The Christmas drop off has come early this year. Other agents have noticed the downturn in buyer interest slowing over the last two weeks. People’s attention has shifted to other matters, so big decisions like property buying has been put on the back burner. This has left us here at BPS to concentrate on our existing briefs. I am currently looking after five vendor advocacy properties – one in Sydney, one in western Brisbane and three local.
I have three current buyer agent clients. I lost two that decided the Byron market is too hot to handle. One has gone elsewhere and is one is waiting a year to see what the market does. For my clients who are buyers, I monitor every listing as it appears and keep thinking about off market options. If something is mildly interesting or close to the brief, I inspect it and send a video of the property (if they are not present). If we like a property, I do a full report and a comparative market analysis and discuss whether it is fair value or worth making an offer. Buying conditions are actually good right now, if we can find something suitable. As I mentioned, a lot of the competition is distracted and some vendors want to do a deal prior to Xmas so they can start the New Year fresh and may listen to offers.
Most of my clients come through referrals from previous buyers or sellers. It is rewarding to get the feedback from people who say they will never buy (or sell) in the future without using a buyer’s agent. Same with other agents who I conjunct with as a VA. Many are sceptical at first and wonder why they are giving a slice of their commission to a secondary agent. After the process is complete, they see the advantage of having someone taking care of the vendor, translating and explaining the process and strategy, while they concentrate on finding and negotiating with buyers.
For a couple of days a month I am busy doing this: writing the monthly BPS newsletter. It is also a good way of promoting the business and finding new clients. I also enjoy getting the feedback from readers who say how much they enjoy and it is one of the few newsletters that they bother to open and read. (BTW – the industry average is 8% open and read rate while the BPS newsletter is never below 46%).
For my vendor advocacy clients I am mainly talking with the listing agents and monitoring the online activity. One property is yet to list so I am involved in making sure that the few cosmetic touches are completed before the professional photos are done so it can be listed with the agent. It now looks like a mid January listing will happen so it can go out fresh. One of my main chores as a vendor advocate is ensuring the listing agent does their job and fulfills their commitment. I hate rewarding agents who have “bought a listing” by promising the owner a good price that is then not achievable.
My PA and I are also spending some time trying to wade through all the social media options. I have sunk a bit of money into Google adwords and still unsure whether that will pay off. Social media is a labyrinth and a maze built on a swampy quagmire. It is so easy to get lost and confused and fleeced. Adwords apparently pays off after you get it sorted but can be expensive in the process. I am also dabbling with LinkedIn and my Facebook business page. Please like my FB page if you want as you get more shares, stories and other articles than what is available in the newsletter.
The BPS office will be closing Friday Dec 18 and not opening again till January 20. I, Michael Murray, will still be available on mobile or email and if any reader is here on holiday and wants a catch up for a coffee or chat I am happy to meet. I will be in Sri Lanka from Jan 10 to 20th though.
On behalf of BPS, have a happy holiday season and wish you all well for a joyous and prosperous 2016. I have found the best remedy for all of the ills and trouble in the world is to be grateful for the small part of it that we are experiencing now. If Byron Bay is a bubble, at least it can be a bubble of beauty and harmony. Lets try to keep duplicating that and it may spread to other places.
Thanks for you time and interest,
Michael and the BPS team.