3 mistakes empty nesters make when downsizing their home

Jun 3, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Real estate professionals will tell you that the average family will move once every five to ten years. This is usually to accommodate a family’s changing needs as their family grows. Often one of the last moves a family makes is from their large family home with multiple bedrooms down to a two- or one-bedroom home that houses the last two that remain: the parents. 

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Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Tips for Agents, downsizing your home

Countering the rise of property scammers

Jun 12, 2018 9:46:43 PM Share this:

Countering the rise of property scammers

The threat to the property market by fraudsters and scammers is very real and it seems the culprits are becoming increasingly advanced. The age of technology presents many with the opportunity to improve their business growth and market penetration. However, the evolution of technology continues to present fraudsters with more abundant opportunities to scam innocent people out of their hard earned cash.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, Tips for Agents, Real Estate Agents, Scam Alert

The emotional side of the property market

Feb 19, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

The property market is often overshadowed by the investment intentions of sellers and buyers, forgetting the emotional aspect of purchasing a home for you and your family. The nostalgia many of us carry with us about our childhood home is often a major factor when buyers gravitate toward a suburb or particular home.

Jerry M. Burger, Ph.D.,a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in the US, explains in his book -  Returning Home: Reconnecting with Our Childhoods, that "one's home is a part of personal identity for many people; i.e., an extension of their self. And it is during these early years that children develop a sense of self independent of their families. Homes also are almost always the place where children spend the largest part of their time, as well as the location for many of their most emotional experiences."

He further identifies that he was surprised by the depth of emotion many people feel for their childhood home. It is with this being said that it is incredibly important for property professionals to take these emotional elements into consideration when taking part in a financial transaction. 

We at Harcourts experience these sentiments on a daily basis, from both sellers and buyers. Sellers saying goodbye to a member of the family in a way and buyers yearning for a nest where all their dreams become a reality.

This is why a certain amount of finesse and understanding needs to take place. Despite the obvious large investment aspect and stress buying a home can bring upon, the human factor is a big part of it.

We believe that the true craft is the ability to combine all these facets, sound investment advice, in-depth market knowledge as well as the emotional aspects of the process.

At Harcourts our foundation is our Values system. An ethos we live by. A Mantra that ties us to our clients by building relationships, in order to understand the depth of the purchase.

Statement by
Richard Gray

Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer

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Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Tips for Agents, Property Markets

The five essential marketing tools to sell your property

Jan 8, 2018 8:00:00 PM Share this:

The decision to sell is made, but how do you ensure potential buyers know your house could be their dream home? Here are five top marketing tools to help you get the best possible result for your sale.

Online presence
More than 80 per cent of  Kiwis look online to find properties for sale[*], so it’s essential your property has a presence on the worldwide web. Consider how to get the most exposure, and include plenty of details so potential buyers can put serious thought in. Your real estate agent can run through the sites that will give the best bang for your buck and advise on how best to describe your property.

Great images
Make sure your home looks pretty as a picture to attract the maximum number of buyers to come and view it in person. The first encounter many will have with your property is by viewing photographs online, in real estate magazines or agency windows, or in the property section of the local paper, so it is crucial they make a good first impression. It is worth paying for a professional photographer who can ensure images are taken from the right angle, get the lighting right and show your home at its very best, as those pictures (and video, if you want to go a step further) may just prompt a future buyer to fall in love.

Street signage
A ‘For Sale’ sign outside your home may feel a little old-fashioned in our virtual world, but it’s important to catch the attention of those who may not actively be looking for a new property, or those who always have an eye on your street or neighbourhood for the dream home. People hunting for property use up to four extra resources on top of online research, including sale signage, magazines and brochures, and agency window displays, so the more places you shout ‘For Sale’, the better.

Open homes
The actual look and feel of a property is something that can’t be construed through photos alone, so holding open homes and private viewings is key to marketing your property. Giving prospective buyers the chance to walk through your home, imagine themselves in it, and get a feel for the surrounding neighbourhood will ensure you have some serious buyers in the mix when it comes time to sell.

A great agent
Word of mouth and personal recommendations count for a lot when it comes to making a major purchase such as a new home. A committed and enthusiastic real estate agent will be able to tell people about your property, put the word out to other agents who might have interested buyers, and follow up with potential buyers about their intentions. An approach like this will make sure you have reached as many people as possible, and make you feel secure that, in turn, you get the best price possible.

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Topics: Property Tips, House of Inspiration, Tips for Agents

5 tips for a healthy work-life balance in the demanding world of real estate

May 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM Share this:

As a sales consultant, it is important to know when to say “when”, and to maintain a balance that ensures you sustain your health and personal life,  as well as your passion for real estate!

Being a sales consultant in the real estate industry can be challenging and demanding.  Between juggling clients and family, friends and a social life, you can easily wind up in a position where your life feels overrun by the demands of your career.

Here are five quick things you can start to embrace to help you achieve a healthy work-life balance:

1) Schedule Your Personal Time
Holidays, school runs, health appointments, date nights with your spouse, and children’s sporting events should all be assigned into your schedule.  Ensure they are as non-negotiable as realistically possible.  A good rule of thumb is to never reschedule the same appointment twice.

2) Control Your Time
Communicate to your clients a realistic time you will be able to make an appointment or return their call or email.  Consider altering your voicemail and email greetings, letting people know how and when you will make contact.

3) Team Up To Reduce Your Workload
If you find yourself running out of time at the end of the day or you are constantly chasing your tail, consider taking on a partner, or a personal assistant.   Having a partner enables you to share weekends, evenings, and holiday periods.  Hiring an assistant will alleviate some of the more time-consuming tasks such as marketing administration and social media, freeing up more of your time for bigger tasks.

4) Make The Most Of Our Tools Provided
Harcourts agents have many tools and support services available to them to help keep in touch with clients.  Harcourts Email Subscriptions allow you to subscribe your database to automatically receive any of our newsletters and publications as soon as they are published; The new iPad and iPhone App (eOne) is a low-stress way to manage your contacts, providing reminders for your tasks (such as birthdays and anniversaries), and allows you to track any conversations ensuring you recall all client interactions.  Make life easier for yourself by utilising these valuable tools.

5) Find Time To Disconnect And Unwind
Track your time over the next few weeks and take note of which time periods are the slowest.  If there is a particular day where there is little activity, consider taking this day off each week.  If a day off is too much at this stage in your career, break it into smaller slices of time that are manageable and fit in with your commitments.  Disconnect yourself from your phone, the Internet, and anything else that is work related and build “me” time into your schedule.

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Topics: Balance, work, Tips for Agents