Preparing for the Spring Market

Lucas Cannan: Welcome to the Think Tank Live episode number three. Today we're going be talking about the spring selling season and for those who don't know we're only six short weeks away so with me to talk about the spring season is Brian Cannan and Andrew Coulson from Think Real Estate. Hello gentlemen.

Andrew Coulson: Hello Lucas

Brian Cannan: Afternoon

Lucas: Not far away are we?

Andrew: It'll be very, very soon upon us.

Brian: Yeah I've been wandering around to offices during the training and we've been talking about the spring selling season and some offices are really preparing themselves to really launch themselves into this spring season and some offices well they need to be thinking about it maybe a little bit more. tonight we want to get if you're not thinking about it we want to get you thinking about it.

Andrew: Yeah it's time for that little bit of a change of thought instead of focusing on what's happening today what our buyer feedback is or response and those sorts of things we need to start to change our there focus shift our focus to something that's more positive energetic so when we hit the spring market in six weeks’ time we've got stock, we're ready to go which is going to give us a real good roll into the summer market.

Brian: Yes, we all know that it we want to get on the cycle early if you get on the cycle early, you'll be having those open for inspections and from the open for inspections you'll be getting more leads for more listings and this is why this is so important

Lucas: It's all about momentum there's there's no doubt about that and there is an opportunity for those who are here working away over the next few weeks isn't there. Brian we only talked about it today in terms of the email click rate, weren't we.

Brian: Yeah, we were and we were looking at it and over a third of emails that we're sending out where we being sent back out of office. Some of the top agents are seeming to be holidaying in the Greek Islands or over in Italy and enjoying themselves very much at the moment and you've got an opportunity while they're away for you to try and get some stock.

Andrew: Exactly right and it's about setting those plans in place getting everybody energized and getting ourselves in a position and get some listings.

Lucas: So what can we do first and foremost whether you're an agent you're maybe a principal in an office maybe you're you know working within a franchise whatever it may be what can we do to get ourselves prepared and to get everyone involved getting ready for this.

Brian: Let's go everyone excited let's get a plan in place we're going to get excited we're going to put some rewards in place we're going to be able to show our owners some different ideas and concepts so they want to list with us and not our opposition we be able to win the listings and show them why they should be coming with us.

Andrew: Yeah, I think it doesn't matter whether you're an assistant whether you're a marketer with your sales person whether you're in charge of a small team or you're the principal looking after the whole group. We need to get everybody involved get them excited about here's what we're going to do this is what we're going to do to get new business here's some ideas that might change it up a little bit get a little bit of variety out there and get us a kick start on our competitors.

Brian: Yeah you know if you made twenty calls a day for the next six weeks that's 600 calls. If you've made 40 calls a day obviously that's 1200 calls. I mean let's get some plans in place that we may get in a group twice a day or once a day and make the calls. Let's record them, let's see what sort of results we're getting in the person is getting the best results let's give them some rewards so we can be ready and have stock or properties in our pipeline ready to go.

Andrew: It may be that you're planning your social media program for the next few weeks may be an opportunity to get a videographer in and start to do some preparation for your marketing and all those sorts of things so again we're ready and prepared rather than waiting for that spring to hit and then we start thinking what we're doing and what our competitors are doing.

Brian: That's a very good point Andrew the press aren't talking about the spring selling season yet but it's not going to be long before they are so let's do it before they do it.

Andrew: Yeah get that spring talk in their minds get everybody energized around it and make things happen

Lucas: And we want to tail tailor our dialogue around what the market has been saying whether it be in our social media videos that we're putting out to the marketplace or if it's what we're saying a listing presentation now we know we've heard across all of our auctions and now all of the agents are saying that the buyers and the sellers or the future sellers are saying they're worried about that they're not going to be able to buy, there's not enough to buy so what would out, what should, what could our message be?

Brian: Yeah they're worried that if they sell they're not going to buy and they could miss the market. So we need some strategies around giving the owner some solutions around that so one strategy would be you could sell in a Spring Market put an extended settlement on which gives you more time to find the property that you want and that that could make them ease and feel easier to be able bring their property on to the marketplace because we know that there's going to be more properties come on during the spring market so if they put an extended settlement they'll have plenty of time to be able to look around to find the property that they want.

Andrew: A lot of vendors don't recognize the timelines, the time it takes to get their property ready to market, to book the marketing, prepare, get the place looking its best, so running through the time cycle of when they're wanting to see it hit the market, when they're going to time these different activities in is a good way to demonstrate when we need to get started on preparing for that.

Brian: Yeah I mean some vendors might say to you I need three or four weeks to prepare my property and do minor repairs, declutter, and then you might take two weeks to be able to have everything you need it ready for the marketing and the photography and the videos so that's somewhere between five and six weeks, perfect for spring!

Andrew: Exactly right and don't forget the "what's in it for them", I mean the fact that they're going to be sold they're into a buying market when more stock does come in they're not competing in that market they've got the jump on them they've already sold, they're ready to go out and negotiate the next transaction they've got the benefits of getting in early.

Brian: Yeah, the real benefit is that we know properties going to come on. If they come on a little bit earlier than the competition of the other properties is not going to be there, so it's going to help maximize their price.

Lucas: And then be able to buy when more properties come on the market so it reduces the risk for the seller, so it's all about getting that message across the owners on how to capitalize on being a first mover in the spring market and helping them understand that being a first mover is preparing now working on you know your handyman your stylist you videographer your photography or getting that all ready for the first of September.

