What are the alarm bells in your business that alert you to a changing market?

Agents are generally optimistic people. A quiet month is just that, bound to be better next month. But what if your quiet month is the first indication of changing market conditions? What are the alarm bells that ring to alert you to it?

Whilst some of us are great at monitoring the monthly KPI’s (and some will be asking what is a KPI?) we are not always good at monitoring the trend and often miss the signs of a changing market until a few months down the track.

A lot of agents I know were amazed at how far over reserve properties were selling just a month or two ago.  Ahhh, hate to break it to you, but prices went up, the market changed, it just took some of you a while to realise and change your marketing strategies accordingly.

In some areas of Sydney the market has started to change again and that can be dangerous at this time of year, because some of us have our hands off the wheel already.

So what are the Key Performance Indicators that alert you to the change? It’s not just the listings that you are carrying but the number of appraisals you are getting called out to as well as the number of appraisals that don’t come on to the market. The balance sitting in your sales trust account is also a great indicator of the picture moving forward. Get your accounts person to alert you when this balance goes below whatever the right number is for your office. It might encourage you to make changes just a little sooner than otherwise would have.

The sooner you realise the market is changing, the sooner you can change your communication with vendors and buyers, alter your marketing and canvassing strategies and potentially stay ahead of your competition.

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About Leanne Pilkington

Leanne Pilkington is the General Manager of the NSW franchise group Laing + Simmons. Her previous roles have included residential sales as well as retail and commercial management. Leanne's current position provides her with a unique overview of the trends in the current market. She is a committee member of the Forum of Real Estate Networks and a Board Member of the REI NSW

6 Responses to What are the alarm bells in your business that alert you to a changing market?

  1. Peter Ricci November 26, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    Welcome Leanne, I think we all fall for that mistake of sitting around hoping things will change for the better. Experience tells me that if it gets quiet its time to work harder and smarter.

    You are exactly right – knowing how your business is performing at all times is important.

    Oh and welcome aboard 🙂

  2. Peter D'Arcy November 27, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    Hi Leanne – great article – we as agents need to become more sophisticated in reading the market and have sign post to give us a bullye snapshot on the pulse of the market.

    Is the any beenfit invitiing you readers to submit the sign posts – KPI’s they use to keep intouch with the pulse of the market.

    PS – I love reading the bus2 articles – very good content and relevant articles.

    Cheers Peter D’Arcy

  3. Glenn Rogers November 27, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    Monitoring change and monitoring it early is important, especially for a large office.

    As we always say you can’t always control your income and when it dips your overheads don’t, they just keep going at the same level, so you need to be able to look ahead and have a strategy to lower your overheads in a downturn.

    In my past experience you can actually feel change within the office like a chill wind.

    A downturn in enquiry and sales volume is immediately noticeable, the trick is to determine if it’s a problem in your office or the market and make the appropriate adjustments.

  4. Leanne Pilkington November 27, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Thanks Peter – I think it would be a great idea to get readers to submit their signposts – we can all learn so much from each other if we are prepared to share.

  5. Leanne Pilkington November 27, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    I agree Glenn, but as soon as you do make the adjustments, like changing the conversations you are having with your Vendors, its amazing how the results also change.

  6. Glenn Rogers November 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Thats right Leanne, it’s all a matter of tweaking your business to suit on an ongoing basis.

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