Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Australians, let us celebrate...not just for one day but ALL year round!

Wow, we are off to a great start in property this year; attitudes are good and people seem motivated and decisive, and to top it off, we have just celebrated our special day - Australia Day.

However, read the papers this week or watch the news unfold and you're likely to be pulled straight back into all the doom and gloom. So...let all Australians band together and turn OFF the TV News, I suggest reading only the sports pages in the paper (and real estate of course), and TURN OUR BACKS on the negativity of the media who are peddling doom and gloom simply to sell more papers or gain better ratings.

Let's face it, if the astrologers are right, there will be weird natural disasters all year; if the economists are right, Europe will be a basket case all year and we may as well all just stay in bed and close the blinds. For me, I'm not prepared to lose a year of my life worrying about what may happen. And it seems I'm not alone, there are many more like me; you just want to get on with life in 2012 and enjoy what we have today. We are VERY LUCKY to be in South Australia, so why not enjoy it.

Personally, it's all about living in the now and having a great attitude towards life, not jumping at shadows.

Last year the real estate market changed dramatically, so Toop&Toop adapted and transformed accordingly to meet it head on. Experience and history have helped us enormously. I would hate to be dealing with this new market without having spent the late 80s and 90s selling, when there were no buyers and both interest and unemployment rates were running at double digits - now that was tough!

Things are so much better now than they were then. Don't forget that in SA, we now have record low interest and unemployment rates, record low property stock levels and record start up capital projects; new mine starts of record proportions, a Defence battalion arriving, and some of the cheapest property in this country. To top this off, the SA rental market is running red hot so far this year, exciting for property investors, as rents are currently being pushed up; it's a healthy start to they year as investors will no doubt start buying again with this sort of demand.

This brilliant start to 2012 has been amazing, so good that we are now recruiting. Toop&Toop need to employ more sales people, and we're hoping you can help. If you know any motivated and smart property people - especially living near one of our offices - we want to know about it! Call me personally, or email through some details. Our brand new Golden Grove office (plenty of room for up to five more sales professionals) as well as our Victor Harbor, Glenelg and Stirling offices should all have additional Sales Partners. But here's the catch - we need brilliant, motivated people with a great attitude. Passion, enthusiasm and "coachable", because we do things differently at Toop&Toop; we constantly change and innovate, and we expect a lot from our people. These positions are not for everyone.

We transformed our business last year to meet the new market conditions; we're now stronger than ever and are taking the next step, employing even more brilliant people to become part of our exceptional team.

So until next week, be proud to be Australian, be honoured to be South Australian and let's show passion, enthusiasm and leadership; these are times where our experience, passion and character can lead the Nation.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on
Twitter: @Anthony_Toop
or call 0418 824 188

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week three, all is still good in real estate....LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

As we said last week, the market in 2012 has started with great gusto but we're holding our breath waiting to see if this is a blip or a new year trend and the start of a new cycle.

It's way too early to call...but notably the Hills and rural areas have not seen any noticeable change from last year. On the other hand, the Fleurieu has seen the busiest start we have experienced in years.

Multiple offers, people arguing that they would have paid more after missing out to another buyer - all the issues associated with the boom markets have resurfaced in two short weeks... quite staggering.

The auctions start over the next two weeks and that will be interesting. Return to school will be the next phase, it always is.  We will have a clearer picture by mid February. And of course, all the clowns arrive back from holidays in the Canberra Circus too, and they played no small part in what happened last year.

As we continue to point out, real estate is all about confidence. Essentially 2011 was an election year, with an entirely new and scary tax system - that alone was enough to kill a property market. Then Europe, yes it will continue to haunt us this year, but hopefully people will become more accepting, realise they're sick of all the day to day drama and just get on with their lives.

When it comes to property, housing needs change, and there is only so long you can put off moving. Last year with 30% less people moving, it's inevitable that sooner or later those people will reappear.

Prices? We watch volumes of people moving and movement of prices. Prices relate to affordability and interest rate drops directly impact on affordability. Reducing interest rates and rising salaries will combine to stem any downward pressure/movement, which was such a feature of last year's market.

However, the lower prices of 2011 are unlikely to bounce back to their peak any time soon. Why? Apart from affordability issues, Australia is now one of the most expensive housing markets in the world. The Australian Dollar has made us internationally uncompetitive for real estate, in my view, and this, combined with the tightening of policy on foreign investment, has impacted on our market. Many would argue this is a good outcome, I guess that depends whether you are a buyer or a seller.

So there you go. An amazing and surprising start to the year and for sellers, plenty of buyers committing. So enjoy the moment. Live in the now.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop or call 0418 824 188

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Boom Conditions last weekend...what is happening?

Sellers, it's BACK TO THE FUTURE at Toop&Toop...new marketing for real estate junkies in 2012!

