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Have you ever wondered how to close more deals without needing to hire more salespeople? Or are you hesitant when it comes to investing in expensive technology that could streamline your processes and provide your staff with more time to prospect landlords? There are ways you can improve without needing to spend money, and this starts by coaching your sales team.
During my time in the lettings industry working as a property consultant, I would often ask myself how I could create more time in my day to prospect for new business whilst hitting my monthly sales target and processing my tenancy applications. I identified one area which was the most time consuming. Viewings.
I estimated that it took 45 minutes on average to complete a viewing including the tasks associated such as gaining access, preparing viewing packs, organising the keys and travelling to the property. On average I would complete three viewings each day. This meant there were over 11 hours a week where I wasn’t at my desk replying to inbound leads or prospecting for more landlords. If your conversion rate is a healthy 35% then you’re going to sign up around five new tenancies per week, which is all well and good. But this also means that more than nine viewings are unsuccessful and you have effectively wasted seven hours that week which could have been spent on other tasks. Seven hours - that’s a whole working day!
Most agents’ qualification criteria consists of the following:
With this considered, it’s no wonder that so may agents become frustrated and find themselves conducting viewings that never lead to a sign-up. How many times have you completed a viewing where the applicants have said ‘it’s a lovely flat but there’s no garden’ or ‘the bedrooms are of equal size but it doesn’t have the open-plan living area we want’. How many times have you stood their listening to this feedback either wondering why they didn’t tell you this before the viewing, or trying to convince them that they can’t afford everything on their wishlist and they have to compromise?
I wanted to avoid this situation, increase my conversion rate and reduce the amount of time out of the office. Fortunately, I had an experienced manager who helped me develop skills to do just that. The goal was to complete a mini-consultation of around 15 minutes with each applicant in order to fully understand their requirements, what they would compromise on, what they couldn’t comprise on, and then identify available properties to match their requirements. The approach is called requirement to requirement and most agents think their sales team is already doing it, but given my recent rental experience with both independent and large franchise agencies who supposedly 'qualified my requirements', I can assure them that the majority are not.
This approach provided me with so many benefits. It led to solid relationships with my applicants and they would always answer my calls or texts, and they trusted my decision because they knew that I knew what they wanted. This meant that they rarely asked for property details before committing their time to conduct viewings with me, so they didn’t ask for property particulars (including pictures) before they’d commit to seeing a property. Ultimately it meant I could influence their decision if they were caught between one of our properties or one of a competitor down the road. I would hold them accountable to their requirements, although I unfortunately took time to understand this - so learn from my mistake!
One final piece of advice. If you adopt this approach, you can 80-90% of the time predict whether a tenant will make an offer when they view your property. This means you can proactively call your landlords ahead of the viewing to verbally agree an acceptable offer should one be made during the viewing. You will then be in a position to take a holding deposit and provide an offer letter at the property. During my time in the industry I was fortunate that my company used Goodlord, which meant I could sign the applicants up from my mobile after the viewing within minutes.
Oh Goodlord Limited is an Appointed Representative of Goodlord Protect Limited for general insurance products and credit broking. Goodlord Protect Limited is directly authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 836727. You can check this information on the Financial Services Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk/register or by telephoning 0800 111 6768 (Freephone) or 0300 500 8082 from the UK. The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services.