Author Archives: aro_admin

How To Create a Permanent Commission Flow and Recession Proof your Business.

Are you always struggling to have a steady flow of commissions coming in? Some months are great and other months you’re on rice and water, I’ve been there and so have most agents. How would you like to never have that problem again and have people coming to you to sell their properties?

Well, this is a case of working smarter and not harder!

Become an investment expert.

If you work in an agency with a rent roll you’re off to a flying start, I didn’t have one and it still worked, let me tell you how.

Call every Landlord and ask them if they would like to become a part of your “VIP list”. As a member, you will receive;

  • Bargain properties, that must sell
  • Properties with great returns
  • Properties in unique location
  • Properties in locations that have shown tremendous capital growth

Make sure members know that these properties will be sold quickly and that they will need to contact you directly as you will not have time to call them personally.

When I did this I didn’t have a rent roll to start with so I would ask every buyer (home buyers and investors) whether I sold them a property or not, if they would like to a part of the “VIP list.

The key to this is that you are sending these properties out as they become available with your agency or another agency (with that agencies approval), so you really need to keep an eye on the market and do not be concerned if you don’t get paid on every sale because some agents won’t pay commission on a great property as they know they can sell it themselves. What you will start to build is a very strong investor database that will trust you and will refer others providing you a pool of clients that will buy all year round, through good and bad markets.

Developers will be knocking your doors down to sell their stock and providing it stacks up as a great buy you will be able to move their properties. Brand new properties can be extremely attractive to investors because of all the depreciation deductions.

Whenever you are sending out a property make sure you create a spreadsheet that shows what the income is, expenses, depreciation schedule (this can be done by an accountant or sourced by doing some research) and importantly showing what they would need to have as either a deposit or in equity to buy. You should create a spreadsheet for 3 income brackets ($50,000, $75,000, $100,000) to show recipients that are employed if they used a PAYG withholding application form which basically means that instead of receiving a lump sum tax refund at the end of the year they can have that amount refunded over the 12 months in their pay packet by having less tax deducted, resulting in very little out of pocket expense to buy the property.

You must have the appropriate disclaimer stating that these are only example outgoing figures and that they should check with their accountant as everyone’s circumstances vary. Please make sure you’re up with the current tax laws with property investment by discussing this with an accountant.

Finally, it’s always good to put in additional content of any new laws that may affect investors and market stats from your area into your newsletter.

Most people will want to get onto this list and I found that they were, in many cases, forwarding these emails straight on to investors they know..

By following these steps you will create a permanent commission flow and have a recession proof business.

happy customers in discussion with realtor

The New And Changing Face Of Customer Service

Good old-fashioned customer service never goes out of style. No matter what industry you work in, the clients you work with, or the products you sell, a simple smile, hello, and a helpful nature go a very long way.

As real estate agents, we meet and greet hundreds of new faces over the course of a single week. It can be hard to keep track of everyone and all the associated paperwork on top of running an agency and attending to other matters. Unfortunately, customer service seems to be the first quality to slip. But don’t let it! Patch it before it cracks, because as soon as you lose your customer service skills, the reputation and reliability of an agency can suffer dramatically.

Want to know the easiest way to lighten the daily load and improve customer service? Robots. Let me explain…

Technology is a wonderful thing when used to help humanity get back on top. Those little robots living inside your computer are here to help manage and automate daily, autonomous tasks so that you can spend your time working more efficiently.

How Customer Service Software Can Help

Software like Aro is designed with this helpful nature in mind. In fact, it is the exact reason Aro was developed. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs/tools are designed to get you out of the office and spending more time with clients. That means faster, smoother sales, happier clients, and less working time for you. Best of all, the program is simple, user-friendly, and does not require high-level computer skills to operate – leaving you free to do what you do best:

  • Administration staff become more effective and efficient because many of their day-to-day operations are instantly taken care of;
  • Sales consultants can provide accurate information to clients confidently and quickly, so they have more time to do what they do best – listing and selling properties;
  • And you and your managers no longer need to be in the office every minute of the day to oversee outcomes and staff contributions.

Think of these programs as an extra set of hands (like an assistant), helping you get back on track and out from under a massive workload. The system can:

  • Store documents, generate letters/forms, and send notifications;
  • Enter all your office’s letters for easy management of regular correspondence for all events; and
  • Create automatic reminders for all correspondence.

