Property sales have increased quite considerably in many areas since lockdown was lifted on the real estate industry at the beginning of June. These increases have been attributed to low interest rates and pent-up buyer demand, but not everyone is experiencing this high and it could very well be due to the marketing techniques your agent is employing. And with the festive season around the corner, many sellers are keen to get their homes sold before the end of the year.
Known as the ‘House Whisperer’ by clientele in the East Rand Suburbs of Dowerglen, Dunvegan and Marais Steyn Park, Deena Pitum, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties, has been turning over stock at a rapid rate in the last five months. “The last few months have been very good. There were quite a lot of properties sitting on the market that have now been sold. There is no doubt that, as an industry, we have had to adapt the way we do business. The traditional tactics still work really well but we now complement them with digital and virtual tools,” says Pitum.
She urges homeowners to build a relationship with their chosen estate agent and discuss the various tools that will be used to successfully market their home. Some of the most useful techniques for her include:
- Let your Record Speak for Itself
Deena says one of her best tools is her electronic business card. “It not only shares information about me and where I specialise but also reflects my successes. It covers everything from my latest property listings to which homes I have sold; how long it took me to sell them, as well as references. With one click I get to share this with buyers and potential clients through WhatsApp,” explains Pitum. And, of course, that good old-fashioned SOLD board still works wonders for showing off sales success.
- Keep in Touch and Keep Talking
This seems like a basic but not everyone has done so. It is crucially important to stay in touch with your sellers and build that relationship. Use the opportunity to talk with your clients and reassess their property objectively in light of what is happening in the surrounds. Price counselling is extremely important, and many sellers have been open to reviewing their listing to get the most out of the market.
- Reboot the Marketing Effort
Take time to reboot and refresh your property portfolio by rotating stock on the portals and changing photos, descriptions and updating prices. By employing a few of these tactics, a property that has been on the market for some time can be given a new lease of life – and an opportunity to get back on top. Digital statistics also provide key insights into how buyers feel. “Look at how many hits your properties are receiving. If one gets 45 views and another one only two, then you know something isn’t right and you need to have an open and frank discussion with the seller,” explains Pitum.
- Virtual Show Days
With open show days still prohibited, agents are using virtual property tours to give buyers a feel for the property before setting up a view by appointment. Virtual tours are proving successful in matching buyers with the right home. “We’re not here to waste anyone’s time. Before meeting at property, we have vetted the buyer in terms of financing and, based on the virtual tours, their level of personal interest in the home. There is much more to the matchmaking process now before you get there physically, resulting in quicker offers than we were getting before”.
Pitum has concluded more than 30 sales since 1 June and has noticed that a lot of millennials are buying. “They are qualifying for financing quite easily and, with the low interest rates, are able to consider higher priced homes than initially thought. Several of them have chosen to postpone their weddings to buy property instead – basically, a deposit on a house instead of paying for a wedding venue. A well-considered long-term financial commitment,” concludes Pitum.