Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas is just 10 days away...




But you want to sell urgently? What do you do??
 


First of all, don't panic. The number of sales in the final days leading up to Christmas is staggering, so keep focused right until Christmas Eve. I have had 36 Christmases in real estate and worked plenty of them so I’m speaking from experience.
 


Let me share my experience and what I’ve learnt. 
 


Many 2012 buyers will be frustrated and want to finalise their purchase before Christmas, similarly, sellers are often so over the grief of their sale process and are in the mood before Christmas to finalise their sale so they can move on. This period therefore is critical.
 


Smart real estate operators will ensure they are on call and ready to help right up until Christmas Eve to put these contracts in place, as buyers are often spontaneous at this time and will not be there in the New Year.
 


My experience is that between Christmas and New Year there is a ridiculous amount of property enquiry but very, very few contracts. These enquiries give us the feeling that we are doing a great job for our sellers but in the final wash up, there are hardly any deals that proceed to settlement. It seems we are simply the entertainment for bored holiday makers. It is especially tough on sellers at this time too. I am not a fan of bothering our clients over this period unless it is for previously interested, fully pre-qualified parties. New enquiry over this week I generally find to be of very poor quality.
 


So far, most competitors reading this would be nodding with me in agreement. BUT...now comes the really big difference in opinions.
 


I am a massive fan of releasing new stock (new houses to the market) and re-releases on the first weekend of a New Year.
 


My experience is that this is an awesome period. If you have a stale property from 2012 marketing, let me assure you, given the right marketing strategy, we have achieved some incredible results for clients in January every year. Next year, Toop&Toop have arranged low cost advertising deals for sellers who have been advertising for months and have been unsuccessful.
 


Relaunching a property correctly at this time of year is your chance to get a second chance. A stale property can be refreshed beautifully in January.
 


Buyers are excited in January; totally starved of property, revitalised and rearing to get on with things.  There is a type of optimism about a New Year. Bad news media stories are scarce and positivity peaks as journos are also on holidays. New buyers hit the streets, and interstate and overseas activity peaks in January. Buyers have time. Many buyers are bored of partying/drinking and the socialising has been done. Many buyers also want to lock in their purchase so they can book into the right schools. January is a strategic month to sell, we love it!
 


STEAK KNIVES TOO. Then there is the added bonus when launching (or re-launching) your property in January. There is a second unique selling period starting the weekend after school returns. This gives you essentially two cracks at achieving that lucky sale everyone dreams of.
 


WHAT CAN TOOP&TOOP DO? For those who have been frustrated in 2012, trying to sell their property...we have specially prepared selling programs, cost effective and powerful selling strategies designed specifically for this time of year. I strongly recommend you pick up the phone and get Toop&Toop out to see you this week!
 




We are finishing 2012 on a huge selling roll and the market right now is running hot. Sales over the past 6 weeks have been easier and plenty of older stock is selling right now.
 


Call (or email) me direct if you want to have a chat, and I'll get the best person for the job out to see you ASAP.
 


Seize the day, make the call.
 


We are very focused on selling homes that others can't, it gives us such a high and is a great test for our selling strategies and new technologies.
 


Here are my contact details...
Email: anthony.toop@toop.com.au Mobile: 0418 824 188.
 


Happy house selling!

Regards,
Anthony Toop

Find us on Facebook - Toop & Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What my Crystal Ball says...


Back in 1986 when the real estate market was shocking - interest rates were double digit, unemployment rates were double digit and completed empty spec homes were everywhere, I would get asked all the time “…when do you think things will improve?”. For about a year, I was like a broken record saying over and over again... "I don't have a crystal ball!"

Well finally I purchased one. It wasn't cheap either. It still takes pride of place in my office all these years later. Let me assure you though, even with my trusty old, top of the range crystal ball, I am unsure what is happening in the market right at the moment.

Conflicting signs are everywhere. Last weekend we sold one property nearly 20% over reserve with a fast and furious competitive auction, then the next property we had just one bid, and well under its true worth.

