The real estate agent is useless nowadays!
Now, even a private individual who wants to sell a house never has to do is put up a nice SALE sign with their contact details, take some photos, write the text of an ad and insert it within a series of real estate advertising portals and various ads now within the reach of anyone and wait for contacts.
I am a real estate agent and owner of Orizzonte Casa Sardegna, I deal with the sale of houses in Sardinia and most of the property owners are located in the Italian peninsula. This certainly makes it easy for an obnoxious bloodsucking agent like me
In your opinion, we also have a very bad reputation for underestimating the market value of the properties of our potential sellers, which makes us even more repulsive! Am I exaggerating? Maybe yes, but I believe that every professional should know how to put himself in his client’s shoes to better understand the dynamics at stake, when an owner makes the decision to put his property up for sale, and in the shoes of those who want to buy and therefore whether to trust or no to a real estate agent. Let’s do a brief analysis of the market situation.
For some years now the market and the economic situation in general and even more so now with the future post Covid-19, makes sales difficult and the timing of the same has lengthened a lot. The amount of people in Italy available both economically and psychologically to purchase have gradually thinned out, creating a situation where the few determined to buy are activated in negotiations and offers often at the limit of looting, hoping to find the real estate chimera of the OCCASION of the desperate owner. In this real estate-apocalyptic scenario what can a real estate agent do? Does it have the ability to sell any property at the price requested by the owner and, at the same time, satisfy the increasingly demanding, super-informed buyers of the market?
Most likely these qualities, I would say almost superhuman, does not possess them but, if he is a professional CONTINUOUSLY informed on the current means of communication, attentive to the dynamics of the real estate market, its transformation and the psychology at stake, he will implement a radical change in his way of operate.
Currently statistics in hand, 50% of the properties sold in Italy are not brokered by real estate agencies. A question therefore arises and a good dose of self-criticism is needed to understand why all of the above and how a real estate agency can be effective and achieve tangible results in this difficult moment.
Here’s what a real estate-apocalyptic agent knows or should know and what anyone who wants to sell a house should know:
- It’s useless to take or assign a property that is completely out of current market values and if you do it, you must realize that it is an attempt that will almost certainly have negative results. It would be advisable not to sell or even RENT the property seasonally in the meantime, given that the rental market in Sardinia is significantly improving. Almost all real estate agents are able to organize the seasonal rental of a property.
A house in a bad state of use, with problems of humidity, untidy, overgrown lawn, hedges not pruned, etc. it will be hardly palatable. (A fix is highly recommended in these cases and Home Staging may be necessary… I’ll talk about it in another article).
- Nowadays it’s not enough to just make real estate ads on the usual real estate portals on the internet and put some advertisements in the window waiting with folded arms for customers to jump on us to buy. Gone are those good times alas…
- It is not enough to put a NICE real estate site if it does not generate targeted traffic (which attracts visitors from those who really look for a house in the area). It is imperative to have a site where a customer does not get lost in the search for a property. It is then necessary to invest money to make the site visible on search engines, and the site must be easily accessible from smartphones and tablets, given that more than 50% of traffic on real estate sites comes from mobile devices (you would be amazed by how many sites are difficult to navigate from an Iphone or Androidphone).
- Knowing how to reach a potential customer includes being on some social media like Facebook & Instagram and it involves continuous work, studied with a minimum of criteria and the investment of some amount for advertising within these platforms
- Real estate ads must be designed so that they are not false, verbose and give the wrong idea of the right property to attract a contact who will then be disappointed in his expectations. (This isn’t the time for so-called “flirt ads”)
- The photos of the property must be as professional as possible. Often this means a minimum of post-shooting processing which unfortunately consumes a lot of time and resources
- The creation of video presentation of properties generates a lot of interest in buyers and is a powerful vehicle to make a property live at a distance and are enormously appreciated by the internet and by users of mobile phones and tablets. YOUTUBE is the most visited social media, second only to Facebook!!!
The house documentation MUST be in good standing. Often it is the real estate agent who arranges with trusted professionals and with knowledge in the technical offices of the municipality etc… legitimately obtained of course! The presence of discrepancies, building abuses, missing certificates is often a reason for justified discrimination in the choice of a potential buyer!
- Given the visit statistics on real estate portals, detected by our site and through the sales ones, the interest from potential international customers is definitely increasing. Hence the need to know at least a little English that allows you to communicate with a large slice of the real estate market. This implies having your own website and advertisements at least in English if not multilingual and creating partnerships with colleagues from the countries that seem most interested in Sardinia. It must be understood that a foreign customer is accustomed to purchasing methods that are often different from the Italian scheme from which many doubts and distrust arise and it is necessary to support him in many ways (opening a bank account, obtaining the tax code, help in filling out utility transfers etc…)
- Local strategies must be activated to attract potential buyers during the holiday periods. Those who bought a house in Sardinia have almost certainly previously stayed on vacation before buying. Local advertising is the workhorse of any real estate agent. So space for brochures, advertising maps, sponsorships for local events are an almost obligatory addition.
- Creating a Blog like this within the agency’s website and updating it with articles concerning the sector and useful news for potential buyers, greatly helps the positioning of the agency on the market and represents a line of communication continuously aimed at potential buyers.
- Use your jealously guarded file of contacts accumulated over the years to propose properties to sell and with whom you try to keep in touch from time to time to get interest and visits on recent proposals and propose the famous OPPORTUNITIES.
- Having the ability to know how to communicate with people with a good degree of empathy should be the soul of every seller and in the case of us broker agents. Each negotiation starts from the assumption that those in front of you can trust us, clearly perceive that we have understood their needs by demonstrating it in the FACTS and that they can trust in our competence and professionalism, knowing that they can count on our continuous presence throughout the journey. of a sale or purchase that is, even before talking about real estate!
Now I hope this article gives an idea of the added value of a GOOD real estate agent and of the fact that I, like many of my colleagues, lavish myself every day with often disarming working hours to keep up with the times and be a transformer of this market that let’s make it a little less real estate-apocalyptic.