January 19, 2017 at 15:22 #37376
I had the chance to speak to a chap today looking to launch his new agency in the coming weeks, flattered he thought i would be a good sounding board for him.
Got me thinking, if you were to offer just one bit of advice to either a new agent or an agent opening up what would it be?January 19, 2017 at 15:26 #37377
To kick it off i will start with advice to an agent opening up.
* Forget what you think you know. – You maybe a fantastic branch manager or regional manager but running your own estate agency is VERY different you need to be an expert in many areas. The biggest issue you will face is obtaining new valuations. You need to give the public a reason to call you out over the other dozen or so established agents. Price is not usually the best starting point.January 20, 2017 at 17:53 #37452
I totally agree. Keep costs down by making sure you can fulfill every role to start with, use technology to its full……but most importantly of all get your marketing message out there that you are the person to trust and the one who knows more about what they are doing than the local competition. (there are new ways of helping you to do this….hopefully being developed as we speak). Make sure your website is extremely mobile friendly and use relevant content for SEO.February 9, 2017 at 13:53 #38366
One word. Don’t.February 9, 2017 at 17:02 #38387
Understand and accept that your established competitors will want to strangle you at birth, meet and even welcome this challenge. Mindset needs to be completely focused and in an ideal world you will do the appointments personally, if you’ve employed somebody to do them for you they’d better be good. When we opened my mood caught me by surprise, not scared, not apprehensive, not hopeful, I was furious at the competition, absolutely livid, that was 18 years ago 🙂February 9, 2017 at 17:58 #38392
Why not?May 15, 2017 at 07:52 #41963
PeeBee, I live in and operate in three counties, including London. Generally,most areas that I see already have a handful of really good agents. Unless smile please’s contact has discovered an area that has a real need for another agency, I feel that the already overcrowded market has no space for yet another agent.
I just don’t see an opportunity for a new start.May 15, 2017 at 09:57 #41966
Hi docklander52. Thanks for the (albeit a tad slow-off-the-keyboard) reply.
You could be right. You could, of course, just as easily be wrong. I would say that, as you suggest, generally there are a fair smattering of really good Agents in every area. But I would suggest that there are an equally fair smattering of really poor ones too – yet they still manage to pick up instructions, some of which will sell.
Now old hands like you and I (brazenly including myself in such esteemed company) know the reality about ‘selling’ property – so let’s not inform the blissfully ignorant and thereby strengthen their position.
But if the person smile please knows (who by now has either done the deed or put his investment into something else…) has any moxy about him – which I reckon he will have otherwise sp wouldn’t have started the thread – then maybe a new Agent will rattle the cages of the poor… and give the good ones a run for their money and wake them up to the reality that there’s always a new buck ready to challenge you for the rights to the best ‘stock-building’ opportunities.
Who knows? I wonder if anyone ever said “don’t” to Mr John D Wood, for example?May 15, 2017 at 12:05 #41967
Update on the original post as seems to be reignited today.
The chap in question decided not to open his own office after investigating the true costs of running an office and the time taken to have any meaningful turnover (Tight budget).
He is now instead investigating partnerships and self employed roles as had enough of the corporate life.
Still i think this is an interesting thread will be good to see others advice for want to be agency owners.July 21, 2017 at 17:25 #44517
SP / PB – just re reading this. I was certainly one person who made contact some time ago re “starting up” and thanked you at the time for the “do’s and dont’s”. Well I DID open, it’s been brilliant fun, hard work but very rewarding to show local people a better way to sell houses. We struggle with valuations yes, but so is everyone. We have a 90% conversion so far, as we have a great product that isn’t about fee. So thanks to all who helped….would love some more advice on how to get those valuations!!!!July 22, 2017 at 09:39 #44531
Glad you opened up and hope you have not aged too much in the process!
Increasing your chances for valuations is good old fashion agency of making the most of every opportunity and finding a USP.
I am sure you are doing a number of the following but you need to put 80% of your time into it (look into 80/20 rule).
1.Door Knocks – Identify who has been on more than 12 weeks in you area, chances are they are thinking of changing agent and maybe prime for a price reduction.
2. Canvass – Make sure you have at least 200 leaflets a day going out (all my staff must deliver at least 200 per day each) This increases your chances on new to market stock and as a new agent increases brand exposure.
3. Make it a must for Boards at your properties (Boards breed boards)
4. Concentrate on you local to sell applicants, make sure you are calling them every 7 days, do specific canvassing for them. helps build rapour, more chances of winning their instruction.
5. Sold in your streets – when you sell a property in a street advertise the fact and canvass the local properties. If you are not selling many (as you have just started up) see what other agents have sold and canvass the area saying “Another property has been sale agreed in XXXX” did you want to know the price of yours?
6. Try and get in with a charity or community group, help volunteer and create relationships. Sponsor them. You will receive recommendations.
7. Meet with local solicitors and IFA’s and build relationships.
8. Be careful on advertising, everybody will want money off you and make very tempting claims, you can burn through a pile of cash very quickly. RM is a must everything after that i would say is pretty much hit and miss. If you are starting up, i would suggest the money you intend to use for advertising on PPC, Adwords, Magazines, Doctor surgeries, leaflet distributors, local paper, and anything else you have been promised is good. Instead you invest in staff, even if its a part timer or apprentice. You can get more out of them in a day then all of the above in a month if you set their day up right.
If you do all of the above 80% of your day you will see an uplift but you need to be strict with your and your staffs time.
When doing the above you need to identify a USP that the others agents do not use. They all say the same “We are great, we have record numbers, we are competitive on price, our service is better, I can find you a buyer”
They will hear this from every agent so you need to stand out from the crowd. Could be something simple like you have a dedicated point of contact. Play on it and build your business around it, make your look and sound different to the others.July 22, 2017 at 10:42 #44532
SP. Many many thanks. We starting Door Knocking last week, especially targeting a few PB instructions which suprise suprise they were not happy at the service, my pitch is that we would offer a good fee, great marketing/ service etc and one to one management (and pay their PB fees when we sold it) to ease the pain, it worked!. We know we have at least 4 very unique USP’s, which are winning the instructions when we get the chance (as well as being very honest, experienced and approachable, which people like). So, thank you once again, if nothing else we know we are doing the right things and will keep the faith….tough market at the moment, but no other agent is responding with anything new or different. One interesting point is we have had 4 agents ask us for jobs already……suggests they like what we are doing, but we did not like them or their beliefs/drivers and values. Cheers…………off now to attack more PB boards…..low fruit
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