Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jobs...




Opportunities to work in real estate...what a buzz! It’s seriously hard work, but never, ever boring.



Get the word out: Toop&Toop are hiring! Email me names of brilliant real estate people who should be in our team...challenge your friends to work with the best.



We have re-engineered our business and it's humming. In this process we have created opportunities that would not normally exist.



What's happening?



Toop&Toop have created new standards and new roles in Property Management, we have re-defined our Front of House and Reception roles, we have re-worked our Administration roles and we are seriously meeting the changed market conditions head on.



We have if not the largest rental business in this state, it must be close to it…and as the first inductees into REISA Hall of Fame, we have a well earned reputation for being the best in the industry.



This is the most exciting time in the 27 year history of the organisation. The return of Genevieve and arrival of Suzannah (Toop) into the business, our roll out of all new technology assisted selling capabilities (Va2), and the innovations due to be launched throughout February...Toop&Toop is a much more exciting place to work than it was a year ago, and we thought we were exciting then!



So anyone passionate about real estate, aspirational about being at the VERY TOP of a profession, and who has a strong and proud work ethic is encouraged to email me.



We have potential roles in Property Management, Administration and Front of House (reception), and we are always looking for proven and successful sales people who want to be challenged and work with the BEST in the business.



So in a time where jobs are getting harder to find, we are hiring.



Don't even think of applying unless you are passionate about being in property, and have a desire to stretch and learn...these are career roles.



Are you good enough? Do you have friends who are suited to real estate? Have you experienced fantastic service and want to recommend someone for a position?



This is the time to make a move while we are re-organising the teams and while these new roles are open. You (or your friends) will love it.



Email me now...these roles rarely come up.

Regards,
Anthony Toop


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Email me: Anthony.Toop@toop.com.au

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Online vs. Traditional media...we balance between two worlds.


There is plenty of competition and debate about where best to spend clients’ (and our) money to sell and rent property. Where should you invest…online marketing, press advertising, magazines, TV or radio?

The answer is: "it depends".

Undoubtedly the days of placing a black and white ad in the Saturday and Wednesday newspaper alone are well behind us. But then the ability to place an ad purely on realestate.com.au has not arrived either.

A premium property can not EXPECT to rely on SA Life magazine to sell it, just as selling from radio and TV ads alone are not the answer either.

In theory, we have a database that SHOULD mean we don’t have to place an ad via any of the above mediums. We know who the active buyers are; we just need to let them know about a suitable property. So simple.

Experience has clearly demonstrated to me that buyers are made up of a complex group of people with both logical and emotional triggers. Any single dimension approach leaves too much to chance and luck. Database sales need the pressure of competition to get decisions; press ads can easily be missed, and online can at times be too overwhelming.

We follow the statistics and have ongoing surveys that track why people buy, where they have first been introduced to the property that they have purchased and where they have gone to seek additional information.

Toop&Toop are the pioneers of database selling and we probably have the most advanced real estate selling systems in the world. We know that with all that intellectual property, for all the millions spent generating enquiry and capturing it, the reality is that to constantly achieve great outcomes requires a multi-disciplinary marketing approach.

Agents today can survive utilising only press or online advertising…some even survive using just databases and contacts. However, getting a sale isn't the only issue - getting the best possible sale outcome for our client is what it’s really about.

The smart money is in understanding all available mediums, and mixing them up in exactly the right proportions to create a cocktail of marketing to meet budget and target market objectives.

This cocktail of marketing, or "Marketing Mix", will depend on the target buyer and the subject property.

A perfect example was a property Roger Smith and I looked at in Victor Harbor last Friday. The buyer was not going to be local; it is highly probable that the buyer would reside in Adelaide's inner prestige areas. The buyer is probably unaware that they are even about to purchase a property! Spending money in the local press is unlikely to reach the target market. Our buyer will most likely to be an avid Saturday Advertiser reader, and an SA Life subscriber.

There is little chance our perfect buyer will be searching real estate websites, given they are not even aware they are about to buy this property.

This is how some of our best sales occur. Emotional and spontaneous purchases are generally the most rewarding for both buyer and seller. Some of the happiest transactions are where not too much science is put into it…"love at first sight" and all parties are excited. These days the actual show through is often little more than confirmation of the buyer’s intention to purchase.