The key drivers are great. Unemployment is modest (currently 5.4% across Australia), we have record low interest rates (the RBA dropped official cash rates by 0.25% to 3% this week), and there is a shortage of available property with no oversupply at all. Prices are modest and affordability has improved significantly - it should be booming!

My tip…if we haven't hit the bottom, we are close. I feel the market will bounce around for a couple of years with quality properties in hot demand. This will lead the market into the next cycle.

Buyers will continue to demand good value, yet will be happy to pay a premium for a special property.

RP Data have predicted next year will see a housing rally, and they see the bottom end now feeding into the market, which will soon produce a flow on effect.

Consumer confidence is the key. The stage is set; all we need now is a good dose of consumer optimism and confidence.

If you think you can pick the bottom of the market you are better than me, but the feel out there is certainly more animated. Spring just got better and better which is not typical and may be a sign of the change arriving. There certainly seems to be a positive mood swing in the wind…

It "feels" like we have bottomed now, but you are all welcome to try your luck with my crystal ball.

As for me, I don't worry about it any more. It is what it is, and frankly there are just as many advantages if it does stay tougher than there is in the boom, as we covered last week.

Just relax and enjoy your selling and buying.

Regards,
Anthony Toop

Find us on Facebook - Toop & Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The $1million questions: SELL, BUY OR RENT?

The $1million questions: SELL, BUY OR RENT?

Pretty much every day someone will ask...“Do I sell now, buy now, or rent?” or “Will the market improve next year?”

The answer...it depends.  Although there are generational opportunities right now for those who know what they’re doing.

The 6 most common buyer/seller scenarios:

1) Selling (and not buying):

Being completely out of the market is risky. If the market suddenly kicks you can be left behind financially. There would however be very few “in the know” that see this as a risk in the next couple of years. Your decision will depend on your level of optimism for a turnaround.

2) Selling and Buying (downsizing):

Downsizing is best done in a boom market, but remains a relatively neutral move, irrespective of market conditions. Selling your high value property for a discounted amount forgoes potential tax free capital gain. Your new property will also substantially increase in value.

3) Selling and Buying (upsizing):

Upsizing is best done in a recessionary tough market – and the tougher the better. You will be well in front upsizing in this market. Save on costs, better choice of property and lower cost changeover. Capital gains are not paid on your principal place of residence, so the bigger and better the home, the more tax free capital gain you get. Absolute dollars in your pocket!

4) Buying additional property/investments:

Buy when everyone else needs to sell - better choice, better conditions and savings will be significant (or the quality of the property will be superior). Savings on fees and property purchase price all increase your rate of rental return.

5) Not Selling (no longer moving):

This is a common decision if you are unhappy with the price buyers are willing to pay for your property. You risk the loss of your marketing investment, and beware that any future capital appreciation will be from the price that you would have sold for - NOT from your current expectations. When the new cycle begins, remember - all other properties will have also moved in price! Your best option (assuming you are financially able) would be to buy the next house at today's lower prices and rent it pending your future move.

6) Moving but not Selling and not Buying:

RENTING YOUR PRECIOUS HOME...BEWARE! If you are delaying the sale of your much loved family home and decide to rent it rather than meet the market, be aware that even the very best tenants are not going to treat the home as you have. After all, they are paying you good money for the accommodation. Your home, once rented, makes you a small business operator. Factor in wear and tear, realise it will no longer be your "private home" and be wary of possible capital gains tax issues.

To minimise risk and optimise your potential, be sure you have it professionally managed. Invest in great management; it will be the best protection you can offer your investment while you wait for the next property cycle.

In many cases, these are literally $1million questions…be sure to do your homework before making any of the above decisions!

I hope this helps....



Anthony Toop

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   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gimmicks...oh dear, here they go again!


It seems every time Toop&Toop release a major innovation we get a reaction from competitors.  Although it’s become quite tedious, I guess I should feel honoured. One thing it does do - it makes me reflect.

I recall a ‘gimmicks campaign’ that was run against Toop&Toop about 20 years ago. In those days I used to get upset that competitors couldn't understand the need for our industry to keep reinventing itself.