Andrew: And your scripts and dialogues, I was chatting with an agent the other day explaining him about Roger Federer just wins Wimbledon great tennis player but he doesn't just turn up at the game and play, he spends more time practicing than he does on the court and yet a lot of agents sometimes turn up at the appraisal that's their straight into the job and they're hit and miss whether they get it. We need to spend a lot of time in role-playing practicing our dialogue making sure that it's right so that we're ready to overcome those objections.

Brian: Federer also has the best tools to work with and so let's have a look at the tools that we work with maybe it's time to review our pre-listing kit maybe it's time to look at our listing kit and make sure it's completely up to date and also maybe as an office it's time to think about a spring campaign for the office that we can offer to the vendor something different than everybody else is doing but an idea that we get is that if you are hoping to list 10 listings say let's do an in-room auction, and your average marketing campaign is $5,000 that means your office is going to spend $50,000 in a four week period to generate more buyers for the properties that you have now that is a huge advantage to your prospective vendor. Let's think about that again $50,000 is going to be spent in your marketplace to draw as many buyers as possible to all the properties that you're going to be submitting to auction that night they'd want to be a part of that and they want to be a part of that they want to list with you.

Lucas: And be in one of those 10 properties. So when would you suggest be a good time to maybe look to aim to set that auction date?

Brian: Yeah you could do it I would think late September early October. Have a look at how many properties you're looking at listing over next month and a pipeline from everyone and say everyone in the office can you list one or two auctions in the next you know four to six weeks. Then set the date four weeks after that and but let's show the owner what we're doing, let's have a presentation of the type of marketing that's going to happen and $50,000 going to be spent combined by all these properties and all these owners to generate more buyers than ever before.

Andrew: It's about thinking outside the box I mean whether it be a corporate or an office the spring auction could be a Saturday auction that's their options that are available.

Lucas: And exactly right, thinking outside the box there are offices that we know who hold the auctions at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning in rooms just so happens that their office is in the local marketplace in the local shops we're able to open their doors have the auction there they put a speaker on the street so people in the local area who are walking, getting there Saturday morning coffee, you're able to move in there and grab their attention by them hearing the auctions, seeing that the buyers are already there and getting that brand exposure so you're certainly able to think outside the box and be a bit creative in this space.

Brian: It's worked very well for them, they've got listings from doing that. It's worked very well for them.

Lucas: And the other thing we've got to talk about is the clearance rate right now, I mean it currently sits at 70% and we spoke about it before we want to focus on what we can control there's no doubt about that. 70% is still a fairly strong clearance rate.

Brian: A couple of weeks ago I was saying you know we're at 85% and that was unsustainable yeah 85% clearance rate is an unsustainable clearance rate you're on a sizzling market just going up and up and up and up and you know we're getting record prices every Saturday and record prices on every area, every Saturday, now that's not happening at the moment but a 70% clearance rate is an exceptional clearance rate you know there's people who've watching this have been working in a 40-50% clearance rate and that's when you're now getting to a tough market it's not a tough market it's just that we've been used to an 85% clearance rate so we need to focus on that.

Lucas: Tougher.

Brian: It is a little bit yeah I agree with that but it's not a tough market at all yeah it might do a little bit more work with your buyers and that's what you’ve got to focus on get yourself ready for the spring auction in the spring campaign and you're going to need to think about how you going to market it to the buyers and target them and work a little bit harder around that but there are sales to be made.

Lucas: There's no doubt about that. The big message here is you don't want to be the person, or you don't want to the agent playing catch-up, once spring is already here we want to put a plan in place now a prospecting plan as we mentioned, even give yourself an incentive if you're the principal put an incentive in there for the team, if you're an agent who has who has agents working underneath you put something in there for your team if you're a solo agent make a set a goal for yourself that at the end of the spring quarter if you get to where you need to be you incentivise yourself, you need to do something along those lines. Think outside the box be creative.

Brian: The other thing you've got to be looking at it is looking at the auxiliaries so talk to the people who you need to be using like the handyman go to your local nursery and say look Spring's coming you know can we do a deal for my sellers so we can make the colour in the gardens looks absolutely beautiful as they walk in, think about those sort of things think about giving buyers a coffee voucher at their local coffee shop so they can sit down and think about the property that they've just seen just little things that make the difference so you get the next listing as well but they have to be ready your handyman, are they ready? They got enough time how about your videographer and your photographer you know if they start getting busy with other agents how much time are they going to have for you, talk to your auctioneer, I mean if they start getting busy have they got the backup for you and you've really got to think that because as you expand and try and get more listings you don't want to be having difficulty of getting the people you need to get this ready for it.

Andrew: It's about creating this positive mindset it's moving forward sort of contagious mindset that hopefully it's going to affect everybody within the office and everybody's getting excited and hopefully we'll see the results start to filter through.

Lucas: Getting that energy up in that office.

Brian: Let's get excited for spring, let's get excited that turnover is going to pick up, let's get excited and you want to make sure that you're part of that.

Lucas: No doubt. We hope that helps everyone out there, we're looking forward to seeing everyone have a great spring and certainly reach whatever goals they may be. On behalf of the whole team here at Think Real Estate - Brian, Andrew and myself thank you very much for attending. In our next Think Tank episode, we're going to be looking at auction strategies and auction scenarios especially handling the tougher auction scenarios. So, tune in then we'll let you know when that's going to be. Until then talk soon and have a great time.