The problem with a buyers' market

James is an experienced real estate agent and agency director that has been using Rex for a number of years now. He really knows how to get the best out of Rex and occasionally writes for us.Over the last few years, agents/developers and home owners in most parts of Australia have enjoyed the benefit of a housing supply shortage, resulting in a substantial rise in housing and land values.However over the past few months these figures have begun to taper off. Welcome to the buyers' market, where buyer follow up and vendor reporting is more important than ever.

In a buyers' market, the dynamics change:

Vendors need to be over-serviced, with detailed reports / frequent communication and complete breakdowns of marketing costs to help them deal with the new reality of static prices and for buyers, the urgency of a rising market diminishes: buyers will be looking to agents to provide better follow-up and service, and they will purchase through the agents who do this most consistently.Although in the ideal world, we'd all be good agents and doing this already, the reality is that most of us tend to follow the market. When the times are good, we have the luxury of saying that 'buyers are liars' and being relaxed with vendor feedback because we know there are 2-3 offers around the corner.The best in the industry won't have this issue because this is what they've always been good at feedback and follow up. For the rest of us, we have to learn, and quickly.

The new world

Times have changed, and it's no longer possible to call your top 20 potential clients in the morning - these days, you'd probably be calling your top 2000 + database. Not easy to chase all those buyers as well as keeping up with vendor reporting and feedback, running open homes and keeping some sort of sanity in your home life. Enter the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software system.The key to a great CRM is not the bells and whistles; it's getting the basics right so that the CRM acts like an extension of the salesperson.The key is in the name: Customer. CRM's should help you focus (especially in the current market environment) on providing the best possible service to your customers - that means:- Reminding you to chase buyers and update vendors;- Automatically keeping buyers up to date wtih what you've got on your books - this needs to be done unobtrusively, without spamming them with your entire stock list via email each week;- Speeding up and simplifying vendor reporting, to help you encourage vendors to price their property realistically by clearly showing the work you've been doing and the feedback from the market;- Knowing your clients better - by keeping records of customer contact and engaging with your contact base on new media like Facebook and Twitter.These ideas aren't rocket science - the best agents do this off the back of a postage stamp. The rest of us need a system that can help us use the best tools to know our customers, keep in touch with them, and not miss out on the opportunities that come up.If you have a CRM software package - take a closer look at what it can do. If you don't have a system, or aren't satisfied with what you've got, take a look at Rex.When Rex built their software, they knew that first of all, they had to get the simple things right - and present them in a way to keep their software usable. The best software in the world is useless if it's not used.After that, they added the bells and whistles ;).

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