Well two decades later a lot of the big names have gone, such as BW Carey, Brock Younger, Brock Partners, Gaetjens, Ian Mill, Woodham Biggs, Theodore Bruce and Myles Pearce, just to name a few.  As recent as last week Brock Real Estate Pty Limited was placed into administration.

Taking their place are international players hijacking our local industry. Fresh independent players are also entering the market – only time will tell if we all have the stamina and capital to succeed. Vitality and energy are essential to any business, and I am proud to see Genevieve and Suzannah bringing a strong, fresh and energetic succession through Team Toop – they certainly have real estate DNA. Personally I love the challenge of taking on the big guys and the new entrants. Strong competition is an essential ingredient to excellence, it motivates and drives Toop&Toop, but a far second from the thrill of providing our clients the benefits no others can.

I believe the community wants choice. I believe we, as an industry, have to deliver competitive international best practice - PLUS A LITTLE MORE - in order for us to earn our clients’ long term support. Innovation and moving ahead of the curve, I feel, is going to be the difference between being around in a decade or not. 

When it comes to getting results, no one is disputing that a good agent can get their client a sale - that's a given. What is not a given is the quality of the result.  Key clues to look for are the level of property price discounting required to get the sale and/or the time it takes to find the right buyer. These are critical KPI's we use to benchmark Toop&Toop's performance, along with our customer satisfaction levels.

Our thirst to continue reinventing ourselves has never been greater and it has served us well so far. As we head into our 28th year I feel sure the youth and energy of the next generation will enable the passion of innovation and excellence to step up to even greater heights. 2013 is fully booked for our 3 talented in-house programmers, who will be exploring exciting new ways to improve our service while reducing costs to clients.

One massive point of difference is our structure. Rather than the traditional franchise model, we have a full service model. Each of our sales team run their own businesses - free from all the headaches of administration (finance, HR, marketing) and the pressure of overheads. This ensures a 100% focus of their energy on client needs. Our model allows us to move fast, innovate and present new marketing opportunities to clients before any one else in the market. Independent yet collective resources - and fully managed. 

Size matters! As the largest independent residential agency in SA (which gives us the clout with suppliers and the savings benefit our clients). we are also intimate and personal. We are efficient, enabling our services to remain competitive, despite the additional service offering to our clients.

Those decades of gimmicks (most of which have subsequently become industry standard) have not been in vain, as the stats highlight.  RP Data (one of the advisors to the Reserve Bank) along with the major portal stats, show:

1.   Toop&Toop currently have 25.12 % market share of sales in our 100 prime suburbs.
2.   Toop&Toop’s ‘time on market’ in metro Adelaide is 46% lower than the industry average.
3.   Toop&Toop’s Norwood office is #1 with interactions on Australia’s #1 property website realestate.com.au, in SA.

If outperforming industry averages by these margins means being labelled ‘gimmicky’, and means we remain a powerhouse in real estate after 27 years while our competitors disappear, I am very comfortable with that.

I would argue it is because of the gimmicks; it is in fact our innovations that are exactly why we remain Adelaide's largest independent real estate agency.

Home grown, exciting, world class – Team Toop is a family style business passionate about South Australians.


Anthony Toop

Find us on Facebook - Toop & Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Firing Sellers!


In the interests of preserving client assets, occasionally we have to fire a seller for their own good.

I never thought I would see the day that as real estate agents we actually have to stand up and be counted, we can no longer simply agree with our client – despite the enormous pressure we’re under to do so. This is the easy option but often totally the wrong option for them.  When it comes to professional advice, we need to walk the talk.


At the moment, inexperienced and weak agents simply agree with whatever a client says, and unfortunately, millions of dollars are being wiped off property values as properties become stale and overexposed on the market.  Property prices can plummet from overexposure.

You see... unless a property is priced correctly, marketed well and the sales person is switched on, houses sit on the market forever. With today's technology permanent public records (easily accessible) provide a graphic account of the sale process and there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Properties on the market for more than a few months risk being labelled as "duds" and can become extremely hard to sell.  We call this “marketing fatigue.” Property prices tumble and some go into freefall selling way below their true value. The exception is the very high end of the market – this is in a category of its own, with different timeline expectations.

