It’s my catch cry at the moment to our Sales Associates – Are you having Courageous Conversations? In challenging times of real estate when the elephant is in the room, you need to speak about it! Wherever you sit in the process – agent, seller or buyer the important conversations are not the easy ones.
You will have read a variety of commentary from our media on the state of our property market, values down, volumes down, cost of servicing a mortgage up. While it’s easy to put a negative spin for click bait purposes, and not tell the full picture within property stories for effect, the facts are still the facts. On the flip side, many of my peers in the world of real estate talk of not focusing on the negatives, seek out the positives and spin the commentary the other way in order to keep our people and our market upbeat and moving. I espouse telling it how it is, very dependent on circumstance of the customer, the property and the dynamics that are at play at a given time.
At a micro level I know there will be sales people / agents who will spin the positives to the extreme, including using old sales statistics, or conveniently not including the most current sales, and low and behold value a prospective vendors property on the upside in order to inflate the appraised value, inflate expectation and win the listing. Did I say that? Surely professional sales people wouldn’t do such a thing? I guess the key word is professional. Appraisals are not an exact science, so we need to accept that in a declining market we are not going to get it right all the time, but unlike the 2021 rising market where if one undercooked it the result was generally one of elation anyway, the result at the end of the sales process in 2023 could be like eating sour grapes. If a seller has an expectation somewhat higher than market reality they need to know!
In our sales and training meetings we talk of ensuring we are the trusted advisor, if the advice is “don’t bring your home to the market” – give it. Knowledge and expertise from your salesperson, their colleagues, management and the support available to the customer is fundamental in selecting who you work with amongst a myriad of real estate companies and agents. No time is more important than now, as the market continues to be unpredictable. While it is important that your salesperson is ‘nice’ and communicates well, sometimes nice on its own doesn’t sell a home or maximise value. Only when you have knowledge and expertise can you put a strategy together for a specific vendor and home, in order to then implement it effectively.
Maximising value comes down to a number of factors, including choosing the right method of sale that’s fit for the property and fit for the purchasers most likely to have interest and seeking such a home. A salesperson who is a one trick pony might not have the skillset. Detailing the home, the specifications and considering defects before they are discovered in the selling phase by purchasers and become barriers to the sale, or barriers to optimising sales value is vital. Conversations about contentious building materials must be had. Perhaps the most important skillset currently is the art of negotiation, and it is probably one of the biggest gaps in many agents repertoire. Negotiation is not always meeting in the middle! Sales methods and negotiations is a vast topic, and I’ll leave it for next time.
Managing Director of Central Region
Our people are the best in the business and are motivated by securing the best possible price for your property. When you work with our agents, you will receive service like no other, and a tailored marketing plan to achieve the best possible outcome.