As an agent you are, in essence, running your own company. Take ownership of that and put practices in place to keep yourself ahead of the pack
Operating largely as your own boss comes with the ability to choose your working times and deﬁne your work life balance. It also comes with chasing the next sale or dealing with the last one – and the admin that goes with it. Put these structures and systems into place to take your business to the next level.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR RENTALS, INCLUDING COMMISSION
To do this, try an approach that, for the most part, replaces hard copies, ﬁ ling and older programmes. One idea is PayProp, a reliable and simple system designed especially for rental agents. Says agent Cal de Beer of RE/MAX Living City Bowl: “It’s an easy way of reporting to landlords and tenants as well as keeping track of payments – and you don’t need detailed accounting knowledge to use it. Because of the way most agencies are regulated, the principal would have to open an account on behalf of an agent, who can then run their own rental portfolio beneath the umbrella of the agency.
SEARCH FOR LISTINGS
There is always pressure to ﬁnd new and unique listings. Virtual Agent is a web-based application speciﬁc to the South African property market to help agents do just that. “We tested Virtual Agent. Being able to access comprehensive and up-to-date contact and property information is a key issue for industry professionals,” says Barry Davies, group franchising director at Chas Everitt. “Combine the accuracy of data delivery, speed of the system, practical interface, the support team’s understanding of our business and their willingness to adapt the system to the needs of top agents, and the net result is a compelling oﬀering.”
CREATE MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS
There are two major ways of using partnerships to help you stand out. Form symbiotic relationships with local, related businesses, such as electricians, pest control specialists, bond originators, ﬁnance companies and attorneys. This can include co-sponsoring functions, sending leads and sharing ideas. Partner with companies that oﬀer exceptional service otherwise your name could suﬀer.
Become socially entrenched in the community where you work, such as at schools, charities, churches and sports days. “Getting involved in communities is not only part of our marketing strategy, but we feel it is our duty to be part of their upliftment,” says Acutts managing director Jonathan Acutt. “Very few people are open to a cold call. It simply doesn’t work. Getting involved with the community allows us to have simple conversations with its members, without having to cold call them”
HIRE ADMIN STAFF
It’s worth investing in an admin and book-keeping guru. You’ll have the necessary support in-house to follow up with potential clients. Most sales require a huge amount of after-sale service and this is a great way to get clients to recommend or use you again. Your administrator can ensure the conditions of sale have been met, check in with buyers and sellers regarding progress, assist with ﬁnance arrangements and instruct a conveyancing attorney if necessary. Responsibilities could also include keeping your diary and books, and placing ads. Consider clubbing together with other agents when hiring someone to save costs.
André Fiore is a journalist who has written about real estate and lifestyle for about 14 years. She is in contact with a network of real estate professionals countrywide.
Text André Fiore