Auction or Tender, Price or No Price?

I was in a listing presentation last night and I was the third agent in.

There was a lot of discussion around two key points, the price that could be achieved and the method of sale.

The previous agents had argued extensively for their particular point of view. One strongly favoured no price and an aggressive Auction, while another was pushing the virtues of a fixed price sale with a tender style process. The owners reported that each of the previous agents were quite passionate about their choices and quite scathing of the opposing point of view and each had argued their case quite convincingly.

This left the owners in somewhat of a quandary and they decided to call a third agent in to just check another opinion. I guess I was going to be the tie breaker, so to speak.

Fifteen minutes into our meeting they asked,

“What do you think the right approach is?”

This my answer.

“They are both wrong.”

Cue puzzled looks.

And then I explained.

You see, what the agents are focussing on here is the end result. They have eloquently laid out their approach and methodology for taking offers but what they haven’t done is explained anything at all about how they get to the offer stage in the first place. This is unfortunately a very common thread amongst agents, that quite frankly, should know better.

What we need to do to create a pathway to interest so here’s my proposal for you.

First, choose me.

Second, I will book a time with you over the next couple of days and I will conduct an in-depth interview with you about all the things you love about the home and the reasons you have lived here for so long. Now I know you have been here 40 years so forgive me if I don’t write War and Peace as your ad but what I’m looking for is the essence of what it’s like to live here. I want to know the emotions, the feelings, the quirks and all the things that make this your home. I want to know this home like it’s a person and I want to know what it means to you and why.

Then I am going to take all of that information and I am going to condense it into a short story and create a snap shot for buyers of what life in this stately old home feels like. Not how many bathrooms it has, or how many bedrooms or even talk about the expansive sun dappled lounge like most agents do, I’m going to talk about and convey what it means to live here, what it feels like to wake up here every day.

Then I am going to set it up so that I can take as many buyers through it as often as I can and I am going to give them a certain amount of free scope to book as many appointments as I can and I am going to turn this place into Bourke St for a few weeks. And you’re going to come to grimace at my calls because you’ll know that’s it’s just me dragging more buyers through.

From here I am going to create an environment where your buyers feel comfortable, I am going to give them ample opportunities to ask questions and I am going to let them know that I am extraordinarily straight forward and direct. There will be no jargon, no games, no silly salesy bullshit, just me trying to provide the optimum opportunity for as many buyers as possible to express their interest.

And then, only then will we decide how we are going to manage the offer process. I have some killer software that usually fits most circumstances but we will, as a team, make that decision when the time is right. I don’t know at this stage if you will have 5 buyers that want to buy or 10 or possibly just the one.

So, let’s get our marketing right. Let’s find out who our buyers are and then let’s roll out with a property specific and engaging campaign that gets the phone ringing and the emails pinging and we’ll deal with the offer stage when we need to.

I left with an authority and an appointment next Tuesday to interview dear Doug and Marg about what living in this home feels like to them.

Show them how you’ll get the buyers before you tell them what you’ll do with the offers, the method of sale is a waste of breath if you can't demonstrate how you will get people interested in the first place!

Lastly, stop using copy writers for your ads. Every ad on the market sounds exactly the same and you are boring your buyers to death, get creative, let the personality of the home shine, not the features.