Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at how to deal with estate agents in your investment area and how to build rapport. To recap on my last blog post, I think it’s vitally important to not just speak with agents on the phone, but to actually visit them in their offices in person.
Please note that I say “agents” (plural), because you shouldn’t just be approaching one agent, but ALL the agents in your target area – and you should stop by and physically go into their offices at least once a week.
If you live away from your chosen area, then this might not be possible; but stopping by once a fortnight or even monthly is an absolute must. During the weeks that you can’t physically go in person, I advise following up with a phone call. In essence, you have to do all you can to ensure you stay at the forefront of their minds.
By doing this, what will happen is that you start to build a relationship with these agents, and in turn, they will get to know you and what it is you are looking for. And this is something that you should be doing with every estate agent on your investment patch.
Over time, you’ll find that you will “gel” with some but not with others. Let’s say there are 12 agents in your area; as time goes by, the amount of property details that come your way from some of these agents will dwindle. As such, you’ll find that you’ll probably only end up dealing with 3 or maybe 4 – but these will be the agents that will understand what you want and they will be the ones that start to pass you deals.
Unfortunately, dealing with agents is very much a numbers game. So, do start out by visiting all of them. Try to develop a relationship with as many as possible because it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to form a real relationship with all of them. However, those that you do form a relationship with are going to be those that shed light on the deals.
This is a process you need to grasp and put into place before you start to see some results. Many investors that I meet complain that they’re finding it hard to get anywhere near securing any deals. When I ask them what they have been doing, they usually reply they have been working very hard over the last six months. They have been up early every day and have been searching through Rightmove but as yet, this hasn’t yielded any results. When I question if they have actually been in to visit any agents in person, the answer is usually NO!
Most feel that spending time on sites such as Rightmove is enough to find what they are looking for. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Whilst a really fantastic tool, a resource such as this doesn’t get you in front of a person.
Essentially, property is very much a “people to people business” – and if you want to be successful, you have to actually get out and meet people. You need to speak to agents and build rapport with others in the industry rather than just solely rely on internet resources.
Of course, Rightmove and the like can be great to supplement what you’re doing. It’s great for learning about your investment area and seeing what’s out there. BUT, you can’t rely just on these resources. To make deals happen, you have to go and see people.
For the same reason, I wouldn’t advice that you just send out emails to the agents in your area either. Emails can get lost; some are unopened or simply ignored – and sending an email is not the same as seeing an agent in person, explaining what it is that you’re trying to do and showing that you’re serious about doing it. So, get out there in person. Yes, keep an eye on Rightmove, Zoopla, etc. but also maintain regular contact in person with agents to ensure you stay firm in their minds.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
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