Customer service is a crucial key to success in this industry. How are your skills ranking? Time is money, so why not start using your time to your advantage to network, communicate, and collaborate with new and exciting clients. Speak to our friendly team at Aro today to find out more about CRMs and how they can help your business. We can even set you up with a FREE seven (7) day trial, at no obligation so you can test it for yourself.

Found this article helpful? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us today for a chat.

Real estate agent helping young family to buy flat

Are You Working Blind In the Property Market?

When it comes to working in property and real estate, there is no point in being a specialist in selling multi-million dollar homes in your area, if only two homes in that price bracket are sold every year, what are the chances of you selling them? Let’s say that you did sell them; what commission would you make? What if most houses in your area sold for between $400k and $500k, and you sold 20 of them instead? Where do you think you would make more money? Makes you think, doesn’t it…

You need to do the numbers and work out where you should focus your time and effort in listings. By working out what percentage of sales each year are made in each price bracket, and in each property type (i.e. houses, units, land, etc.), will allow you to see clearly where you should be listing. Find that niche, and you can focus your efforts to become a specialist in those brackets. Or worst case, have your listing portfolio match what sells in your local market.

For example, if 40 percent of houses that sell are between the $350k and $500k price bracket, as a realtor you will need to make sure that 40 percent of your listings are in that bracket also. If you want to make the most money you can, the wise decision would be to operate in the bracket of where the most property turnover is.

There are factors within each market and sales team to be realised; take them into account if you are to succeed. Do not work blind! Become aware of your local market and the competitive advantages it can provide.

Below are helpful takeaways for you to consider, to help make your market analysis a little bit easier. You need to investigate and research:

  • Local property market turnover
  • Number of houses in each price bracket
  • Number of sales every month in each price bracket
  • Median sale price
  • Difference between listing price and sale price
  • Your average commission on listing price and sale price
  • Average time it takes to sell a home in your local market
  • Number of agents in your local market
  • Number of listings in your local market
  • Change in market over the last three months
  • Change in market over the last twelve months

If you can analyse and have an answer for each of these points it is a great starting point into dissecting the market.

Over time as the market continues to grow, it can get a little overwhelming. Aro Software has the unique ability to categorise and analyse your local property market. It’s real estate software that works the way you do, to make time and resource management more efficient. For more information on how Aro can help you mine the full potential of your local market, contact us today.

 

How to use your CRM for more vendor paid advertising

One of the most challenging things you will do, as a salesperson in real estate is have a seller pay a sufficient amount for marketing so their property has the appropriate exposure to sell.

When we were in real estate we had over 100 salespeople and using the below method, our entire team averaged just under 1% marketing investment from the vendor of the list price. For example, on a $500k sale, there would be a $5,000 marketing budget allocated.

Here’s how we did it…

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what is the importance of marketing, and why are you seeking funds from the seller to support it? There is only one answer: to achieve a higher sale price for the property which results in more than covering the marketing dollars spent.

Real estate marketing is all about increasing the exposure of the seller’s property beyond the street address. Without appropriate marketing, how will people know that your client’s home is for sale? Or, how will investors seek out new properties? Simply put, they won’t and they can’t. Not without marketing.

Ideally, you would be using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that has the functionality to produce the following data and reporting. Make sure you consistently enter every buyer enquiry into a system that allows you to tag where that enquiry came from (i.e. walk in, signboard, realestate.com.au, local paper, etc.)

Once you have entered a considerable amount of buyers and the source of their enquiry, hopefully, your CRM has the ability to provide the following reports. If not, these can be done manually.

  1. The number of enquiries from each source. How many buyers saw properties from a signboard and enquired? Or, how many enquired through realestate.com.au?
  2. The number of sales from a single source. This is the number of enquiries that came in from a single source and of those enquiries resulted in the purchase of that property.

These two reports will give you valuable information on what is actually working in your marketing strategy and what is not. For example, you may find that enquiries directed from your local paper have never resulted in a sale and therefore you’re probably wasting your money unless you’re getting another benefit like listing enquiries. You might see that a certain website is generating more genuine enquiries that are converting to sales. It could be that a higher percentage of enquiries resulted in sales thanks to this medium instead. If more genuine buyers look at that website, you should probably increase the dollars spent there.

  1. The third and final report you need will visually display the previous results (see a sample below). Ideally a pie chart and your CRM, will be able to produce this report with ease. You will be able to visually and easily represent the number of sales you have achieved from buyer enquiries across each source.

