways do you leverage social media for marketing and lead generation?

Social media is a great opportunity to engage with the local community. For me, this platform isn’t all about selling, it’s about being part of the community, supporting local businesses and connecting with people. 

It has also been great for introducing me to clients which I may not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I think where social media helps an agent stand out is that it shows the personality behind the agent. Real estate is a people game. A brand might get you through a door but ultimately a client will decide to go with you (or not!) based on you as a person. Social media helps the community get to know you and in return helps you to understand them.

One of the other great parts of being active on social media is that it gives you real time feedback from your clients. I have asked for feedback on new marketing ideas on social media and had some great responses. I’ve then been able to use this information for client sales campaigns. This year I signed up my first vendor from social media and I’ve had special 'follower' property previews which have helped to provide my client (the vendor) with real market feedback on price and the property itself.  

Do you have any specific strategies or tactics you use to most effectively manage your time and follow ups?

Time management, like in any job, is something you really need to remain in control of. Being organised and having a systemised approach to each day is so important. For me, that means everything goes into my diary and at the end of each day I put together a plan of what I’m going to achieve for the following day. Keeping on top of this means I can see where I have space if something comes up and it also allows me to track my day to ensure I achieve everything I set out to. It might sound a little extreme, but it certainly works. The saying goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail, and there is some real truth in that. 

What do you find most appealing and useful about homely.com.au?

Homely is a great resource for agents, buyers and the community. It gives something back to all these groups which really makes it stand out against the competition. Personally I love reading their blog for tips and industry articles. These are great to share with my clients and database.

One of my favourite features is the Q&A section. It’s great being able to answer questions and share information about my local area as well as having a platform to ask the community for some advice. 

As an agent it is great to have a free platform to showcase my client’s homes for sale, especially one that is easy for buyers to use. For my business, having the ability to display listings on such a beautiful platform really helps me to stand out from other agents.

Do you have a go-to restaurant or café in Balmain?

We really are spoiled for choice in Balmain when it comes to food. All of the local café and restaurant owners are so passionate about their offering, it is tough to choose just one!

I go past Little Ethel’s most mornings on my way to work and Jamie the owner makes a mean cup of coffee, so they see a lot of me. Tom at The Lodge, just opposite my office, hosts a great spot for a drink at the end of the week and Kim from Wilhelmina’s Bar organises an amazing monthly seasonal dinner which I love to attend. I could really go on and on, there are so many great options!

Check out one of Ben's latest listings on Homely here

 

Agent bio:

Ben has extensive experience in sales and real estate having worked in the property industry for 10 years. Specialising in homes on the Balmain peninsula, Ben share’s the same enthusiasm for this part of Sydney as his clients do. He works with Belle Property Balmain, attracted to its powerful brand and broad marketing reach which assists him in attracting as many buyers as possible for his clients’ homes. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn or Twitter

ben_munro_smith

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

 

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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4 ideas to attract and engage with potential clients

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4 ideas to attract and engage with potential clients

Knowing how to attract and engage with new and potential clients can seem to be an overwhelming and just plain difficult task at times. The most successful agents continuously look for and try out new methods and activities to generate more leads, build up their brand, and engage with potential business.

We've come up with four new tactics to try out to not only gain new leads and more business but also to build up your brand and reputation as the go-to agent in your neighbourhood. 

Showcase your listings

After you add a new listing to your site and Homely, add images of the most impressive and appealing features to your Facebook or Pinterest boards. You could try creating and updating different kinds of albums to show off different styles, features and amenities. Such as newly renovated kitchens, spacious bedrooms or outdoor entertainment areas. Then you can share the album or board with clients that mention they are looking for that particular feature in their next home. Potential clients will love to see the interesting ways in which you'll be promoting their property and drumming up interest.

Start conversations online

A great way to scope out and engage with potential clients is to contribute to online discussions and forums about your local neighbourhood and community. Jump on Homely’s Q&A forum and start answering questions and conversing with people that are curious about your area. This allows you to further build up your reputation as a local area expert and its real estate by sharing your knowledge and advice with a new audience.

Also, consider adding your own questions to Q&A forums that you find clients frequently ask about moving to your neighbourhood and the real estate market there. This will be beneficial for your brand and business when people are researching your suburb and they frequently come across your name and useful advice in posts.

It can also be helpful to set up email alerts on Google for specific keywords about your neighbourhood, popular places in the area and surrounding suburbs. This way you can be notified when discussions about your region begin and seize the chance to contribute advice and information swiftly when the forum is running hot.

Encourage ratings and reviews

Can you think of the last time you bought a new product or used a service without first researching it online and reading customer reviews? Most smart consumers couldn’t and home buyers and sellers are no different. They will be thoroughly checking you out online before they contact you. Most people will choose their real estate agent based on the experiences and feedback of other home buyers in reviews they read on the net.

Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth advertising. So it is important that when clients look at your online presence they see evidence of satisfied customers and the good work you’re doing. If you don’t have many reviews encourage current and past clients to post reviews on your website and social media channels. Some agents even go as far as incentivising clients to write reviews with gift certificates.

When requesting reviews ask clients to include specific and detailed information about why it was so good to work with you, rather than just saying you did a great job. Potential clients want to gain a better understanding about how and why you do a great job. Also keep in mind that responding to reviews publicly is a worthwhile habit to get into. Consumers really like to see that personal touch from you and knowing that you are accessible and active online.

encourageratings.leadgeneration

Neighbourhood networking

Join local organisations and clubs, such as the PTA at your child's school, Scouts or Girl Guides Australia, Rotary Club or Meals on Wheels, coach at AFL Auskick or volunteer at community events to network with people in your neighbourhood. You’ll not only meet people who might be looking to sell in your area, locals often know of other family members and friends looking to move into their area and connect them to you. Building relationships with locals is also a good chance to build up your brand and reputation as an active, engaged and informed member of your community and the go-to agent for real estate queries and enquiries.

volunteers

We hope these four ways of attracting and engaging with potential clients come in handy for building up your reputation and generating new business. You can start by sharing your expert advice with our online community today by writing a suburb review or answering someone's burning question

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

 

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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