Tom Mansbridge, Account Manager for mio has worked with Estate Agents for six years and, in that time spoken to thousands of agents all over the UK, from market leaders to start ups, from high street brands to hybrids. This has provided him with a unique insight into industry and the best practices of those most successful agencies.
With widespread reports of a shortage of new stock, Tom has shared some ideas about what you can do to today to help find more instruction opportunities in your local market…
1. Hunt secondary instructions
Buyers aren’t hard to find in the current market but there may be some unhappy vendors out there open to instructing another agent. Use the data from the portals to help you identify these opportunities and run targeted marketing campaigns.
Just filter the data and search to find the following…
Sole Agency Agreements – Properties new to market over 12 weeks previously. If not sold, these will be coming to the end of typical 12-week sole agency agreement. Why not offer them an alternative to help get them sold?
Fixed fee agents – Why not search for typical fixed fee agents and offer their vendors a refund of their fee if they sell through you? Factor that cost into your fee of course, but it removes the commitment the vendor might feel having paid up front.
Price Reductions – This means a motivated seller and potentially an unhappy one if they’re not achieving the promised asking price. Why not approach them about what you can do to help get their property sold?
New to Market – Why not be proactive and put your brand in front of them when they first come to market? Welcome them on to the market, offer advice & support. If they don’t sell through that agent, make sure you’re where they’ll want to turn to next.
Top Tip: If you want to confirm the address information, you can match the photos to those on Sold House price data which documents the full address. It’s an easy way to get address information to target certain properties.
2. Incentivise your team
You no doubt incentivise your team to sell properties, but do you incentivise them to find new instructions? Why not provide an added incentive for your team to get them focused on finding motivated sellers in your market!
I had an example of an agent that I suggested this to and when I contacted them just four weeks later, they had one the best months of new listings they’d had for several years. It made a huge difference, changing their team’s mindset to deliver what the business needed.
3. Email Lead Reports
How often do you look at lead reports from your portals? This was always my “go to” to highlight the value of email leads and potential opportunities agents often missed and what they might have needed to have done in order to extract the value.
Vendors and investors aren’t forthcoming with their position and so these opportunities aren’t just going to present themselves… It’s on the skills and experience of agent themselves to extract the value through effective lead handling.
You can download these reports from portals and filter the data to find opportunities such as…
- Buyer enquiries from buyers living in your postcodes – Potential instructions
- Buyers enquiring on typical investment properties – Lettings opportunities
- Buyers enquiring from outside of area – Investors/Landlords or potential referral work
- All buyer enquires could also be financial services opportunities (get some of those added referral fees!)
4. Proactively drive referrals
You’ll no doubt be seeking testimonials from customers anyway, but why not ask them to refer family or friends? You could provide an incentive for referrals too. For example, if they came to market could you provide £50 worth of vouchers? Most agents I know would be happy to pay that for an instruction, but it’s worth discussing with your team whether you could offer more (or less)
You can also ask them whether they know anyone thinking of selling that might need some advice? Or friends who might already be on the market and need help to get their property sold? Whatever it might be, if they can introduce someone that comes to market, they could benefit from some vouchers to maybe help buy some paint to decorate their new home.
5. Send a Valuation Day letter
This is about delivering a letter to your target areas (ideally where you might have existing board count) and offering vendors an opportunity to have a valuation of their property and let them know what it might now be worth…
Then let them know you’ll be in the areas between a certain date/time as you’ll be in the area valuing neighbouring properties. You can also provide them with an update on the housing market, plus any other professional advice they might need.
As you know, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re a local property expert who can support them in their decision as whether now is the right time for them to move home – so no hard sell, otherwise you lose that element of trust.
Whether they come to market or not, if you’ve provided them with a positive experience they’re no doubt going to share this experiences with friends or neighbours – or if they decide to come to market at a later date, you’ve built that relationship with them, so they’ll turn to you when they need to sell.