CALLING THE SHOTS
Having the crucial conversations and building trust with your vendors empowers them to head into the auction process with the tools to make a clear well-informed decisions.
CLARITY OF EXPECTATIONS
Setting initial expectations in a listing presentation then re-calibrating those expectations at a later date can be a difficult thing for an agent, and it’s better to ‘go ugly’ early. “I think the agents are very able to talk up a story to a vendor, and we can kind of over-promise and under-deliver... then you end up deflating expectations,” says Hart.
Throughout a campaign, if the market hasn’t delivered feedback to support previous assumptions agents need to be brave enough to have the tough conversations to avoid disappointment on auction day. “If the lead-up work hasn’t been done prior to that point, we [auctioneers] are powerless on the day,” says Nickerson.
James Keenan agrees that you shouldn’t be afraid to have the hard conversation, because ultimately the vendor will appreciate it. “Quite often the vendor will feel really good after you’ve had a hard conversation with them, because they actually feel they know what’s going on. Agents think they’re doing the right thing by not having honest conversations with [vendors] because they’re protecting them, but actually in the long run they’re doing a lot more harm.”
Karl Secondis is a man who knows a lot about crucial conversations. Working in a market where negative equity means that clients may need personal loans to pay agent commission requires a brutal honesty.
“It’s tough love straight up,” he says. “My glass is always half full, but I sound like it’s still half empty on that phone call.
“It’s like, ‘I don’t make money telling you not to sell your property, but if you are [ going to sell] you’re going to have to grab the bull by the horns, pull the band-aid off quick, because there’s no point fluffing around about it’.”
Sometimes the conversation you need for a result is just asking a question.
Peter Gourdouros describes a scenario with one of his past clients where bidding had stalled at $975,000, just shy of the $1million dollar reserve. Instead of leading
the buyer to their next bid at $1million, he invited the buyer to put their best foot forward as their next bid. Their next bid was $1.1million and the gavel fell. The strategy had a $100,000 impact on the result. “This is a fundamental mistake that agents make ... They ask the wrong questions at the wrong time,” he says.
BRINGING A MARKET
As markets cool, buyers should no longer be considered a guarantee. Agents have to educate and nurture the buyers to be able to present a market to the vendors on the day.
“Now that we’re seeing a great degree of disparity between supply and demand, agents really do need to focus on making sure they keep the buyers warm on those properties. Keeping them in communication on a regular basis... it shows enough endeavour that you actually care about them wanting to be at the auction, as opposed to just treating them as another number,” says Hampson.