It has all changed. Consumers are time poor, want to research anonymously, expect amazing information when they want it, and their first actual viewing is like their second or third of a decade ago.

Single dimension marketing is like playing Russian Roulette with your property - it's a dangerous game.

The stats prove it, the results are there to see. Make sure any investment in your sale process is well thought through and harnesses the power of the all new marketing tools at our disposal in 2013. How things have changed, ignore the sheer marketing power of press at your peril...market to online only and you risk missing the most emotional buyers. Our job is to create a well researched cocktail of marketing, tailored to your property. Two worlds - online and traditional.

Yes, we do balance between two worlds, and neither can be ignored.

Regards,
Anthony Toop


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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

iPads do it again… an agent’s new bestie!


iPads are changing the way real estate agents operate and the way people buy property. But you already know that… what you might not know yet is the extent of the changes this little device is bringing. iPads have been a break through for Toop&Toop’s technology, and are definitely our new best friend – or “bestie” as they say.

The obvious... iPads give people the ability to view properties on the run and to navigate from one property to the next. The not so obvious is that iPads are helping solve the age old issues of security at inspections, as well as connecting our 40+ sales people, collaboratively helping each other in the sale of every Toop property.

2013 is seeing Toop&Toop's second generation patented VirtualAgent (Va2) selling system roll out into all our inspections. Our 15 year old selling system is being superseded right now. As the old system is being decommissioned, Va2 has been switched ON and is now running parallel with the original system on the iPad. Our Sales Partners will be fully operational and networked LIVE in the field at all inspections by the end of February.

This marks the beginning of an entirely new capability for our team.

15 years ago we patented, and launched, Toop&Toop's VirtualAgent (Va) selling system. Va has won us so many awards across many categories, including National REIA Awards for Excellence. We were light years ahead of the times with SMS automated communication from 1998, and we began issuing identification cards to buyers which gave them special privileges. "Registered Buyers" received ID Cards and advance SMS invitations to view all our properties as VIP Buyers. We launched "Secure Inspections" in 2000. I am sure many home hunters and sellers of that time will remember this.

Well the ID Cards are gone, but the technology smarts running on the iPad are incredible and have by far surpassed any of the technology we’ve had previously. Another outcome of Va2 is that we have, by default, gone a long way toward also solving security issues at inspections.

The power of an entirely networked team operating in real-time is just a dream come true for a real estate agent. The benefits for sellers and buyers will become VERY obvious as the system starts to do its thing… we are now LIVE.

Operation KAT (OKAT - you'll have to ask one of the team what that stands for) commenced this week and finishes on 28 February. Toop&Toop are again changing all the real estate rules in customer service and selling capabilities; better service, faster sales and an unprecedented ability to match buyer and seller, tenant and property. Sales are the first to be equipped, rentals will follow.

Va2 is the first of our major Toop technology innovations to be launched in 2013. So come and check us out at our inspections over the coming weeks as we fire this Va2 baby up. We’re VERY excited.

HOME SELLERS… I’m sure you’ll appreciate the extra levels of security we can now offer. When it is time to get serious, it really is time to get Team Toop... just LOVE my real estate!!
Regards,
Anthony Toop


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PS: Here's the latest RP Data report. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Back in the trenches

What's the year started like?

So far, 2013 has been a mixed bag and very interesting. Incredible sales results are mixed with some dead open inspections. How can that be?

Quality motivated buyers are taking the initiative and seizing the day.

It appears current buyers believe that we are in a period where opportunities are as good as they are likely to be for this current "down cycle".

Personally, I believe we are bouncing along the bottom, and this could be the norm for the foreseeable future. I see nothing on the horizon to trigger the market to suddenly take off.

Transacting in this market is better than in a boom; costs are lower and selection is better. This is an awesome time for entering the market or accumulating property; it is the absolute best time.

On the world’s rich list, there is a common theme… the majority of sustained wealth appears to still be associated with people who are in property. Large property players are always either buying or selling. When the market is slow they begin to buy up and accumulate property. This equips them to transact in the boom where they will then actively sell their stock.  My understanding is that many of the people on this rich list are long-term players because they act counter cyclical – buying at the bottom and selling at the top.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do like bricks and mortar. I like to be able to touch and see my investments and I really like to have full control of what I do with my money and investments. Property is simple, not reliant on third parties and is easily understood.