So what do you do?

The first step is to assess your situation. Is the issue YOU? Or is it that you have received poor advice? Did you skimp on the marketing, select the wrong agent or have you presented the property poorly? Has your sales person run out of puff and needs changing?

One strategy used with enormous success is giving a stale property a "marketing makeover."

What's a marketing makeover?

Essentially, it involves completely reviewing the buyer audience, and targeting with pinpoint accuracy a market segment which involves new property photos, new property description, new property title or name and invariably a new sales person. This can all be achieved within an existing sales agency, providing the agency knows what it's doing and why it's doing it.

It’s entirely possible to turn things around - it's not too late. You need to be serious though, this is not a market to be "flying the kite" to only sell if you get a boom result, your property "BRAND" will be tarnished, or destroyed.

All agents are not the same. So this is a time to really do your homework, a time to be very strategic. This is not the time to simply say, "Oh well, we’ll give it a go." Get the right agent, the right sales person and the right marketing behind your sale... again, this is not the time to be a cheapskate nor be complacent.

So here’s a Toop's Tip: conduct a self audit of your sale, and if the problem is not YOU, get stuck into making changes, and the sooner the better. A perfect refresher time is the Christmas break. So if you’ve been on the market for ages, you can use this once a year refresh to start again - to “re-boot” if you like.

Here’s the sell job... Remember, when it's time to get serious, it's time to get Team Toop.

So if we fire a client, it's US protecting YOUR investment.

Anthony Toop

Find us on Facebook - Toop & Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Real Estate Addiction… Beware, our new marketing is very addictive!


Move over pictures, video has well and truly arrived... and now it is big screen Real Estate TV... wow!


Those old enough will remember the internet was a text only medium. As speed improved, pictures became the next big deal. Now, video has totally taken control of online eye balls, and property sellers need to understand the power of this - or they will be the losers in today's competitive property market. Where customers find your video – now that’s the wild card.



This week realestate.com.au launched their new video capabilities; now watch their stats take off... domain.com.au brag a whopping ‘400% higher engagement’ on properties utilising video - that is staggering but entirely consistent with our experience.



Our clients know the power of video property selling, as Toop&Toop have led the nation with video, along with the introduction of www.toop.tv back in October 2009. We can, and have, turned dead open inspections into traffic jams.



Toop&Toop time on market is the lowest in the South Australian market. We now dominate realestate.com.au and have without a doubt the best press ads designed for buyers. Toop&Toop lead in every major statistic when it comes to selling our client’s properties.


Why? How?



Real estate consumer advocate and host of ‘Selling Houses Australia’, Andrew Winter says new data backs up the experience of good agents and reflected changing consumer behaviour. See Andrew's full article here.

He has worked with RP Data to prove the right combination of press and online marketing leads to the fastest sales and the closest to asking prices. What he doesn't cover is the difference the combination of video and direct database selling technology achieves.


Toop&Toop's patented VirtualAgent® selling system leverages all marketing dollars and basically turbo charges selling capabilities.


We have a proven track record – we know how to integrate press (The Advertiser), online portals (eg. realestate.com.au and domain.com.au), premium magazine publications (eg. ToopWeekly magazine & SA Life) and social media to drive VirtualAgent® our central managed database to connect property and people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Valuable weekly content is generated through Toop.TV, a unique competitive advantage to create and retain long term relationships online, with thousands of qualified property people who are hungry for quality weekly property updates.


 We make no apology for having people totally hooked on our weekly Toop.TV show, the market update and the magical videos of South Australia's finest homes...our property is addictive.

Andrew Winter says he has countless examples of people who were browsing through the paper and stumbled upon something they loved.

… they check it out online and start to dig a bit deeper. They will look for the floorplan and see some more photos and from there they will decide whether it is worth their time to go to the open inspection physically. A print advertising campaign is also a sign that vendors are serious about selling”, Winter says.


Andrew Winter is quoting on a national level and based on quality agents. His comments do resonate.