161017_image-for-blog_how-to-use-your-crm-for-more-vendor-paid-advertising-300x222

(Click chart to view larger)

Based on the information from the pie chart you will be able to launch your marketing plan, allowing for well-measured exposure across the different mediums. When discussing with your client, provide them with hard copies and good visuals of what each marketing piece in those categories will look like.

The aim of these reports is to persuade your client further of the benefits of marketing. Out laying funds upfront can be daunting for clients; therefore, you need to ensure you have all of your facts in order so that they can see the ‘bigger picture’.

When explaining to the client, the first point you need to make is that you have put together a strategy to give them the best opportunity to achieve the highest price for their property. The objective of this strategy is to get more than one really interested buyer on their property, so they can compete against each other and drive the price up.

At this point, you should have the seller’s full attention and you move into explaining how your company over time has identified the areas where the best buyers come from by keeping accurate data. This is where you show them your well-calculated reports. Work your way through the reports and visuals, showing them the marketing medium that relates to the pie chart.

Once you have finished, state that you have taken the conservative approach by making sure that no area where your company has attracted genuine buyers in the past has been left out. This would give the best opportunity to leave “no stone unturned” in finding the best buyers for your client’s property and hopefully more than one.

At this point one of two things will happen:

  1. They will agree with your strategy and the budget you have allocated, or;
  2. They may agree with the strategy but not the budget.

In this case, do not defend or try and convince them to pay the entire budget. Simply ask them what budget would they feel more comfortable with. Once you have a figure, ask them which marketing they would like to remove. Make sure to point out the percentage of buyers from that category that will not see their property. You should ask here are they okay to take those buyers away? Then wait for an answer.

Use the same dialogue for each area that they want to remove. However, do be cautious. In many cases, the client will ask for your recommendation as to which mediums to remove. Regardless of your research, your response to this question should allow for the client to make their own decision. Reply that you cannot comment, as you do not know where the best buyer might come from that will pay the most for their property. This is the reason you made your recommendation to cover all the areas to have the best chance of attracting a sale.

The moment you suggest to remove something you will lose credibility. The client will start to question why you recommended that medium in the first place and what else can they also remove. Stand by your marketing plan and don’t involve yourself in changing things if you believe in it.

This process is consultative and at no point to be about selling advertising. It’s all about a strategy to get your client more money. If they decide to remove items, then it is at their peril that they have limited what they could achieve.

When/if a seller has decided to remove any marketing, then down the track if the property has not sold then you can suggest to them to add what was originally removed back to the marketing strategy.

You should stick to this process remaining consultative in nature and make your sellers part of the strategy then you will be far more successful in getting the correct marketing for a property to sell at a higher price and have a lot of happy clients.

If you need further advice on accessing a great real estate CRM to assist you with building the reports you require for a successful marketing strategy you can find out more about how Aro can support you here.

 

Keyboard with SEO written

What is SEO and why do I need it for my real estate agency?

SEO and Real Estate: A Winning Combination

Google and other search engines rank websites based upon certain ‘criteria’. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short) is all about improving your website ranking and ensuring you can be found in search listings for specific keywords and phrases relevant to your business.

When a potential buyer or vendor searches for real estate agents in your area, your website ranking is crucial! The higher up on the search page, the more likely they will come to your website. Ranking number one is the best way to get traffic to your website and will help increase your listings and sales.

Now that the World Wide Web has so many websites, where you rank on Google is a kind of ‘quality control’ for websites – your site won’t get ranked highly if it isn’t of high quality.

You’re probably wondering ‘but how do I improve my website’s SEO’?

Google looks at all areas of your site to determine its ‘quality’ and where to rank it. There are two key areas which you can look into improving today:

1. Does your website have keyword rich content?

2. Does your website have a responsive design suitable for mobile devices?

To build your SEO you need to ensure you have keyword rich content on your website. To start you will need to do some research. Make a list of keywords and phrases you think people will be searching to find your site. For example, if you are taking listings in a particular suburb ensure this suburb is included in your website copy. Google is looking for websites that are regularly updated with relevant content.

A great way to have a keyword rich website is to upload a blog regularly. You can write your blogs on different topics and ensure you tick off your checklist of relevant keywords each time. Whilst it can be simple to create new content, it’s not always easy finding the time. If you’re strapped for time we would recommend that you contact a specialist marketing and/or SEO company. They will work on creating relevant content to regularly update your website and help build your SEO.

