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Buyer Management

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Mark Kentwell, Working hard for the money

It’s hard to keep up with Mark Kentwell. He’s always in a hurry.

Mark is one of the best known and most successful real estate agents in the Hunter region. Even though he is only 30 years of age, he is the selling principal at PRD Newcastle, runs an EBU within the business with 8000 live and active contacts and had 25 staff at last count.

He says, “I aim to list 12 to 15 properties a month. Real estate is an industry that rewards effort. It’s amazing though how quickly the momentum stops. I’m prospecting as hard as I was when I first started.”

Mark hasn’t taken a breath since he left school. Bored and frustrated with textbooks and teachers, he took an apprenticeship as an electrical fitter/ fitter mechanic in the mines in Western Australia. Not content with learning two trades at once, while there he also completed his Certificate of Registration for real estate.

His studies gave him a taste of the magic of real estate. He explains, “I took a voluntary redundancy out of the mines at the age of 23 and everyone thought I was mad. I then went out and started a business from scratch.”

Beginning in commercial, once Mark hit the pavement and started doorknocking, he moved into residential and the results flowed. Working in an area where the average sales price is between $450-500K, in his first year he wrote $120,000. He says, “The next year was $260,000. The following year after that was $580,000. The following year after that was $890,000. The following year after that was $1,000,090. So I crossed that mean barrier within five years. The best year on record since then has been $1.475M plus GST for the year.”

You’d think with those kinds of numbers, Mark would be ready to take a breather but no chance. Mark Kentwell will never slow down. Listed below are some of his strategies for success.

How he generates leads

Creates and maintains business networks

Mark says, “I’ve worked hard on developing a network of people around me who are experts and work in related industries and can provide great service and solutions to my clients. We meet weekly at a breakfast meeting. It started from very early days, but now I’ve probably got about 30 people in that network – including skip bin suppliers, a builder, mortgage broker, accountant, travel agent, electrician and a carpenter.”

Buyer management is a listing opportunity

Mark sees buyer management as the strongest form of new lead source. He says, “We treat the buyer, from the very first point of contact, as a listing opportunity. We ask the right questions early and give brilliant service because that’s the first step towards getting the opportunity to be the agent that sells their home when the time comes.”

Don’t just send letters and cards

Mark believes that many listings come from clients who have bought and sold through him. “It is not enough to send letters and cards. It’s just delegating the responsibility of picking up the phone and calling those people. You have to pick up the phone and maintain the connection.”

Work the database

Mark has worked out that one in three in appraisals is ready to sign. “For the others, I have a call plan in place. I make sure I make good notes on each appraisal - the price; the price it’d be worth if they did some work; the people that I recommended to them to do some work; and the reasons to be calling them back in the future. This information allows me to be specific when I call them back and gives me reasons to call.”

Make conscious branding decisions

Slick does not work in Mark’s market. He says, “We try and look approachable. It’s a conscious branding decision. There are brands that look so schmick and beautiful that most people think, ‘That’s too good for me. I’m not going to sell with them. It’s going to be expensive.’ We’ve got billboards, we’ve got a bus shelter campaign, we’ve got 120,000 letterbox drops that go out over, roughly, a six to nine month period and I’d take probably 12 to 20 bookings a year for charity auctions.”

Mark’s four categories of buyers

They are:

Buyer 1 – people who are selling and buying.

I’ll spend most of my time with them and I’ll set a trail for them. I’ll contact them 48 hours after their enquiry to see if (a) they liked the property they looked at; or (b) why they didn’t go and look at that property. Once I figure out how active they are, I’ll reset another trail.

Buyer 2 – people who have made a bid or an offer

They’re brilliant to have. You can use them for prospecting purposes or you can use them for your previews of new properties coming up. You’ll get early offers from them and you’ll probably get stronger offers from them as well because they’re just done with it. If you service those well, they’re the people that are coming over 10, 15, 20 grand over the next best buyer when the deal’s done.

Buyer 3 – people with specific criteria

They’re very clear on what they’re after. They’ve usually got their finance pre-approved and when the right property comes up, they’re a definite to inspect and a chance to offer. They’re the ones that are mostly in our system because they know what they want and when it comes up, they’ll check it out.

Buyer 4 – people who are less qualified

It’s the first point of contact; we didn’t get to a lot of detail on the phone or at the open house. They might be subject to finance still, going through pre-approval, waiting for an event to happen. We don’t neglect these buyers because they become great buyers of 6 to 12 months away.


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Mark Kentwell, Working hard for the money