So what's next for our clients? Sssshhhhh don’t tell anyone…but, for a sneaky InsideStory  preview of what’s coming up – be the very first in the world to jump on the biggest thing in real estate –  Toop&Toop are fine-tuning our SmartTV real estate app and we’d love your pre-launch feedback.

Have you got a Panasonic Smart TV? You can be the first to discover our world first marketing  -  download the SmartRealEstate app and browse through the best property on the market.   I haven’t seen it yet… because I don’t have a Panasonic - you guessed it, our programmers do!

Don’t have a Panasonic either – you can also get a sneak peak in your browser, go to www.smartrealestate.tv.

WARNING: this is addictive real estate.



Toop&Toop – 1st in real estate with a mobile website, 1st in real estate with a real estate app and now 1st in real estate with a SmartTV app.  Real Estate TV – here we come!

We love this stuff, we are passionate about real estate, it isn't a job, it is our life... and we will have you hooked on our seriously addictive marketing.

Anthony Toop

Find us on Facebook - Toop & Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop


NOTE – a special event:   Gen Toop is organising an InsideStory evening where we will demonstrate all of Toop&Toop’s differences for future sellers, those unable to sell, people thinking of getting into real estate, and for real estate people looking to have access to our technology. Email Gen at gen.toop@toop.com.au


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Top 10 Dumb things that smart agents do!"

I want to share an article that was sent to me from Tom Panos who is a national real estate trainer, quite interesting because it is so true...

"Top 10 Dumb things that smart agents do!"

  1. Agents give offers to vendors from unqualified buyers who have not signed a contract and when the sale does not proceed, they have permanently destroyed all vendor expectations
  2. Agents take contact details from open house visitors and do nothing with them
  3. Agents get dressed up for work and hang around the office pretending to be busy
  4. Agents spend more time trying to get a higher price from buyers rather than getting vendors to accept the reality of the current marketplace
  5. Agents attend training course after training course, and yet they still follow their same, old, ineffective patterns over and over again
  6. Agents go to listing presentations acting as a valuer, not as a marketing based professional who is there to create a plan to get the highest price
  7. Agents rely on reducing their commission fees as their unique selling proposition at a listing presentation
  8. Agents door knock strangers for prospecting, yet they won’t nurture existing contacts they already have a relationship with
  9. Agents go for weeks without speaking to vendors and when they do, they don’t tell them the simple truth. Remarkable!
  10. Agents rely on the market. The market is the market. It is a force you cannot control. So focus your energy on what you can control. Then things will get better when you get better.


I would hate to think that any of Team Toop did these dumb things, but if we do, I'd love to know.

Today, selling real estate successfully is about being open and transparent, honest and bold. The whimpy agents, the spin doctors and those who do not understand selling to an informed audience are all floundering and probably won't make it.

The real estate industry is in full scale reform. Now that I'm back on deck I am tidying up some incredible technology that is nearly ready to go live and to be publicly released. World first, world class and low cost - times are a changing!

In the mean time, we also need to keep our feet on the ground and Tom's “Top 10 Dumb Things” serve as a timely reminder for all of us.

Stay tuned. 

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed.

PERSONALLY: On Tuesday (23rd) I returned to work after having been diagnosed with Oesophagus cancer on 8th May 2012. While my personal life was turned inside out, business just kept rolling on and all credit to an awesome group of people. I can say with credibility that "Team Toop" exceeded all my expectations and just kept doing their thing, and they didn't miss a beat.

Clients and competitors, your support has also been overwhelming over the past 5 months - a massive thank you. I could never have imagined competitors genuinely offering to do anything they could to help; you can imagine how uplifting that was when the chips were down! There are some amazing people in our community, and I have felt privileged to meet so many of you over the past few months.

To the hundreds of people, many I don't even know, your messages of support and encouragement made the dark moments brighter. Again, thank you.

BUSINESS: This experience has been quite an eye opener, both positive and negative. It sorts out loyal employees from the opportunists. I studied to be a CEO for 7 years with The Executive Connection (TEC) and they have a saying...employ "CHARACTER FIRST". The premise is that you can train a person but not change their character. They were right.

