phone: 1300 367 412


Vendor Management

Print Article

Learning to work with your tribes with Dane atherton

with Dane Atherton Harcourts Coastal & Hot Topics

Success in real estate is defined by the customer experience you deliver to both vendor and purchasers and the advocacy you receive from satisfied clients as a result.

Keeping one eye on the vendor and the other on the buyer demands systems and processes you can rely on. There are many things that agents can do to provide that moment, that wow factor where clients actually appreciate that they're part of your tribe versus any other agency out there just doing the same thing as anybody else. Dane Atherton from Harcourts Coastal and Hot Topics, explains his tribes and how he and his team provide the ongoing wow factor.

The Gold Coast is a unique market and attracts a wide range of tribes – the local market, interstate and overseas investors and the luxury market. They all need different levels of support.

Segmenting the Market

Dane says, “Obviously we’ve got the local market, which tends to be more informed in terms of where to live, where they want to live and what's going on in local infrastructure. Then we've got the interstate or overseas investors, who quite often buy property, sight unseen. Some of our owners have never even been to the Gold Coast, but they own property here. Some of them have holidayed here four years ago and rent out the unit they bought with their ice cream when they were here back in the day, and they've kept it rented. They need to be more informed in terms of what's going on because they're completely out of touch a lot of the time.”

In recent years, there has been a greater presence of active investors from Asia in Dane’s market. In response, he says, “We've aligned ourselves with an immigration lawyer who is fabulous, and he's on our website. We've also got an international buyer strategy that's on our website where they can get on, and view Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) documents. They can basically self-qualify, but we've actually aligned ourselves with an expert, which I would highly advise because they are brilliant.”

Another key tribe for Dane and his team is the luxury market. The luxury market is made up of successful locals upgrading, and interstate and overseas clients. Dane says, “We've got high-end sales in the Gold Coast. We've got a very diverse marketplace, so some of our sales are $250K to $450K. Some of our sales are above the $2 million and $3 million mark. That tribe is very different. What we've noticed is that it's a lot of drama.”

Dane says, “The difference between that tribe, I find, from an agent marketing perspective is you can't take the agent profiling marketing model and transmit it into the high end. It really has to be about property-based marketing because it's about associating yourself with high end products and product knowledge. You can't go in there and not know about distressed timbers, the teppanyaki barbecue, the theatre on Level 5 or the Oracle buildings here. They are just stunning. Actually, they're my favourite units in Australia. Those two towers were built by gemologists. They’re those who love things with beauty. Not knowing that information about those towers is when a client would go, ‘But I've heard better things about this building. You didn't really get into that’. They know straight away if you know what you're talking about and if you don't.”

Make sure you are providing value

Whichever tribe or market you are dealing with, Dane believes, “You've got to make sure that what you're doing with that tribe is a value to them. For example, if we've got apartment owners in Surfers Paradise, they're really not that interested in waterfront sales in Mermaid Waters. There's no point sending them sales that aren't relevant to their property. If you do, they just think, ‘You don't know what you're doing’."

Any communication must be carefully targeted. Dane explains, “One of our sales teams who looks after the Surfers Paradise apartment market will actually send out a card which will prompt a response from the client to make sure that we're sending them what they want. It might be, ‘Do you want to receive a list of comparable sales?’, ‘Which building do you want the sales from?’. They might choose multiple buildings, specific floors. It's very specific and we might also ask for a health check on their mortgage, which is important to investors. It's about making sure that you're communicating with that tribe and giving them what they want, instead of what we think they want.”

One of Dane’s agents who works in the luxury market produces a full magazine for her clients. Dane explains, “The magazine is done quarterly and it goes out to her sphere. It goes out to her marketplace where she's hoping to build relationships with those clients. That's a very particular kind of marketing piece, and that's calendered. That's scheduled for the year. What she’s found is that it doesn't actually necessarily have to be active listings that go in that magazine. It's just got to fit the genre of listings that she's trying to approach. For example, she's got a listing on Hedges Avenue right now that's probably a little bit ambitiously priced. That is a listing she's using to position herself in that marketplace. If she sells it, it's a bonus but it fills her magazine with properties that are positioning her in that market.”

In a place like the Gold Coast, agents have to be agile and be able to communicate with multiple audiences and know what to say and when in order to persuade. Agents also have to know everything about each member of their tribes. Dane says, “There’s a quote that real estate is one of the most simple businesses in the world because we know where our clients live. We also know where our clients have coffee! It’s vital to have a mechanism to capture those people so you can keep in touch with them.”

How Well do you know your tribes?



Go back