What IS the market doing?

What IS the market doing?

What IS the market doing?

With the continued mixed media messages about the property market, there still seems to be uncertainty over what the rest of 2013 will bring, let alone where the market will go beyond that..

Julian O'Dell, Director of TM training & development, was invited to discuss the market along with Miles Shipside of Rightmove and Jane Slade of Retiremove on a radio show hosted by Ian Rutter.

It proved to be a fascinating discussion and you can listen to it and see whether your views coincide with those of the panel...

Click here...

Click here to read What IS the market doing?.

2013 Tour Dates

Those dates and course details in full are...


"Gaining Quality Instructions" at Nottingham on Friday 24th May 2013 (morning session).

For valuers, this course covers things an exceptional valuer needs to do before, during and after an appointment to win the business at the right price and on the right terms. The key objectives are improving conversion rates, securing appropriate asking prices and maximising fees. It has received amazing feedback and positively influenced the performance of all who have attended it.


"Selling In A Tougher Market" at Nottingham on Friday 24th May 2013 (afternoon session).

For any staff who are responsible for dealing with applicants, securing viewings and valuations, and maximising business opportunities in challenging market conditions. This course shows how to raise the bar in terms of selling skills and techniques and has proven a resounding success.


"Gaining Instructions from Vendors and Landlords" at Gatwick on Thursday 20th June 2013 (morning session).

*The characteristics of an exceptional lister. * Generating instructions. * Preparing to make your appointment exceptional.      * Gain agreement to your valuation. * Presenting your companies services. * Justifying fees. * Dealing with questions and objections. * Following through an appointment and current stock.


"Competitive Selling Skills" at Gatwick on Thursday 20th June 2013 (afternoon session).

* Selling skills self-assessment.  * Preparing to sell.  * Exceptional applicant qualification.  * Promoting properties through effective phone outs.  * Viewings that work.  * Dealing with barriers to sales.  * Effective presentation and planning to sell.


"Gaining Instructions from Vendors and Landlords" at Darlington on Thursday 11th July 2013 (morning session).

*The characteristics of an exceptional lister. * Generating instructions. * Preparing to make your appointment exceptional. * Gain agreement to your valuation. * Presenting your companies services. * Justifying fees. * Dealing with questions and objections. * Following through an appointment and current stock.


"Managing Your Estate Agency Team To Success" at Darlington on Thursday 11 July 2013 (afternoon session).

* The characteristic of a successful estate agency manager.  * Organizing your team and setting standards.  * Training and coaching your team.  * Dealing with under performance.  * Effective meetings.  * Motivating staff.


Each session costs &99 plus VAT per delegate, however delegates booking both sessions at the Nottingham courses will get a reduced rate of &170 plus VAT to include lunch.

To book or for more information contact us on 01480 405583, email as at admin@tm-traininganddevelopment.co.uk or visit our website http://www.tmtraininganddevelopment.co.uk/online-booking.php


Are you suffering withdrawal symptoms?

Instructions can only go down one of two ultimate routes…they become and exchange or a withdrawal. The former makes you money, the latter costs you money.

Many agents pay surprisingly little attention to their withdrawal rate – however, it is a good snapshot of an estate agency branch’s effectiveness. 

 As a starting point, it would be interesting to assess your performance as an office or individual valuer in 2012. To do this, the following calculation applies…

The critical calculation…

1. Available resale stock as at 1/1/2012

2. Add total number of resale instructions over next 12 months

3. Subtract number of net resale sales agreed during that period

4. Subtract available resale stock total as at 31/12/2012

5. This gives a total number of “withdrawals” the 12 month period

The calculation completed…

6. Take total number of withdrawals for the 12 month period

7. Divide by total number of resale instructions taken during 2012

8. Multiply by 100

9. That shows the withdrawal percentage (range around the country is between 20% and 80%! 25-30% is a reasonable expectation)

10. Take average fee on net sales during that period and multiply by withdrawals total

11. That shows the amount of missed commission during that period….

12. But the true cost is much more significant than that because of money invested in time, marketing, printing, postage, communication etc etc PLUS THE HIDDEN COST OF YOUR TARNISHED REPUTATION WHERE YOU HAVE FAILED TO SELL A PROPERTY!

The key action to take from there is to ensure training and coaching is provided to all staff who are responsible for vendor contact – we run an extremely effective “Exceptional Client Care” halfday training session which has had an amazing impact on reducing the withdrawal rate of estate agents around the country. For further information, please call us on 01480 405583 or email training@tm-royston.co.uk

Applicant management and the dangers of “the triple whammy”…

Data provided to me by agents around the country constantly reinforces the aforementioned principle that too many applicants causes untold problems.


For example, every firm who has studied the available applicant statistics finds that less than 10% of applicants who register ultimately buy a house through them. It is sobering to realise over 90% of applicants simply cost you money.


Furthermore, a number of companies have also looked at where offers come from. One company recently reported that of all the applicants who had made offers through their branches during the first half of 2012, 93% of them had been on the database for three weeks or less at the time they made their offer.


Running a leaner applicant database has improved sales performance for a significant number of companies we have trained, as well as enhancing profitability by driving down unnecessary costs. The typical starting scenario that these firms found themselves in had certain common elements.


Firstly, the policy was to put every applicant who contacted the company straight “onto the system”, where they would remain indefinitely until they bought through the firm or until the applicant requested to be removed. There was no quality control as to who initially went onto the database.


