I have been on a number of viewing appointments with estate agency staff who are poorly trained and significantly lacking in knowledge.
TOP TIPS TO ENSURE SUCCESS:
Preparation. Full knowledge of the property, applicant and client is essential. Anticipate the questions that will be asked. Assess the applicant’s needs compared to the property features. Why would they buy it? A ‘viewing kit’ is worth having in the car – business cards, property brochure, alternative property information, a printout of the applicant’s record, company literature, umbrella, torch and more means the agent is equipped for all eventualities.
Let the applicants think, silence can be golden. Comment, but don’t bombard them with wittering!
Property sequence. If you are showing an applicant a number of properties, consider their order. You should be able to predict which property is most likely to suit them –leave this one until last.
Park thoughtfully. Leave somewhere for the applicants to park easily. Nothing will put them off more than having to drive around looking for somewhere to park.
Prepare the property. Get there early, ensure it looks at its best – draw curtains, put on lights if necessary, maybe spray air freshener, remove junk mail from the doormat – first impressions really do make a difference!
Quality greeting. The first impression of the property is critical but so is the first impression of you! Be there to greet the applicant when they arrive – smile, introduce yourself, give a business card, shake hands and thank them for coming. They could be a potential vendor now or in the future and they may share their experience of their viewing with friends and family. Make it a positive one!
Agree agenda. At the start of the viewing, it is important to agree an agenda so that the viewers know how the appointment will go. This displays your professionalism and puts viewers at ease.
“I’d like to show you round the property. We’ll start downstairs then go upstairs and then outside. Please feel free to ask any questions as we go. At the end I’d like your opinion on the property and also importantly what your thoughts are on the price. We really appreciate some detailed feedback so we can report back to our client. Is that ok?” Through this agenda, the scene is set and on occasions, the figure you get from the viewer on their price opinion can be turned into an offer by asking the viewer “So if you could get it for that figure, might you consider it?” Many sales have been created over the years by using that technique.
Start and finish in the best room. To make the right first impression and to leave them with a lasting impression, it is a useful technique. In particular, if you are having a post-viewing chat, make sure you are doing so in the best spot – this might be the lounge, kitchen or in the garden.
Match needs with benefits. You should know their key requirements and be in a position to match the benefits of the property with those requirements. Schools? Railway station? How many children? Use phrases like, “The reason I thought this home would be suitable was that…” and then introduce the appropriate need and benefit.
Don’t talk for the sake of talking. One of the main criticisms of agents is the inane chattering that they feel is necessary. Keep quiet as much as you can. There is no need to explain that the room with the bath is the bathroom, although plenty of agents do.
Let the applicants think. Silence can be golden. Add your own comments regarding plusses that suit them here and there but don’t bombard them with wittering – it destroys the thought process.
Feedback at the end. After the viewing, spend a few minutes getting feedback from the viewers. Simply asking what they think is not sufficient. Recommended post-viewing questions include:
- How does this compare to other properties you’ve seen?
- What do you see as the positives of the property?
- What do you think of the price? What if you could get it for that figure?
- Are there any other questions that you have for me?
At the end of the viewing, agree the next point and manner of contact and send the viewers on their way. Check the property is being left as you found it or as per any of the owner’s instructions. If the owner is present at the viewing, thank them for allowing the viewers round and give them any immediate feedback. Then agree the next contact with them, shake hands and leave.
Following these tips ensures effective viewings, impressed applicants and clients, and your agency being seen as the best of the bunch. Good luck!