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Committing to your client

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.

There was a time when leading real estate salesperson MAT STEINWEDE was handling up to 90 listings at once, but as he has refined his own sales system he has pruned back this number to give a bigger commitment to his best clients - and himself.

Handling around 20 listings at a time, Mr Steinwede said he now understood how he could be fulfilled at work and away from the office. "It's great to work and achieve great results, but also have some time to do things outside work and feel really fulfilled. As I’m progressing that’s more of what I’m seeing - it’s about success," he explained, adding he likes Richard Branson's quote, “Have the ability to flow in and flow out of work” to explain this concept.

Preferred communication methods

After years working in real estate sales, Mr Steinwede has found his most successful vendor management method is to find out the way they prefer communication - SMS, email or phone calls. "I work out a pattern for each client that they’re going to find interesting. So it may be a call, it may be an email the next day and a call and text."

He aims to get to the point where he makes a recommendation and the vendor responds by saying, ‘Whatever you think is best.’ "I know my service levels to that point have been taking it to a place where they think, ‘He's on top of it; yep sure we understand what you’re saying. If you think that’s best, let’s go that way,’” he explained.

This level of vendor support includes calling the night before an open home to put them at ease and calling again straight after the open home to give a quick overview on who came through the property and what they thought. Complete feedback comes the following week with the open house report, but there are no surprises as he has already forewarned the vendors of what will be in the report.

"I always treat the property like it's mine," he said, and this adds to the building vendor relationship.

Reviewing priorities

Now enjoying Saturday afternoons for himself once his open homes are completed for the week, the drop in the market due to the GFC forced Mr Steinwede to re-evaluate another part of his system when it came to client commitment - price guidance.
Using his reputation and sales experience, backed up by the evidence of what was happening in the marketplace, meant price discussions were not as difficult as he sometimes expected, even with a 30 per dent drop in the market.

"If you take enough time and you work through it methodically, [vendors] can see that you’re not just trying to tell them a low price. I quite often talk about building a strong foundation in the marketplace that will build their momentum. If you get the property priced right or the structure right within the auction program, it will sell every time," Mr Steinwede said.

Without creating this platform on which the price agreement sits, a vendor might still want a higher figure. This will still happen on occasion simply because sales is not an exact science. However, even at this point Mr Steinwede still has a solution. He will bring a group of buyers through the property and then organise a time to sit down with the vendors afterwards and go through their responses to help them make a decision.

"I say 'look with any business transaction there’s usually a strategy in place. I’m just bringing some strategy to your sale process, rather than just seeing how we go' and they say 'okay I get what you’re saying'.

“I take a list of hot buyers that we’re working with, plus a pool of buyers. I’ll say 'look can I bring a few of these through and let’s sit down and have a talk about it and then we’ll create a springboard from there' and they quite often say 'yeah that’s fine'," he explained.

Steps to the sale

From here the process moves to the Set to Sell meeting, which has become an even greater part of the system than ever before. Before this meeting the photos and the copy to market the property have been done and it is probably a week into the campaign. Mr Steinwede takes a list of 10 points with him, set out as an agenda, and gives a copy of this to the vendors so they can work through each point methodically.

These points include:

  • Are they happy with the copy and the photos?
  • What to do when prospective buyers are inspecting the property
  • Where to go while an inspection is happening
  • Where the keys are kept
  • What happens if the buyer’s guide needs to be adjusted
  • What happens if the offers are low, or there are none.

“The reason for this is that I need all these little acknowledgements. The last question, number 10, is called Controlling the Process and Recommendations and I’ll say to them ‘look quite often I’ll make recommendations along this process but it is about manoeuvring the program and making sure it stays fluid so that the market stays interested in it’,” Mr Steinwede explained.

If the buyer understands the process right from the beginning, there will be less resistance if the buyer’s guide or the price has to be adjusted. The vendor will not be questioning the agent’s commitment to their property, and the relationship will still be in tact.

In McGrath Partners agent James Dack’s words, ‘the sale is made at the point of listing’. Thinking about what this meant, Mr Steinwede said these words rang true when he reviewed what happened when the vendor-agent relationship wasn’t progressing as he would like and he changed his methods. “Now I like all of my owners to know all of the Plan A, Plan B and Plan C, and if it’s transparent it just feels so much better.”

If he knows he has explained all possible variables, Mr Steinwede said he was confident he left their home with his vendors feeling he would exhaust every opportunity for them - and if it didn’t go to plan, there were always alternative options.

Mat Steinwede The Real Estate System includes Mat’s 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: or call 1300 367 412.

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