Four tips for estate agents in 2016
It’s hard to juggle do-to lists whilst keeping a smile on your face, isn’t it? Clients are calling left, right and centre, appointments are delayed and potential homebuyers never seem to be really happy with what you propose to them. The property market can be a tough industry to be part of and that’s why as an estate agent, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and information required to get you ahead of the rest. 2016 is almost upon us so don’t let the challenges of last year dim the sunshine of this New Year. Here are four tips that are sure to kick-start your 2016 and make it the best year in property yet.
Use technology to your advantage
Everyone knows an estate agent’s weapon is a great smile, but so can a user-friendly and fresh-looking website be too. Travis Balinas, product and content manager at OutboundEngine, speaks about a variety of non-negotiable technological elements that could either make or break estate agents in 2016:
- Allow for a greater consumer experience by making sure your website is both mobile and responsive so that it’s not only accessible for clients from anywhere, but it also looks good and is easy to use.
- Use GIFs where you can in your e-mails. They have recently resurfaced and are becoming popular again. They’re a great way to give your online communication a fun, human aspect to it.
- Have you heard of Hyperlapse? It is a new app launched by Instagram that allows you to do time-lapse photography really easily, and the best part is, it’s free. Balinas adds: “I see Hyperlapse as a unique way for agents to liven up the content they share to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and also as a way to (almost) literally liven up their listings.” You can use Hyperlapse for quick home walk-throughs as it will allow you to show off a lot of space in a short amount of time. Maybe even use it to do a quick drive through the neighborhood? This will give potential buyers a more in-depth view of the area they may eventually call home.
Try to find a routine within the chaos
Famous blogger, Carson Tate, says: “Information overload is the new normal… You need to manage the flow of information in your life.” All too often, the life of an agent can be nothing short of manic, jam-packed with appointments, meetings and running from one property to the next. In order to stay sane and not get overwhelmed by the constant flow of information coming your way, you need to streamline your information inflow by doing the following:
- Carefully choose who you follow on Twitter and Facebook – avoid following people and pages that bring you nothing useful
- Remove yourself from unnecessary mailing lists
- Screen your phone calls and make a time to call people back each afternoon (if possible)
- Check your mails regularly to ensure you don’t miss any important client messages.
Finding your way through the chaos is much easier when you’re more organised and you’ve stripped everything down, leaving you with only the things you really need – decluttering in every way possible is key.
Create an inspiring work environment
Have you been dreaming about putting more art up in your office, or maybe changing that wall colour, adding a quote to your desk, spring cleaning the place or personalising your workspace in any number of ways? Tate explains that one spends an average of 44,2 hours a week at work, and since that’s quite significant, it makes sense for you to create a space in which you’re happy to spend a lot of time. In many ways, your space is your sanctuary, so why not start this New Year by creating a cosy little world for yourself? Everything will seem more enjoyable, you’ll see.
Learn how to photograph a house better than last year
There are loads of tricks to photograph a space and make it look its best. Professional photographer, David Duncan Livingston, indicates that composition is key in creating beautiful photographs. You can vary your compositions: diagonal, straight on and even asymmetrical, each of which highlight certain details. Taking the time to compose a shot meaningfully can make a huge difference for the end result. Here are a few things to bear in mind when next photographing a space:
- Make sure your camera isn’t too close to any furniture
- People tend to like symmetry so the space should be balanced without too many objects on one side or the other
- You can crop your photo after you shoot it to give you more options
- Use natural light as much as possible, so be sure to shoot at the right time of day, whether you’re shooting on the go with your phone or using professional equipment
- Keep the light consistent for the entire house or apartment if possible.
Very often, the first glance people will get of a property will be via photographs, so it will greatly benefit you as the agent if you present images that do the particular home justice – it is, after all, your chance to pique the interest of potential buyers in a matter of seconds.
Just like in any other profession, becoming better at what you do requires investing the necessary energy in learning and growing, both of which can benefit you and your career in the long run. Using these simple four tips in 2016 can really help elevate you from being a good agent, to being a great one. On top of that, you’re bound to enjoy your work more and in return, have happier clients – what more could you ask for really?