Actions, not words, determine the character of a person and culture of a team. I feel honoured on my return to be surrounded with loyal, passionate individuals who stood up to be counted when we needed them most.

Business is tough in real estate. The market is tight, but there are plenty of sales out there if you know what you are doing and are serious. Prices haven't capitulated, they have eased off, but volumes of sales have dropped significantly from the boom times.

Agents around Australia are going broke while others are doing fine. It's all about integrity, reputation and adaption to the new market conditions, our new normal. There is also plenty of real estate spin. One high profile national real estate trainer calls it "noise" - grand stories of success, yet little evidence of it. Fortunately these days it is easy to cut through all the "agent noise" by looking at the readily available market statistics.

Years ago, if you had the most listings advertised you were the most successful. In this market, it is no longer listings that separate the good from the ordinary, it is the settled sales. Settled sales have become the only accurate measure of success. Top agents rarely have the most listings because they sell them. Having the most houses for sale is easy - just accumulate them and let them sit on the market forever.

Toop&Toop are serious about results. In the boom a listed property was money in the bank, in this market listing properties for sale under any conditions is problematic and invariably compromises the final sale result. Failed marketing campaigns create lots of unhappiness but are becoming more prevalent.

Toop&Toop started our business in 1985. Our DNA is based on selling properties when others have failed...these current conditions highlight the benefits of innovation, technology and experience in data base marketing.

All agents are not the same, which is especially obvious under the current conditions. How the wheel turns! Some things never change.

Be sure to sign up to our weekly property market report. If you are selling, renting or doing anything in SA real estate this weekly show has all the latest news and views. Go to www.toop.tv or www.toop.com.au and register.


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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Defection rocks real estate industry... wow!




 
On Wednesday 13 June, I awoke to texts, emails and calls asking if everything was alright.  I initially assumed they were asking about my health!

The first text came really early, I was still in bed. It was about an article in the paper. My first reaction was to check my iPad, which is always about half an arm length away and so I checked AdelaideNow. Great pic of a couple who had resigned from Toop&Toop the day before giving 3 weeks notice.

I saw the headline and thought "interesting angle."  OK… think I need to read this one in print.

Wow!!! Page 3, 2/3 of a page, massive headline "Defection rocks real estate industry," and a sensational story (literally). I had to chuckle, this article was so appropriate, from the first word “defection” in the headline right through to Mr Williams’ closing quote,  "But we're not real estate snobs - we love selling - a $350,000 unit, a $400,000 house, of course we'll do it. We love what we do."

Seriously, John and Stephanie leaving Toop&Toop “may” have rocked the industry, but it sure has made life easier for the whole team. Over the years we have brought people into the business and shown them the way we do things at Toop&Toop - some become ten foot tall and move on. These two never made it as top sales partner at Toop&Toop, they didn't stick around long enough. We have such a depth to the team, you have to be better than that to get the #1 gong at Toop&Toop. Real estate is about clients, about service, about compassion, about strong long term relationships, and working as a team, through thick and thin. It’s not about having a hot run for a few minutes and grabbing the cash.

To succeed in this business you need staying power. You have to be a marathon runner, not a sprinter because real estate is a long term business.

The depth of our team, the calibre of our core group and the proven results our team consistently achieve are way more important to our clients. Those who are strategic, considered, genuinely care about their clients and can pace their approach are the ones left standing when all the dust settles.

So perhaps the defection did rock the real estate industry. But let me assure you, the only thing that rocked me was the fact that we could take people to a profile worthy of this article in 4 ½  years. That is quite an achievement.

This is a special edition InsideStory. It’s for those talented and loyal Toop&Toop team members – they’re the real heroes – and I felt the real story needed to be heard; when the challenge is on, people's real characters are exposed.

Toop&Toop simply get stronger every time we are faced with new challenges; history shows it. We not only have the stability, depth of experience and proven talent of our 27 years in business (such as Tim & Megan who celebrated 25 years working together with Sylvia and I Tuesday night) but we have the energy and excitement of a young team coming through.  Even with 27 years under our belt, our passion and our drive have never been greater, and frankly we are at our best in tough conditions.

