Picture this: you’ve nurtured a lead from coffee to contract. After several meetings and listing presentations, you’ve landed yourself a client who’s chosen you to sell their home. Congratulations! This step typically feels like the hard part is over with. After all, you know that your commission check will be in the mail as soon as you can sell their property. Or is it?
Time is money when marketing a property and getting it sold. With more and more data visible to the public online, potential clients can be very critical about the numbers of days a property has been on the market. If a property has been on the market for a while, they’re probably asking themselves, and their buying agent, what is wrong with this place? Why has no one bought it yet? Is there something wrong that I’m not seeing?
According to The Balance, the average number of days a property sits on the market is 65-93.
Once that contract is signed, this is all the more reason to get all your ducks in a row, execute your marketing plan, and let the market know about your new listing.
So why does it always take you longer than expected to get direct mail campaign and brochures together to get your property on the market? What is slowing you down?
Lack of a system
If your workday feels chaotic and you tend to end the day feeling like you weren’t able to accomplish what you had set out to do, then it’s time to take a look at the processes you have in place. The process for selling a home is identical the majority of the time. So why are you starting each sale from scratch? If you were to have a clear system/checklist in place, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and not to mention brainspace. You won’t need to keep track of each step in your mind and you’ll only need to focus on each step in the checklist, and only as they come up.
There’s no need to go digging for your photographer’s contact email each time you need to hire them. Add their info to that step in the checklist.
Do you recommend the same home inspectors, notaries and moving companies to your clients each time? Keep this information handy by linking to this file in your checklist. Creating a simple checklist that outlines each step of your sales process will eliminate error and also speed up your process. One study done by a hospital found that implementing a simple checklist during flu season reduced infection rate from 11% to 0% and saved the hospital 2 million dollars in costs over the course of two years. That’s a powerful checklist!
Your next sale is the perfect time to set up a checklist to save you time for every next sale you facilitate. Make a note of each and every task you do and what resources you collect in order to complete that step. Write everything down and then take a step back. You might even see a better way to organize your workflow to shave more time off your process.
Waiting on others
When I was working in a marketing firm that specialized in creating marketing materials for Realtors, one of the biggest frustrations we heard from our clients what it took us too long to design their graphics. We’d be hired to create brochures and postcards for our clients. They’d send us their copy and photos. Then their project would get added into our queue of work to be done that week. While our typical turnaround time was about 2 days to send our clients their feature sheets, there were inevitably always changes and tweaks to make.
From swapping out listing photos, changing copy, changing contact information, changing open house dates… the list goes on. Selling a property is a dynamic process and it’s nearly impossible to get a feature sheet or postcard design 100% on the first attempt. And the real kicker to all this was that these simple changes were really simple for us to do, but each change request got added to the end of our queue and took us at least one business day to turn around. This was precious time that our clients were not able to use to start marketing their listing. Not to mention all the wasted time spent emailing back and forth.
Things have changed since I was working as that marketing firm and now there are tools you can use to create your own marketing materials. Tools like Canva or templates you purchase on Etsy allow you to make your own simple feature sheets and postcards. Imagine how much time you’d save by creating your own marketing materials and cutting out the middleman design team. Stop waiting on them to fit your change requests into their work queue and take matters into your own hands.
Too many errands
Another problem that I see that is slowing down a sales process is the number of errands realtors are driving to. Time spent in traffic is highly unproductive and really disrupts your workflow and checking those tasks off your list.
If you’re still driving to a print shop to order your marketing materials and then driving back to the print shop to pick them up, it’s time to start ordering your prints online. And you’ll probably save some money doing this too.
I’ve been in the printing industry for the last six years and I can confidently say that the discounts available through online printers far outweigh those of local printers about 90% of the time, especially when printing in bulk. So I encourage you to check out online printers in your country and save yourself the trouble of driving to and from your local printer.
If you only need a few prints, then give your local printer a call and arrange to email them your print files. Once printed, they’ll most likely be able to arrange to courier you the finished product. Even if the courier fee costs $15, the savings in gas and time will be totally worth it.
If you’re interested in taking control of your marketing process for your next listing, then check out our bundle of professionally designed templates. With our collection of 26 templates you can design your own feature sheets, flyers and postcards in a snap. Just add your colors, branding, listing photos and copy and download your print-ready design. No more waiting on a design team’s backed up queue to make simple changes you can do yourself in minutes.