Following the high profile exit of Purple Bricks from Australia and the widely publicised housing market downturn, it begs the question as to how real estate agents can successfully conduct business in Melbourne’s fluctuating real estate industry.
There has not been any significant changes to the job description but rather, it is the industry itself that has shifted to adapt to new technology and updated legislation.
In order to remain relevant, agents must always move with the times, but our core job still remains the same in terms of how we transact real estate and help customers with one of the biggest financial decisions of their life.
In the past decade, the landscape has evolved drastically and as we navigate through a cooling market, agents are held more accountable than ever before for their actions. When the market was thriving, agents could almost get away with not offering a high level of service but as demand weakens and buyers vacate the market, a high level of customer service is paramount in order to generate sales. But even with these changes, there are key steps agents can take to prevail in the current landscape.
Stay educated on the current housing market trends
Keeping on top of the current housing trends might seem like basic advice but as an agent, it is crucial to consistently monitor the market as you need to be able to assist clients to make successful decisions. Not having this knowledge can be detrimental to building trust, as clients are typically looking to you for guidance in leading them down the right path.
Things to be particularly knowledgeable on include the proposed changes to negative gearing and tax changes to property gains, as many buyers are biding their time to wait and see what eventuates from the recent election. By addressing these concerns early on, you can assure buyers they are not buying in a falling market.
Open and honest dialogue
Whether you’ve been in the industry for many years or only joined recently, you will quickly learn that not being able to explain legislative changes will largely work against you.
Clients want an educated agent who can explain to them what is happening in the changing market and how it might affect their property and long term outlooks based on events like elections, rate cuts, lending restrictions and new policies potentially set to come into effect, such as the government guaranteeing a 5 per cent deposit for first home buyers.
If any events have an effect on the client, positive or negative, there needs to be open and honest communication between both parties; dishonesty or providing any false information will only harm this relationship.
Use technology to your advantage
Real estate agents need to be open to learning about new ways of marketing homes and reaching current or prospective clients because although technology can be daunting, it can provide creative and exciting opportunities that may not have been there before.
One example is social media, which today is an important marketing tool for agents everywhere. Not only does it showcase positive results achieved, it will also reveal the negative. Therefore it keeps agents accountable as there is nowhere to hide should you deliver poor service, with online reviews visible for the world to see. This can also reflect poorly on the overall agency.
By combining high quality customer service with up-to-date knowledge and honest and open communication on the current state of the market, you’re putting not only yourself, but your agency in good stead to weather the current market storm.