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Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - Mark McLeod

In a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment, mar­kets are no longer the growth cat­a­lyst they have been; in­stead, they cre­ate an ex­cuse for why a busi­ness is not grow­ing. Time to en­sure you have re­li­able sys­tems in place, says Mark McLeod.

Peo­ple view­ing a house that’s over­priced are just traf­fic. The ven­dor turns the traf­fic into buy­ers.

Over the last few years, the mar­ket has pro­vided the growth im­pe­tus even for the most av­er­age of agents. Now things have changed. A great self-re­flec­tion ques­tion to ask yourself is, ‘Why would my busi­ness grow this year?’

There are, in my view, two types of businesses. Some are de­void of struc­ture and process, and are linked to the ebbs and flows of the mar­ket; oth­ers have struc­tural and mea­sur­able com­po­nents that can be ad­justed and redi­rected to cre­ate growth re­gard­less of the cy­cle.

As I have men­tioned in pre­vi­ous col­umns, days on mar­ket greatly af­fect the per­for­mance of a real es­tate busi­ness. A blow-out of days on mar­ket by 10 ac­tu­ally has a neg­a­tive im­pact on a busi­ness by up to 30 per cent.

So what are your struc­ture and pro­cesses? And how do you han­dle it when traf­fic (num­ber of buy­ers) come out of the sys­tem? Are you re­al­lo­cat­ing your re­sources, par­tic­u­larly your man-hours, to where the block­age in your busi­ness may be oc­cur­ring?

How do we find th­ese hours – and do we re­di­rect them in a way that con­tin­ues to cre­ate mo­men­tum in the busi­ness and sup­ports around con­trol­ling days on mar­ket?

Let’s look at a prac­ti­cal and log­i­cal ex­am­ple: when the mar­ket was strong many agents could ex­pect, say, 15 to 20 peo­ple through their OFI. (Yes, I know many peo­ple from re­gional Aus­tralia are now laugh­ing at that num­ber; my con­tin­u­ing crit­i­cism of con­tex­tual real es­tate coach­ing in this coun­try is that, in my view, it is aimed at ma­jor East­ern seaboard cities.) If I had four opens ev­ery Satur­day I was look­ing to process be­tween 60 and 80 po­ten­tial buy­ers ev­ery Mon­day, which could take – with call­backs and ven­dor re­ports – any­where be­tween six and 10 hours.

With that num­ber now drop­ping to five, which I was told very re­cently, it may only take me two to three hours to process my opens. All of a sud­den I have found be­tween four and six hours of ef­fi­cien­cies in my busi­ness.

The big ques­tion is: how do I re­di­rect those new-found hours?

What be­comes chal­leng­ing for businesses that don’t have mea­sure­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties is they of­ten be­come un­sure where to re­di­rect those hours. Do we use them to drive traf­fic back into our sys­tems – for ex­am­ple, spend those four to six hours en­sur­ing that we get qual­ity num­bers through our opens? Do I use those hours to have more in-depth and struc­tured con­ver­sa­tions with my own­ers about where they are po­si­tioned in the mar­ket? Do I use those hours to build greater col­lab­o­ra­tion with my data­base?

I do know that to be suc­cess­ful in th­ese more chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ments we will need to be ruth­lessly ef­fi­cient with our time and de­tail does mat­ter.

Our ev­i­dence shows that in chal­leng­ing mar­kets (thanks to all my col­leagues in WA) there is a 30 per cent higher clear­ance rate with a qual­ity ven­dor re­port. When ven­dor meet­ings are at the fore­front of your process, ask yourself: Are th­ese form­ing part of my weekly rou­tine?

An ex­er­cise that I would en­cour­age you to do is get some­one to read your ven­dor re­ports prior to you send­ing them to the owner. Ask them to read the re­ports with­out the knowl­edge of price and from a ven­dor’s per­spec­tive; re­mem­ber, peo­ple view things through the lens they are cur­rently us­ing.

Of­ten what they read into a re­port and what we want them to read into a re­port are vastly dif­fer­ent.

Re­fer­ring back to the ques­tion of where my growth comes from, my growth will come from redi­rect­ing hours into the stock-out com­po­nent of my busi­ness. It con­tin­ues to amaze me how much the mar­kets have changed, yet the day-to-day ac­tions of the agents haven’t.

In fin­ish­ing, I will leave you with this thought: peo­ple view­ing a house that’s over­priced are just traf­fic. Re­mem­ber, the ven­dor turns the traf­fic into buy­ers.

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