On Friday 18 January at 5.30pm down at Victor Harbor, we are having a get together of people who want to know more about property investment in 2013. This is a joint seminar with Commonwealth Bank and we will have the experts there to answer all your questions. If you are on holidays in the Fleurieu, a local or just want to take a drive down, be sure to come along. It's free, no hard sell at all, but we will run you through how easy property is to invest in.

You’ll also be able to wander through our brand new Fleurieu Real Estate Gallery and see what property in the region is all about, and what opportunities are around. See visually what we are talking about.

The smart money always acts counter cyclical. When it is not trendy to be buying, smart investors buy.

As we covered last week, I genuinely believe we are witnessing generational BEST BUYING down on the Fleurieu, and there is such an enormous upside for long-term investors. I've heard it too often: "if only I had bought a few years ago." Well, that time is now… "A few years ago" is actually right now.

The same is true across the entire real estate market.

Numbers may be down at some inspections but the quality is up. Buyers are becoming more decisive and confident, there seems to be a sense that the time to act is now.

See you all down the Fleurieu on the 18th!



Regards,
Anthony Toop


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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT

We are off and running into 2013. There are so many opinions about what the year will bring for property owners, but we are not running our business on theory, we are just getting on with the job.

So let's get this real estate party started with the 2013 opening season Investment Property Seminar, a joint seminar with Commonwealth Bank which will be held at our Victor Harbor office. It's time to take your first step, time to make things happen!

OPINION: I am personally backing the Fleurieu as the place that has some of South Australia's very best real estate opportunities. I believe buying here in 2013 will prove very smart indeed. And we are putting our money where our mouth is. We have doubled the size of our real estate floor space at our Victor Harbor office to create the "Fleurieu Real Estate Gallery" - a place which will visually showcase what the Fleurieu has to offer in terms of holiday letting, long-term rentals and what is available for sale. 

We will officially be opening the Gallery on Friday 18th January in conjunction with our Investment Property Seminar. And you are all invited - yes, even all real estate practitioners! Come along to see our brand new Gallery and stay for the investment seminar (details below).

WHY BOTHER? Life is way too short to put on hold. We have had two years of playing scared of what may or may not happen in the economy. In my world of dealing with cancer, there is a term called "catastrophising". This is where you have mental pictures of everything going wrong and you are continually looking at the worst possible case scenario; you start to focus and believe that unrealistically bad things are about to happen. The antidote is to look at what is actually happening and deal with just the facts.

In real estate, the facts are that prices have dropped, rents are staying stable and funding costs have reduced a lot. Residential real estate is looking pretty attractive as an option right now. As I have stated often lately: the worst hit areas - with the most potential to rebound - are where we should be focused, and the Fleurieu in my opinion ticks all the boxes.

WHY THE FLEURIEU? We have an aging population who increasingly need to be close to medical facilities, people who are looking for a laid-back lifestyle and activities that are not too expensive. As we age, we also want a quality environment, pretty scenery, to be close to major transport and cultural centres, have all government facilities and support systems readily available... and given that our incomes may be affected, we also need to live cheaply.

Think about what ticks all those boxes... what is close to Adelaide and has very affordable housing, yet is high class? A place where there are endless activities such as fishing, skiing, sailing, surfing, wineries, tourist destinations, restaurants, golf, bird watching, whale watching, great weather and great scenery? You guessed it... it's the Fleurieu!

Imagine the impact that the new expressway will have to further ease access and link all this together. The new RAH and our International airport just over an hour away... it's the Fleurieu.

Rents are cheap, houses are cheap and cost of living is cheap. AND for all this value, it really is an awesome place to live. Even for the rich and famous... it's the Fleurieu.

TIME TO TAKE ACTION! So take the first step and come along to our joint Commonwealth Bank Toop&Toop Investment Property Seminar and at the same time check out first hand the soon to be opened Toop&Toop Fleurieu Real Estate Gallery. Everyone is welcome and it's FREE.

Also, for the statistics junkies, here's the first RP Data report for 2013, with the latest stats and figures on Australian real estate.

Let's real estate rock South Australia in 2013!





Regards,
Anthony Toop

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