Rising municipal rates, fuel price hikes, high unemployment rates and uncertainty over high crime rates and corruption in state entities all make for a challenging sell for real estate agents. Yet, property sales and rental agents can be at the top of their game in securing client loyalty, leases and sales.
Greg Brown, director Data Services at LexisNexis South Africa, offers a few tips for estate agents wanting to hit their targets:
• Keep up to date on regulations and information regarding the property market. Subscribe to property related newsletters, magazines or online property sites. Make sure you know what the current lending rates are and what clients will require in order to secure a loan.
• Subscribe to an accurate and up-to-date property portal that provides reliable information regarding properties in your area, the listed owners, previous sales prices and comparable market-related area prices.
• Get to know the area you are working in. While many estate agents live and work in the area they sell or do rentals in, this is not always the case. Get to know the area well, check out amenities such as schools, parks, shopping centres, etc.
“This can all be done online without having to leave the comfort of your office,” says Brown. “Once you know what is out there, you can always go take a physical look, but checking out a property listing online before doing a drive-by will save you valuable time – especially if you are looking for specific area amenities, property size and number of bedrooms for a client. Using software that is backed by a reputable search engine is essential in this regard.”
• Stay abreast of the news and always look for a positive spin on any situation. Regularly check in on – or follow – sites and bloggers that share positive news stories about South Africa and keep your attitude about the country positive.
• Be aware of what is happening in the suburb or region in which you work. Join community fora such as Facebook community groups, follow social media influencers on Instagram and look for positive news that you can share.
“Steer clear of sharing negative or politically sensitive information – even on your personal profiles – unless you have a tight hold on your personal security and who can see what you share. Positive shares will help you build your brand and draw people to you,” Brown says. “Sharing information about successful sales or leases is also valuable in getting your name out there.”
• Join a reputable sales company that shares positive news and that has an ethos you believe in. Check out the company online before joining them, advises Brown.
“Knowing the industry, your client needs, the area and the properties you are working with, as well as being secure in the knowledge that you and your information are backed by reputable companies, is very valuable to estate agents who want to stay market savvy and be successful,” Brown concludes.