Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things are a changing.....and don't we know it!

In the online environment, video has become the new 'picture', and social media has taken a leap forward by pushing communication out on a scale that is hard to imagine - online media is steaming ahead, we either adapt to change or we get left behind. Consider this:

How is it that a tweet of mine last week - and I thought I only had about 6 followers - ended up in Friday's edition of The Advertiser as a quote of mine? Yes. I was named, and the quote was correct.

How is it that last month our online live and interactive real estate show - Toop.TV - saw viewers from 30 different countries - most common being the UK, followed by the US?


How is it that this very real estate blog - our weekly InsideStory - reaches not only people locally, but nationally and internationally as well? Since the beginning of the year, InsideStory has had over 400 overseas readers, from over 60 different countries.

And how is it that this week, we sold a house for close to $4 million and not even the neighbours knew about the sale!

How? Because things are changing in a BIG way.

The reach Toop&Toop are getting through the effectiveness of our online video 'sneak peak' promotions for clients and the way we are now able to spread the word about a property was inconceivable only a year ago - 12 months later, look where we're at - it's new, and very valuable territory. We're currently in our final stages of bringing together a dynamic, innovative and future-driven media mix for selling your properties. It will enable us to reach a previously unattainable market and launch us - and your property - into the online media arena, allowing us to engage with consumers like never before. It's extremely exciting and we can't wait to share it with you.

Now that buyers are doing all their real estate homework from the very comfort of their own home, at work and in the coffee shop on their iPad's, it is no surprise that by the time they physically come to an open inspection, they are ready to buy it!!

26 years in business tells me that real estate agents need to now move swiftly into the new place clients are found - if they don't, they'll surely be left behind. We also need to understand some fundamental changes in buying habits, like shortening our auction campaigns. Today, a buyer's first appearance at the house is actually equivalent to their second viewing in the OLD DAYS - and they really ARE the old days. The dynamics and pace of selling real estate have changed - whether we like it or not - and we as industry professionals need to understand this, accept it, embrace it and move forward.

WHY? What has changed so dramatically, so recently? It is the proliferation of smart phones, the arrival of the tablet - especially the iPad - and the fact you can surf the net on high-definition TV screens while relaxing on the couch! For example, this year traffic has increased four-fold on iphone.toop.com.au compared with last year; July alone saw 1,933 visits and this month we've seen an increase in usage by 360% - these are some serious statistics - all the more reason to jump and hold on with both hands! All the rules of marketing are shifting, and not just with the young ones either - high powered top end clients are leading the charge, and this is just the tip of the ice berg.

Embrace the new - things are a changing alright!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Winners are grinners....and there was a lot of grinning.

Last Friday night the Toop team got together for our Annual Gala Awards night to celebrate our successes.  It is a great chance to recognise all those who go above and beyond.  As per the Toop tradition - the night was spent enjoying a crazy theme and a huge amount of fun.


In such a challenging market - this year had extra importance for us.  It was a night where partners of the team were also celebrated for their contribution to our business - the business of helping our clients.  Our heart and soul goes into doing a great job and at the moment in particular, the demands are unbelievable.

 

The consumers and community seem so stressed. Buyers, renters, sellers... pretty much everyone is now needing constant reassurance and support from their real estate agent.

 

Anyway, I guess Toop&Toop are in a great position - having gone through three of these very tough periods in our 26 years.  We know the changes that need to be made and we need to draw on previous experiences.  It is so different selling in this market - compared to conditions just six months ago or even three months ago.  You really have to be on the ball now and totally committed.  This is not a time for the inexperienced or part time operator.  Everyone is back to basics - yet trained and able to use the very best technologies and tools.

One thing we do know is that buyers always buy, sellers will always sell and people rent…  in all market conditions.  As agents we acknowledge we need to do things differently if we’re to be a part of this.  The three non-negotiables for real estate agents in these conditions - 1.  the ability to fully engage the buyer, 2.  to have an extremely efficient marketing machine and 3. to be great negotiators.   

 

The reality is that generational profits are made in uncertain times.   As long as you don't over commit - there is an amazing opportunity to upgrade or buy property now and get so much more for your money.  Unlike shares, you can touch and feel property.  Property is rock solid and always has a value. 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Well done to our entire team who just keep making things happen - we sure are passionate about property.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mortgagee Sales....they’ve started !

"Hands up who’s handling properties where the sales instructions are from the bank…", wow - 4 hands went up in just one of our office training sessions. I don’t recall having had that number in the whole of 2010… things sure have changed.

So what do you do if you’re under pressure to sell from a Bank or a Lender??

Step 1 : First of all, take action the minute you know you have a problem. At the first sign of mortgage stress, get on the front foot and start communicating with your lender. Most people we see in serious trouble are those who were in denial and then lost valuable time.

Step 2 : Source one of the many credible financial advisors around - or someone like MyBudget - to help you develop a strategy to deal with the issue.
If you act in time - the Banks will work with you. They are extremely helpful in most instances - as long as you keep them informed and you’re 100% honest with them - and you act early enough. Lenders also tend to be less nervous if they know you’re getting good advice.

Step 3 : If a sale is what you need - let us know. We’ll give you solid advice on how to sell quickly in this market - and importantly, how to get the most money possible for your particular property. We can also help with the communication to your lender - this may take the pressure off a little.
Keep in control of your sale, act early, get the best advice and you’ll save yourself some serious pain - not to mention dollars.

It certainly is tough for those who can’t afford their mortgage commitments, we get that. Don't feel embarrassed - no one can escape the market - we work with it every day and understand it.
Experience and specialised marketing does REALLY count at the moment.

Call me on 0418 824 188… and I’ve just started tweeting so I may be able to help there as well.....Anthony

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
www.toop.com.au
© Toop Real Estate Group