In an ideal world, any cost invested to make a sale should be balanced by a positive outcome recovering the time and effort expensed. But wishful thinking doesn’t make for sunny weather, so the closest one can get to recovering costs is the optimisation of internal processes to ensure greater cost efficiencies.
Below follows a number of suggestions on how you can improve your viewings to offer ratio. Your office may already be doing most of it, but sometimes all it takes is a one liner of inspiration to bring about a ripple effect of efficiency in a department or company.
• Are your properties over-priced? If so, why? Are valuers under pressure to generate instructions at any price, simply to achieve an instruction target? If so, review your targeting strategy at both company and branch level and monitor the conversion rate of market appraisals to sales.
• Review all viewings for the day ahead in the morning meeting. Do viewing staff have a clear understanding of the applicants viewing and their specific motivation for buying? Are they aware of what features are of particular interest? Careful preparation prior to the viewing will assist the negotiator during the appointment.
• Are negotiators aware of which clients are more amenable to offers? Is this information recorded correctly in the office? Highlight these properties in morning meetings.
• Could a poor conversion rate of viewings to offers be because the wrong people viewing the wrong properties? Are negotiators qualifying applicants correctly? Are they skilled in identifying customers’ needs and wants?
• Are the negotiators taking a structured approach to the viewing appointment, selling to the applicant the idea of making an offer? Are they skilled in objection handling? If not, arrange suitable training.
• Does consistent viewing feedback indicate misleading marketing information? Are your property descriptions accurate? Regularly review all marketing material to ensure it portrays the properties correctly.
• Are properties with high viewing levels and no offers being discussed in the branch? Make this an agenda item in daily morning meetings.
• Do staff regularly review stock that is not attracting viewings? Make sure this is a regular discussion point – encourage staff to propose ideas to increase viewing levels.
• Simply rearranging a window or wall display can sometimes generate fresh interest in less popular stock. Make sure all window or wall displays are rearranged on a regular basis.
• Review for sale board presence on all stock. Make a physical inspection of boards on difficult properties – are they located correctly, look smart and clean.
It’s a long list and some suggestions are easier to implement than others. But it will be well worth the effort in the long run, especially in a time when the prudent use of time and money has become particularly relevant.