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Becoming a System

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When you start out in real estate you make it your mission to build the number of contacts you have, vendors you work with and buyers you keep on the boil, to ensure your figures are growing month by month. But what happens when you can’t keep up with those figures because everything is going so well?

Implement a system.

One of the country’s most successful real estate sales agents,
MAT STEINWEDE, has shared his knowledge via the Mat Steinwede Real Estate System, including his tips on becoming a system.

Draft in help

When the high volume of vendors he was working with became difficult to manage, Mr Steinwede found his Effective Business Unit (EBU) could help carry some of the load. Instead of handling everything himself, Mr Steinwede’s EBU meant one person was assigned to vendor management to help with the administrative systems and he spent time dealing with the vendor on the price and negotiations.

“Richard Branson said that if you can run one business well you can run a hundred: same as a vendor really. If you can run one well, you can run a hundred because you understand that concept,” Mr Steinwede explained, adding at times he was managing 80-90 vendors concurrently.

Action plans form a major part of the EBU’s management of the vendor experience. This plan starts with Mr Steinwede gaining the listing and filling in the one-page plan which sets a trail against a house, sending jobs to team members based on a time line. The vendor manager looks after photos, copy and contracts, and speaks with the owner every day for the first 7-10 days and then weekly.

“Straight away we also send a listing gift like an oil burner with some vanilla essence and a letter telling them what effect vanilla has on the senses,” he said.

Contact is key

The team also sends a bulk SMS to vendors every Wednesday giving them an update about whatever is relevant at the time, such as the Federal budget. While this may be problematic if the property is on the market for an extended time period, Mr Steinwede has a solution.

“One of my goals is to sell 80 per cent of my listings within 42 days, regardless of the market. If that happens I won’t have any issues with sending them SMS’s too long,” he said.

Every Friday vendors are sent an email or receive a printed copy of the same message, which outlines the offers that have been accepted, exchanges made and new listings gained with photos and web links for each property and a summary at the end for the whole office. Not only does it show vendors that each agent is working on selling, but it also proves the sales activity.

“That’s been one of the biggest tools that we’ve had from a vendor managing perspective. It really gives them an understanding of what the market’s actually doing.”

Think beyond the phone

Part of Mr Steinwede’s ideal day is keeping in contact with his top 15 owners every day and the vendor manager covers the rest. Contact might be over the phone, by email, via SMS or in person and it might be with Mr Steinwede or with one of his team, but the vendor still feels they know what is going on with their property.

If there is nothing major to report he sends a quick text to say their window display has been loaded, how many enquiries have come from the internet that day or whether someone has driven past promising to follow up with them about whether they want to inspect the property. Sometimes the contact is a matter of managing expectations by explaining someone who seemed interested previously is unlikely to buy, or formulating a redirection plan if there have been no nibbles.

The perfect way to demonstrate an agent is taking care of everything is getting the vendor to proof the copy and pick the photos to be used in the marketing.

“It’s a good opportunity for you to go back out there and just sit down with them for five seconds. If you can just demonstrate to them that you are 100 per cent in front of them and leading them, they’ll be no vendor conflict,” Mr Steinwede said.

Be honest

When calling back to give vendors feedback on either a Saturday afternoon or Monday, Mr Steinwede said it didn’t do anyone any favours to sugar coat the result. If they feel confident and accept your recommendation, the hard discussions about topics like pricing or time frame will always be simpler. It can also be easier for someone who is not involved emotionally in the negotiations, like the vendor manager, to secure a price reduction.

“Don’t puff it up to sound better than it is; just give them the cold hard facts and then how many inspections there were, how many second inspections there were, third inspections, contracts issued and then a summary at the end. You just need to tell them exactly what’s going on. Don’t be afraid of an owner,” he explained.

To keep a lid on time frame blow outs, Mr Steinwede ensures he prices a property based on market comparables, but also breaks down the agreement into smaller chunks so he has a plan for every four weeks of the campaign. Obviously the first four weeks are the most active and then activity drops off, but he doesn’t leave it until the last minute to organise a meeting to discuss a new action plan right before the agreement finishes.

“We panic about going and seeing the owner. If you haven’t serviced them, you should be panicking, but let’s say you’ve serviced them, you sit down with them and they say, ‘Look there’ve been no offers, no people, no nothing, no inspections. Mr & Mrs So-and-So there is a reason that there’s nothing happening. Can I talk you through it? Let’s work this out together and I can show you that if we do meet the market, people will respond’,” Mr Steinwede outlined.

And if you find the right buyer and the vendor is stalling on price, that is the time to put everything in a lengthy letter which includes the buyer’s background, current market conditions, the offer, the competition in the market and your recommendation so they understand you are working for the best possible outcome, and then keep showing the property and giving feedback while you wait for a response.

“I guarantee you, they get another person through their home who doesn’t like it, they’ll be going, ‘Hang on, is that person still around? This letter that you wrote, we’ve been thinking about this …’” he said, and added if an agent had been doing their job, the vendor would trust their recommendation.

Mat Steinwede The Real Estate System includes his tried and tested strategies with letter and report templates, the order tasks should be completed and tips on achieving peak performance.

For more information on Mat Steinwede The Real Estate System visit – www.realestateacademy.com.au or call 1300 367 412.

 

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