We are wondering dear readers what to suggest to the estate agents/developers, who now have plenty of void time in their hands and books. We feel that this “dead” period of demand and no deals, must not be left unexplored and use this time to improve oneself both in the marketing approaches, as well as the internet skills and with the target to widen the potential clients’ horizon.
When one decides what to do and follow a certain path, bear in mind the costs involved and every effort must be weighted to potential costs, since, nowadays, income is running thin, in addition to the possible disappointments by the numerous clients, nowadays, with the Nos.
• Improve your computer skills through own education and seek the assistance of the more computerized staff and outsider others (if it costs, get a “reasonable” cost comparatively).
• Improve your listing techniques, invest in a good quality camera, giving as much information as possible (including zoning, potential development suitability and suggestion, details of building, stipulate if title available, existence of leases and terms etc etc).
• Explore the websites of other big players such as Gordian, Altamira, Remu, APS etc. and acquaint yourself of the details and more importantly ascertain the asking sales price vis-à-vis, the prevailing ones. Bear in mind that these big “boys” are as desperate to sell as you are and nowadays are more eager to respond and cooperate with possible discounted offers.
• Learn how to adopt the visual tours listings avoiding however the exaggeration, which might lend to mislead the client, e.g. by just showing the best part of a property only.
• Express your opinion whether the asking price is reasonable including the potential for appreciation and not use expressions such as “dead cheap”, comment on the new statutory tenancy evictions period 2-3 months (most important for investors – purchase for income) etc.
• There are many properties for sale and we suggest that you concentrate yourselves to those that are the most marketable and/or within your capabilities and your wide clients want. It is a fact that high end properties bring in a higher commission if concluded, but they are more difficult to sell and time consuming.
• Place your “For Sale” boards, since we find now owners are more willing to accept this than before, especially for those ones that have financial difficulties, squeezed the financiers or otherwise. Similarly attempt to get exclusivity sales period of 3-6 months (not generally so far accepted, but now the situation is different).
• Depending on the duration of the time of the prevailing virus situation and the side effects that this has on locals and foreign investors income and needs, review the asking sales prices at intervals at say once every 2-3 months.
• Concentrate yourselves if your clientele is locally based (Cypriots) to the ordinary residential units suitable for locals and enrich your listings for the popular holiday homes especially in the Famagusta region.
• Do not encourage your clients not paying their rent. There is a misconception on this since rents are not discounted only postponement. The non-payment of rents will last for the next 2-3 months. Non-payment of rent is not “gifted”, but tenants will be called upon to pay later on, by which time, if the total amount due mounts up, the tenant may not be able to cover this and the eviction of 2-3 months still remains.
• Explain to your potential clients the new provisions of the statutory tenant law and bear in mind now the Brexit, the British Cos/people are no longer protected (like any other non E.U. citizens).
• If you are taking a client for a tour, make sure that you secure a travel permit for yourself, as well as for the potential client (and check how many people you can take with you in one car).
• Do not over emphasize the virus situation, which is already scary, by adding your own “stories” on the subject. Yes, if you are asked you must reply with honesty your own opinion, but do not overdo it by saying “it will pass very soon”, or such likes. If you are selling properties at Paphos, do not add your own comments that “Paphos is the worst affected area by the virus”, “the hospital is closed” etc.
• If meeting a client do not appear at the time of inspection with a mask. This alone will scare the client (you own risk mind you) but reading the various reports, the masks do not necessarily work for third parties. Just in case keep with you unused 3-4 masks if needed for you and asked by the client.
• For those who are “supervisors”, bosses etc, show your leadership and be supportive with your staff, going to the office and not keep yourself at home protected. “The leader must be at the front” (Napoleon the Great).
• Make sure that upon visiting a property, it has disinfection, as well as paper towels for washing hands etc. Do not do as a salesperson did, place a zivania drink (strong alcohol basis) and encourage the visitors to have a couple of shots!! (see Poland on confiscated illegal vodka, which is now used as a disinfectant base).
• Desperate situation brings up all sorts of ideas, such as Lebanese cannot take their money out of their country. “We will pay you in Lebanon and if you accept, we will buy” one client told us. This entails possible illegal exporting of money, as well as other consequences.
• Present yourselves with a positive attitude (not overdoing it mind you) and be properly professionally dressed (no jeans etc), but participate with the client’s concerns and share their concerns and not push through the sale, something which will put off clients by realizing that you are just there to get a sale regardless. Be as honest as you can.
• Sending a letter/email to your clients to remind them that you are there for them, if they need anything, offering your assistance, especially to the foreign people/clients, both to the existing and recent clients of yours (it will do wonders).
IF AT THE END OF THE DAY DEAR COLLEAGUES/ESTATE AGENTS, LEARN SOMETHING ELSE – START COOKING AT HOME!! WHO KNOWS YOU MIGHT HAVE A TALENT IN THIS AND IN ADDITION YOU BOND WITH YOUR FAMILY!!!