So if you’re selling your property or renting it out, Toop&Toop is so much bigger than any individual, we are TEAM TOOP… and we do get results!

PS. I cannot wait until our clients get access to our new technology that is currently being trialled right now, and operational by mid spring. Toop&Toop will have the greatest real estate selling support systems anywhere in the world. VirtualAgent® 2 is very close…

Anthony Toop
 
 

© Toop Real Estate Group

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Secrets...

Staff and friends have learnt never to tell me a secret.

On the other hand, when it comes to confidentiality, I am awesome - work that out.

In my world, a secret is usually personal, and confidentiality is business. Invariably, secrets turn into gossip, move faster and are far more exciting than the facts.

Well last Saturday, The Advertiser's front page carried a story about my next challenge in life. If you missed it, I started treatment last Monday for cancer of the oesophagus. There went the secret.  Anyway it is great that people no longer are looking at me sideways pretending they knew nothing.  Now everyone can just relax, it is true and it is out there.

The prognosis of my cancer is looking really positive, we got it early. Realistically, I am out of front line action for a while as this will require all my focus and energy.

So what changes at Toop&Toop – what does that mean for our clients?
We are a 27 year old family business and given we have completely re-engineered the business since 1st July 2011, the business is perfectly placed right now. Put bluntly, the timing is perfect!

In the past three months, we have signed off on the most profound infrastructure, innovations and updates ever in our 27 years.

The big stuff… 1) ground breaking communications technology (installed by July 2012); 2) all new Property Management functionality to enhance Landlord and Tenant services (30 June 2012); 3) my baby… the all new bells and whistles VirtualAgent® (2012) patented selling system on the iPad, fully integrated by spring this year; 4) our all new Toop website is on the cusp of being launched, with new smarts and consolidated databases going live within weeks; 5) internal system reviews are complete, work flows all documented and going live right now; 6) the soft launch of a new business on the 1st July to assist clients and staff sell more houses (public launch may be after I get back); 7) we have an all new TOP SECRET, actually better call it "CONFIDENTIAL" new Property Management product being developed; and finally 8) our new flattened organisational structure, which has already been running for six months. What a breath of fresh air it has been.

Toop&Toop have a history of only employing highly capable experienced people who are passionate and just get on with the job. Lew Toop (my brother) and Tim Thredgold (Tim has been with me from almost the start!!) have both agreed to join the Executive Team while I am out of the front lines. To both of you, thank you.

Sylvia (who is more qualified than me really - an accountant and licensed agent) will sit in my chair.  Our daughters Gen and Suzannah have also returned home, Gen was due back in the business in September, and is raring to go assisting Sylvia through the entire business. Suzannah is a high-powered and passionate individual too, all adding to the incredibly strong team we have here at Toop&Toop. Go to www.teamtoop.toop.com.au to meet all the individuals. Toop&Toop is in the best shape we have been in for a long time. The changes in the market conditions make it easier for our style of hi-tech operation to achieve outstanding results and the market stats are just coming out to prove that. Our service levels have risen as we refocussed on lifting the bar to new heights and the eight changes outlined above are critical in achieving our goals.

Results...we are currently outperforming "time on market" over the average agency by around 40%. Our market share is seriously heading upwards (market share of sales that is, not necessarily stock...if you sell houses, obviously you don't build your stock levels!)

So whilst my own agenda is changing, the business is already on track and not a lot changes.

Our big business challenge right now is getting serious sellers of property to list their homes for sale. There are so few properties put on the market during this time of the year it is actually a great time to sell... very few competing properties.  There are a few weeks left this financial year where there is some really discounted marketing packages for qualifying long term sellers...this is the time to rev up your sale.  We have all the expertise in TeamToop to get your sale happening right now – if you’re serious about selling now – call Sylvia on 0418 818 448 this weekend or the main office on Monday 8362 8888.
Today marks the start of winter, and the final InsideStory of the season. Our all new InsideStory recommences in spring.

Until then, I have another mountain to climb.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
© Toop Real Estate Group