Every business owner must know the source of their business and trends being set by the consumers using their products and services. Each quarter my company uses client survey response data to compile a source of business report. This data is compiled by a neutral third party company named Quality Service Certified (QSC). We use this report to help our associates know where to best spend their time, efforts, and money to attract, win, and keep clients long term. Here are some interesting statistics to consider, when comparing January – June 2008 to January to June 2009:
The percentage of Buyers and Sellers whose primary reason for choosing their sales associate was based on…
being a satisfied past/current client decreased 45% from last year for Sellers and decreased 38% from last year for Buyers. This has been a difficult realization for many sales people to come to terms with over the past 12-18 months. Our past clients and sphere of influence have not consistently referred to us like they have in the past. The need to consistently be adding new people to your database and converting people into members of your sphere of influence has never been more important. This statistic also shows us that you should never take someone's business for granted. Do not assume that you will be a past client or current client's automatic choice when it comes time to buy or sell. You have to earn this privilege and demonstrate leadership that draws people to use your services.
the Internet increased 464% from last year for Sellers and increased 102% from last year for Buyers. I don't think this one takes too much explanation. All consumers are starting out online these days. They are looking for a solid resume of past success and testimonials from your clients. Look at how Amazon.com and other online retailers place a high emphasis on "consumer ratings" for products and services that can be purchased on their site. Having a presence on the web that targets the decision habits of the Internet Empowered Consumer is essential. The large increase over last year for Sellers means that you must have more information online with regards to your strategy for selling homes. Consider including a sample listing presentation or pre-listing packet as a free download for consumers to view prior to contacting you.
the sales associate's listing presentation increased 59% from last year. Do you have a professional listing presentation that outlines your strategy for getting your client's home sold? If not, stop reading this blog post and jump over to this one: Winning the Listing Presentation. You must have a listing presentation that addresses the marketing, pricing, and commission strategies you will use to sell your client's home. I'm amazed at how many brokers walk into a listing appointment to discuss these strategies having never seen the home, viewed comparable homes, or created a customized listing presentation based on their clients' needs. If you need any help developing a winning presentation, please contact me.
the Prudential Northwest Properties name/reputation increased 88% from last year for Sellers. Brand recognition and a nationwide presence on television, radio, and the Internet provide confidence and a base level of trust for consumers in this challenging market. In the past smaller firms were able to compete with larger firms because homes were selling quickly and prices were going up rapidly. In today's challenging market consumers want to work with a name brand that is recognizable not only to them but to potential buyers. This does not mean as sales leaders you can sit back and ride the coat tails of your company's brand. You are the deciding factor in any sales opportunity. You must be able to sell your company, yourself, and your service model.
- an open house/walk-in increased 36% from last year for Buyers. When you hold an open house do you simply print extra fliers, bring a good book, hope the sellers have the extended cable package, and wait for buyers to show up? If so, you are missing the boat when it comes to open houses. The most successful open houses usually have been planned for weeks and are held open by agents that have taken purposeful steps to ensure maximum exposure and attendance. Some purposeful steps you can take to make your open houses more successful include: 1) walking the neighborhood and inviting neighbors to visit the open house; 2) walking a "move-up" neighborhood/apartment complex and inviting potential move-up buyers to visit the open house; 3) posting your open house information on high-exposure websites like Trulia.com, Craiglist.com, and your Company's Open House website.
Question: What sort of trends are you experiencing with consumers the first half of 2009 and how are you adapting your business model to take advantage of those trends?
Make it a great day!