Secondly, the true quality of recorded applicants was impossible to assess, as information on each was limited. Doubtless there were some real gems among the hundreds sometimes thousands of applicants, but they were lost in a mass of mediocrity.


Thirdly, ongoing contact with applicants was minimal. They were often served solely by emailing, often for months on end.


Thus the classic “triple whammy” scenario emerged – no initial quality control, limited information taken from applicants and lack of follow-up contact. In other words, deficiencies in prequalification, qualification and requalification.


Training in “best practice” principles in these three key areas always has a positive effect. A selection of these principles is detailed below.


Failure in the area of “prequalification” means all and sundry are welcomed onto the mailing list, regardless of quality.


Applicants either make you money or they cost you money. The former category would include the genuine buyers who are ready, willing and able to purchase imminently within an agent’s catchment area, and the local applicants with properties to sell who provide instruction opportunities.


Effective agents quickly identify this important minority and focus maximum effort and time on them.


Initially establishing an applicant’s reason for move, timescale and ability to purchase will enable the agent to assess how likely that person is to make them money, and therefore how much time, our most valuable commodity, to trade with them.


Many agents have changed their initial approach from the old chestnut “Do you want to go on the mailing list?” to the more considered “Does this applicant deserve to go on the mailing list?”


Skilled and thorough “qualification” is critical to success. Asking the right questions and paying attention to the answers will immediately highlight which category the applicant falls into.


It is evident from our Mystery Shopper exercises that the ability to qualify varies enormously from individual to individual, often leading to insufficient information being gleaned. It also hinges on which software system is employed, as many of these have severe shortcomings.


For example, establishing that an applicant wants to move “as soon as possible” is virtually meaningless. Specific timescales need to be established – “When do you need have moved by?”, “What is the absolute latest deadline you’re working to?”, “What problems would it cause you if you don’t move by then?” The responses to these questions help sort the wheat from the chaff.


Ongoing contact and “requalification” carry similar weight of importance. Many applicants who register on mailing lists ought to be removed within days because they quickly change their minds about the area or even moving at all. However, in reality they often remain on an agent’s database for weeks or even months due to the lack of an early follow-up call.


Some agents do not “officially” put applicants onto their mailing list until they have made such a follow-up call, typically within three days of initial contact. A high percentage of these calls result in the applicant not going onto the mailing list, thereby saving the agent considerable time and expense. Calls made to the better buyers lead to more viewings and an early opportunity to requalify.


“Best practice” also demands regular ongoing calls to establish changes in requirements, price range and ability. This enables the proactive agent to steal a march on the competition.


One firm has dubbed these three key areas as “The Holy Trinity” as they have seen such a massive leap in results after ensuring that staff follow the principles every day.



Julian O'Dell - TM training & development

How to get more referrals for your mortgage adviser…

 With the volatility within the mortgage markets causing such problems within our industry, it is more important now than ever before to ensure customers are financially capable of moving. Time spent with people who have yet to take mortgage advice is trusting to luck and can result in wasted time and money in servicing them.


The default approach of many agents is the unimaginative “Come and see our Adviser, he/she has access to loads of lenders and can save you money”. If the customer is hearing this for the third or fourth time having already been in touch with other agents, it is not surprising that the barriers go up.


Far too many front-line estate agents have not been furnished with sufficient knowledge to have the confidence to engage customers in dialogue about their finances.


At one of our recent training courses on how to secure more mortgage appointments, it became rapidly apparent that the dozen or so attendees were unaware of current rates, the range of options available, and in some cases even how a mortgage works – the majority having never had a mortgage themselves.


The course in question focuses on a tried and tested approach to ensure customers understand the reasons for and benefits of seeing an adviser and therefore attend the subsequent appointment as they genuinely want to be there. This may sound basic, however many agents suffer from “no shows” because come the time of the appointment, the customer does not have the desire to attend, doubtless because some were browbeaten into booking the appointment in the first place.


Timing is crucial. Establish information during the qualification of the customer, but do not go for commitment to an appointment until later in the conversation once trust and rapport has been established. Asking too early will come across as too pushy and desperate!


The need for a customer to speak with an adviser will vary according to their situation, experience and knowledge. By careful open questioning (“Who have you spoken with about financing your move?” “When did you last take mortgage advice?”) when qualifying the prospective buyer or seller, information will be gleaned as to which is the most appropriate benefit of your adviser’s service to promote.


For example, if the customer has not moved before or for some years, a free moving costs analysis will be extremely helpful – make a habit of asking “How much have you allowed for the costs of moving?” and you will often find that the customer has not yet done so – if you are the agent that is first to offer a solution to this need, you will get the appointment.


If the buyer has limited deposit, establishing which lenders are prepared to offer a high loan to value and discovering the cost of the higher lending charge early in the process is invaluable information.


Someone looking to move quickly should have it explained to them that some lenders are currently dragging their heels so badly on mortgage processing that any desired or necessary deadline for the move could be threatened as a result. Steering applicants to an adviser who can offer advice on speed of process that lenders typically adhere to is great customer service and will help you nurse any resultant transaction through quickly and smoothly.


Knowledge of the range of products available is also a vital part of an estate agent’s armoury, however on many of our recent seminars, it has struck me as extraordinary that many agents are unaware of some of the fundamental financial options which can facilitate moving home.


The benefits of securing more appointments for your Mortgage Adviser are numerous – time invested ensuring staff have appropriate knowledge and skills will reap rewards.


Julian O'Dell

TM training & development

Thought for the day ...

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today" - Malcolm X