Secondly, you will need a website that has the technology Google and other search engines support. Simply put – your website needs to be responsive. This ensures your website can be viewed on any device. Google knows everyone is now searching from their smartphones and rewards responsive websites with a better ranking. If your website is more than two years old, it is highly likely that it needs rebuilding with a responsive design. Unfortunately, creating a responsive website requires special skills, but rest assured we can take care of the entire process for you. At Aro we provide real estate specific websites. Having built over 2,000, we are experts in providing the right solution for you.

To find out more about SEO, website optimisation, and how Aro can help, contact our friendly team. We can organise a free SEO test on your website, so you know how you’re ranked against the competition.

 

why choose us paper

Why Asking ‘Why’ Is So Powerful

Why us? Why me? And why my company? These are very important questions to ask yourself, to understand why clients should choose you.

Competition in the real estate industry increases every day. If you can confidently answer those questions above in a way that has meaning to a seller, you will always have a very valuable, competitive advantage over your competitors.

If most companies in your area offer ‘excellent service’ or photo ads or agent contact twice a week, then these are not things that are going to impress a seller as special or advantageous. You cannot sell the generic. The fact that you put a sign up and so does somebody else creates you equal. In other words, you cannot say:

  • I give good service
  • We try harder
  • We use photo signs

The key is true differentiation.

Differentiation is the only other way you can gain a strategic advantage in any business. So it comes down to the question of ‘what is the difference between you and anybody else in your area?’

Ask yourself, ‘what can your company offer a seller that is clearly different or superior to your competition?’ What do you have more of? What do you have the best of? You are the only ones who have…? You are unique because…?

Now make a list of what you personally have to offer a seller. One obvious area is your track record. How long have you been in the business? How many sales have you made? What percentage of your listings do you sell? What special training have you had? Have you had training or experience in another field that contributes to your work?

All of these key selling points that you come up with for the company and you personally can be used as a beginning to build your profile and also all of the messages and advertising you do throughout your listing presentation. Extracts from this can be included on your website, back of cards, fliers, and so on.

Below are two examples, one for your business and another for your own agent profile:

  1. Business: By listing with our agency we will arrange a professional photographer and have a specialist copywriter prepare the advertising to ensure your home looks the best and not only attracts more buyers but the right ones.
  1. Agent: I have lived in this area for the last 20 years and worked in real estate for the past 10 years – I really know how to get people excited about our region. Having negotiated millions of dollars’ worth of property over this time I use this experience to get you the best possible price for your property.

It is vital to understand the reasons for a seller to list with your company and the reasons why they would list with you, personally. Understand the answers to these questions, and work out what sets you apart from the crowd. Asking why provides knowledge – and knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you have to work with, and the more your competition will struggle to keep up.

Taking such a genuine approach towards your lead generation will provide you with a long lasting understanding of your personal and company core values. All of which will be reflected in your customer relations, giving you a comfortable competitive edge.

Now all you need to do is go ahead and create your lists. Once completed make sure you use these key selling points in everything you do!

 

Designers with computer

Content brings clients to YOU!

We real estate agents can get a bad rap sometimes. We have been painted as too salesy, too pushy, and even too busy! That’s just not fair! The human element of real estate needs to be restored once and for all, and what better way to do it than through content?

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to produce an engaging website, nor a writer to create a persuasive email that will generate leads. All you have to be is a team leader, an innovator, with just a touch of tech savvy in you.

Content creation is all about thinking dynamically.

Here we have a few simple tasks you could start doing today to engage further with your clients and bring potential clients to you:

Add a newsletter signup form to your website and regularly (but not too often) send your database an update on your business and the industry, keep it simple and interesting.

  1. Create an eBook to provide your clients with the tools to make more educated real estate decisions. Your first eBook topic could be about the top 5 things to look for when buying a property in your area.
  2. Get engaged on social media, set up a Facebook and Instagram page and start posting and hashtagging your activity to engage with current and potential clients.
  3. Create a blog on your website. This can be used for latest news for your business, helpful hints for clients and industry trends.

The trick here is making the time you spend on creating content worth your time by placing this content where it will be seen by as many potential and existing clients as possible. If you have a great blog or eBook be sure to share it on your social media pages and include it in your newsletter.

With our support you can go the next step with your content and customer service.

A simple automated email response can make all the difference to a client. The ideals of traditional customer service have not been forgotten by your clients; however, understanding how to provide the same level of service digitally will make all the difference.

If you would like to engage more with your clients using the suggestions above but find yourself time poor (like most busy agents) we have automated some of these steps to streamline the process. If you would like to find out how easy it could be to implement these ideas into your business with support from Aro click here today.