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Jonathan Rolande: 'Whatever makes you and your business unique – aim to maximise it this year'

After a difficult 2023, the property market has been buoyed by a triple-boost in the early days of 2024. 

According to the most recent data released by Halifax last week, house prices rose in December for the third month in a row.

The bank said the average cost of a UK home was £287,105 in December. The figure is up 1.1% from the month before and is also the highest level since March 2023.


This hat-trick has rightly boosted confidence and will understandably encourage many working in the sector to try and make the most of what feels like a surprisingly early bounce. 

 But how can we best boost our chances of success? 

Having worked in the sector now for more than 30 years, there are four things which I always try to build at the heart of my strategy:

 ·         Start by establishing what you’re good at. Try to work out what comes naturally and what doesn’t. Some agents love marketing and photography, others lean towards local market knowledge knowing everything that’s going on in their town. Whatever it is, that makes you and your business unique – aim to maximise it this year. Make sure this USP is publicised far and wide, on social media, in the office window and in person. For example, if compliance is your favourite topic, perhaps run small courses for local landlords, sellers or trade contacts to really push the message home. If it's brilliant photography, release a video with top tips – you might be surprised at the reaction.

·         Think small. When looking at business it's often too daunting to say “I’m going to double my profit or add 50% to turnover.” Instead look at the smaller numbers. Say you complete a hundred sales a year at a fee of £3000 aim to add just 10% to the volume and £150 (5%) to the average fee. The extra sales bring in £30,000, the higher fee an extra £15,000. Trimming just 5% off costs saves on average £12,000 a year. This way getting an extra £57,000 a year for your office doesn’t seem like an impossible hill to climb.

·         Get your fall through rate down. Sounds easy, but as we all know it isn’t. but by keeping on top of admin and sales progression you can stop at least a few sales a year slipping from your grasp and into the arms of a competitor.

·         Finally remember that success breeds success. Here’s why: Not only will your business grow as it becomes better, it will cost less to grow it. Enquiries will walk through the door because buyers and sellers know you’re the agent to deal with for the best results. As the business and its market share grows, you’ll have more money to spend on great colleagues and advertising. And because every town has a finite amount of property to sell, the more market share you gain, the less is left for others. Once success begins, it gains its own momentum fast. 

Like the house prices we are eagerly monitoring, there are no guarantees in this business as to what might come next. But by working smarter, you can hugely boost your chances of coping whatever the market decides to throw at us.


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