Week 1 boom?  An unbelievable start to 2012, but one awesome week doesn't make a BOOM. Sure we're feeling pretty happy about our decision to get back to work early, but the incredible lack of competitor agents working last week may have created this selling spree for our clients.

Let's see how the next few weeks go but buyers were aggressive, sales were swift and the opening of the 2012 selling season has been exhilarating. It's possible South Australians are sick of putting their lives on hold and understand that if you have a secure job, now is possibly the very best time in many years to get on with your property moves... investors are back in 2012 too!

Back to the future.  At Toop&Toop, we built our business in the impossible markets of the late 80s, and again in the shocking conditions of the late 90s. We have gone back in time and picked the most successful innovations we introduced then, and made them 2012 savvy.

This weekend we launch the most exciting innovation since iToop - Australia's first real estate iPhone app. We have completely re-engineered our ToopWeekly magazine. Our 2012 weekly gloss magazine has gone back in time, including all the features buyers want.

A magazine produced to get listings, or a magazine to sell properties? Over the past 10 years the purpose of real estate magazines got lost. They became superficial, they went monthly, fortnightly or completely disappeared. They lost all their selling value with the dominance of online. But you DO NEED both.

Toop&Toop got lazy through the boom. We didn't really need the mag apart from getting listings, and we took the easy path and dropped the most important features that buyers needed. We dropped the most important detail of all, weekly open inspection times - too hard. We stopped putting every single property in it - too hard. We stopped putting any real detail like land size in it - too hard. We completely stopped pre-planning open inspections weeks ahead for our clients – just too hard, and not really needed in boom times.

Well now with 2012 technology, we've weaved together the best online marketing in real estate in Australia with hi tech printing technology. The result. Weekly - a full gloss printed real estate bible.   This week we launch the real estate publication for real estate junkies.

Every single Toop&Toop client once again gets advertised UNTIL SOLD. Buyers get a functional one book that has it all, including direct index to every property's web address.
We haven't offered UNTIL SOLD advertising to our clients for more than a decade. We return to proven common sense selling principles, combined with our award winning Toop&Toop online selling horsepower. 2012 sees the return of a low cost and fully integrated approach to selling. Just like the old days - but backed with today's best technology.
Toop&Toop are back doing what we do best, selling, renting and auctioning houses like no other.

Get you property fix, get your copy of ToopWeekly at any Toop&Toop inspection or office this weekend.  The ToopWeekly together with your free iToop app now work hand in hand - there is nothing like it.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on
Twitter: @Anthony_Toop
or call 0418 824 188

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2012.....time to get serious

Property owners, investors and sellers – it's time to get serious. Last year caught many of us by surprise.  The market changed and I feel Toop&Toop took too long to change things up to match the demands of the new conditions.

In the second half of the year we did respond appropriately ending the year strongly for our clients. The changes really kicked in.

So what does 2012 look like from our perspective?

Firstly the market. Property relies on consumer confidence.  With Europe remaining on a knife edge - this is the challenge for property owners in 2012. The silver lining is that interest rates may continue to fall. In 2011 with softening of prices, lowering of interest rates and increases in salaries, affordability has returned to high levels. The 30% drop in real estate transactions in 2011 meant there are increased levels of demand built up. There are a lot of people who need to move – and haven't yet. Given we have no blow out in unemployment, that is a very healthy set of indicators.

But there's more....

First Home Buyers have been dormant for 18 months due to the end of the First Home Buyers Stimulus Packages. This means we also start the year with a solid pool of First Home Buyers... again, a great scenario.

Available stock. There is none. There is no oversupply.  In fact supply is as tight as a drum.  This is significant and created by a number of factors, including the fact banks have been rejecting funding of developers projects for around 18 months.

But there's still more....

South Australia in 2012 sees the realisation of a string of massive projects - including the Adelaide Oval and Torrens redevelopment, (this will transform Adelaide), the new RAH, the BOWDEN development, the Southern Expressway.....not to mention the mining and the Defence projects....these are big stimulus factors given we are such a small state.

Boom time? I doubt it! However I am confident property will push through the global economic disasters that will challenge us this year. People acclimatise. We all get older and life goes on, there is only so long that people will put their lives on hold. South Australia is a good space in property.

What about Toop&Toop? Well in 2011 we have had to deal with market changes and changing consumer needs.

In the second half of 2011 while others are 'Corporatising', we 'Decorporatised'!  Sylvia and I are completely hands on again working alongside and coaching our team, back to family business values again. Back to basics, but with intense focus on Innovation and reinventing real estate. We have refocused to give our clients the edge. Our mission is clear - do things better and smarter than competitors to give our clients the best outcomes.

2012 for Toop&Toop is about Leadership, Innovation, Results and People.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop or call 0418 824 188