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Going from Nuts to Normal How to survive in a normal market

With Danny Grant, The Agency

Seasoned professional Danny Grant has seen a big change in the market in the last year. He says, “The market has changed dramatically I guess, from what it was 18 months ago."

This market is sorting out who can sell and who can’t. Danny says, “You used to be able to open the door, people would come in. You wouldn't have to be a great negotiator. People would make great offers without you inducing it. Auctions would be competitive. That's not the way it was when I started, and I say to a lot of people that this market is normal. A lot of people think that it's devastating and it's horrible, but it's actually quite normal. It's abnormal to have over a hundred groups coming through. It's abnormal to have ten people beating and competing at auctions. All I've known is that normal is when you have one or two buyers and you close those one or two buyers."

It’s a time for people who can actually sell. In this market Danny says, agents have to, “…influence sales more than you've ever had to, because you might have one buyer on week two and if you don't look after them properly, you could be there in three months' time still.” He adds, “If we're going to list this thing, we've got to list it properly."

Manage your energy – this is a long haul game now.

You've got to be very close to your buyers. Danny says, “The art of working with buyers is really important in this market.” Selling is no longer just opening a house, quote low, and it will all get sold. He adds, “That approach has never really worked effectively and it's certainly not going to work in a hard market."

Frame expectations

In a listing presentation now, it's about educating the vendor as to what the market is actually like. Discuss the market and educate upfront. Danny says, “Discuss what they do know about the market, because I'm finding that there are some vendors that are still in denial. They're not as close to it as we are. They don't always read the press releases that we see. So, probably about half of the people I see have got a bit of a false read and that's not just necessarily from neighbours. That can be from other agents, as there's a shortage of stock and it has been for a long time. So, agents are desperate to get things."

Draw on evidence to show what the market is doing:

Show days on market. Property start price. Examples of conservatively priced properties that exceeded expectations.

Danny says, “I find that when people are talking about certain prices that other agents told them, I just say, ‘Based on what? What comparables did they use?’” He adds, that you should talk about how hard the market is. "’Yeah, we have gotten good results, but geez, they've been really hard. I had one buyer on this. I had one buyer on that, and that's why you need an agent like me with experience because I'm close to the buyers. I pick up the signals. I know when to sell it prior. I know when to take it through to auction. I know how to influence a buyer through my salesmanship’."

Danny says, “Most owners get it. Look, it's a little bit easier I guess for me because I'm going in with credibility because I've been in the market for so long, and I guess my tonality and approach is not one of being salesman-y and excited.” The vendor concludes, okay this guy is telling the truth.

See opportunities and come up with solutions

As a serial renovator himself, Danny can see opportunities where other agents can’t. He says, “I just got the go-ahead on one that was a two-storey home and they had a big room upstairs with a bathroom. Other agents just went, ‘Yeah, we'll set this up as the living area’, and I went up and said, ‘No, this is going to be a master retreat’. One of the other bedrooms downstairs was big – ‘Let's leave that as a living area, and let's build a wall to make it private at the top’, because it just was an open kind of room. Put a door on it and that was one of the things that clinched the listing. I didn't just say that because I thought that would look pretty. I said it because it's going to sell for a lot more money because this was a five-bedroom house, and it's the next level house for people with slightly older children, parents who want a master retreat. It's a big selling feature and all the other agents missed it."

You also need to appreciate all the details and effort sellers have put into their homes. Danny says, “You need to pay attention to the house and you need to pick up their signals. You're selling houses. It's a product that we're marketing. Any product that you market, whether it's a car or whatever it is, you need to know it back to front. You can't just know about selling, you need to know about the product that you're selling. Create relationships with plumbers and builders so you can ask, ‘Okay, how about if we move drainage; how would we put in a pool? How would we cut through a double brick wall? How would we add on - what would it roughly cost? What's the per square metre rate to do renovation nowadays?"


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