Successful agents know that it’s not a matter of how much stock you have, but the quality of the stock in your portfolio.
Here are some of the questions you should ask before you take on a new listing and a ‘pulse check’ you should run regularly over your current listing stock.
As a general rule of thumb your listings should pass in five of these 10 categories to qualify as “healthy stock”.
1 Marketing/VPA. It’s hard to sell a secret therefore there must be some measure of marketing with every listing, even better, marketing that is paid for by the seller. If you wish, you can even measure how desirable the listing is, in this category, by further measuring the levels of vendor paid advertising (sign only, internet with a sign, pictorial etc).
2 Sellers price expectation. You need to find out from the seller how they arrived at their expectation of price. Do they have a clear understanding about the current market? There’s no point in taking a listing from a seller who is not in touch with the market or at least willing to listen to your feedback. Having said that, at the point of listing, most sellers want more than their property is worth and your job is to get them to accept what must seem to them to be the unacceptable. How long will it will take for you to achieve that goal?
3 Sellers past experiences/history. Has the property been on the market before? There’s nothing wrong with taking a listing that has been with another agent, even a property that has already been to auction and hasn’t sold. There is every chance that the seller will be ready for your fresh approach, but make sure that any bad history of performance doesn’t stop you from securing a listing on the basis – and with the tools you need – to make sure that you can achieve a sale.
4 Sellers motivation. This is a term that is grossly overused by agents and in some cases totally disregarded at the point of listing. The simple fact is, that if the sellers are not motivated (testing the market), then what’s the point in taking the listing. Let them waste someone else’s time. Here is a tip – the best way to check motivation is to ask for a contribution to your marketing effort.
5 Type of listing. The ultimate goal is to achieve an Auction or Tender listing. Anything less than an exclusive listing wouldn’t qualify for a tick in this category.
6 Presentation. It is hard to achieve a sale, let alone a sale at a good price, if the sellers are not prepared to help you with a property that looks in good condition and is presented well for when you introduce potential buyers. While good presentation may not achieve a better price, it will certainly help to achieve the sale in a quicker timeframe. If the property is tenanted, make sure you offer an incentive to get them on side. Talk to the owner about a slight reduction in rent during the marketing. Always make sure you set up good dialogue with the tenants and keep them in touch with what you are doing.
7 Location. It is true that real estate is about location, location, location. While you can’t change the location of your listing, you can at least make sure that it’s in an area that will attract the most attention. There is something to be said for listings on main roads to achieve better signage. Every property sells, even those on busy roads, it all comes down to price.
8 Is it in the target market? By this I mean…… Is the property likely to fall within the price range that is popular with most buyers? A property in a price range outside where most buyer activity is taking place, will naturally attract fewer buyers, will need more marketing and likely more time to sell.
9 Accessibility/OFI. How accessible will the property be for you to show potential buyers? Are the owners prepared to give you a key and allow you easy access at most times? Open homes are an important part of your marketing strategy and it’s necessary for you to convince sellers that this will be an efficient and effective method of introducing the properly to potential buyers.
10 How well do I get on with the sellers? This is a partnership and as such you will need to have a good rapport with the sellers because without that they are not likely to cooperate with you when it comes time to make the hard decisions.
Think about each of these points and rate your current listings and any new listings on how you believe they will perform in each of these categories. Remember, they must qualify in at least 50% of these areas.