Recently I heard the stat that over 50% of property is sold with the second agent, which was backed up by some industry leaders and, looking at our data, we are seeing the same trend.
Agents spend a lot of time and money on winning new instructions, so the question is why or how can you protect that investment?
The biggest factor here is price. If the property has not sold despite a full-blown marketing campaign, it was either overvalued by the agent to win the instruction or the vendor has unrealistic expectations.
Unfortunately, both are very common scenarios, although agents can control both these situations. A good agent will get the vendor the best possible price within the initial 12-week sole agency agreement and in a buoyant market, could very well go beyond their asking price. On that basis, during the valuation they can justify their value.
Some agents will think I’m crazy with the following comment, but sometimes you just need to say no to an instruction if you feel the price they want is just too high. If you’re going to invest thousands of pounds in selling that property, more than likely the scenario that will play out, based on the stats, is that you will lose the instruction to the second agent. They will then list it at a more realistic price and achieve a result. What I have always believed is that all properties will always sell if they are priced correctly.
Now, unfortunately we have the other side of the spectrum in which some agents just don’t fulfill their promises...
• Weak marketing campaign
• Don’t use portals
• No social media presence
• No boards
• No window displays
• Limited client base
Probably the biggest failing is that they just don’t keep their vendors up to date with what’s going on. Alongside our probate leads and auction software, we recently launched a prospecting tool to help agents win these second instructions, and the feedback we’re getting is incredible.
Our agents target homes on the market with targeted letters through intelligent marketing.
They send letters:
• When properties first come to the market
• Between 8-12 weeks of listing
• When price reductions are made
These are the trigger points that your vendors have before they decide to de-instruct and go with a second agent.
Therefore, you need to make sure:
• When they first go to market, you keep them up to date with everything.
• Show them what you're doing and touch base with them at least 2-3 times in the first few weeks, even if you don’t have any viewings.
• In the event you haven’t sold the property before your 12 week sole agency expires, sit down well in advance and explain why and what the strategy will be moving forward. Are you going to feature their property on the portals? Are you going to do an open house viewing day?
• In the event a price reduction is required, make sure you can evidence why you feel this is the best strategy and don’t be scared to ask for an extension to your sole agency if you can justify the investment you make to get the property sold after the price reduction.
While many agents are already doing this, the stats clearly show many are not and the current trend for second instructions to sell the property will continue.
With some great prospecting tools out there, including ours at LetsBid, the best agents will take advantage of complacency and continue to win these listings.
*Milton Rodosthenous is Founder of LetsBid Property and Director of Equity and Capital