Tips on how to arrange a productive viewing of a property for sale
The moment of visiting a property for sale is key for both the agency and the client. Depending on how the visit is conducted, it could result in a successful viewing, or on the contrary, a loss of precious time.
For this reason, filtering the number of visits to a property and how information is provided to the client, prove essential in optimising the work of the real estate agency and, subsequently, producing satisfied customers.
So, how should we establish visits to a property for sale?
5 tips for arranging a productive visit to a flat for sale
1. Be clear about the agenda and type of ownership
The first thing to note is ensuring the appointment is optimal and comfortable for both the agent and the potential buyers.
Currently, the trend is to fill the agenda with flat viewings in the same area, thereby allowing as many buyers as possible in a short amount of time. This technique can work for highly attractive, “bargain” flats where a buyer can be found in a single afternoon of visits.
However, there is another profile of both flats and customers that, what we call, “simmer”. This is where arranging visits of 15 – 30 minutes can be counterproductive and the potential buyer demands a second or even third visits, because it is not entirely clear within that period of time whether it is the right home.
For this reason, when faced with properties that need to be seen with more dedication or clients who have reasonable doubts, it is not appropriate to introduce them to this “visiting round” as a matter of routine.
Stop and think about how much time is needed to sell that property and offer it to the right clients.
2. Filter and qualify your clients
In conjunction with the above advice, working routinely leads to losing and wasting a huge amount of time on unproductive visits. Remember that we are estate agents, and that part of our job is to advise and know how to find the right property for the right client and vice versa.
Therefore, before making an appointment to visit a property – even more so if it is one that is difficult to get out of the available portfolio - you should take time to ensure the client fits the profile for each property.
This applies to examples such as high-end homes for clients with a medium-low salary, or couples who want to create a family and make an appointment to visit studios or lofts. It is not a matter of rejecting them, but more so advising them and offering them alternatives which fit the demands of their profile.
3. Offer all possible information in advance
What makes a couple who want to form a family, visit a house of only 30㎡? Probably the lack of information. For example, ensuring that all the photos have good, clear lighting and the rooms are described exactly as what they are. There is not point in fabricating the idea of an 'extra room', when it is clearly designed to be a pantry.
These problems of misinterpretation, aside from making a house appear unattractive and unsuitable, produce frustration and a considerable loss of time which can be avoided by broadening the perspective of how we show the property.
With this is mind, 360º virtual tours are the ideal solution, as they show the property as it would be seen during an in-person visit. That way, there can be no discrepancy over the description, it simply comes as it is. Therefore, those interested will be certain that it is the property they really want and is one that suits their needs.
4. Consider alternative contact routes
Routine can be harmful to the functioning of an agency. A real estate agency is not an assembly line where every client who shows interest in a property is given an appointment to visit and then stays at the agency to close the sale or offer alternatives. It is less linear and more dynamic, especially in the current climate.
The keys to keeping customers satisfied and reducing time and unproductiveness, range from screening to personal advice. Due to this, the visit should not always be the maximum goal. For clients who need to have their options clear beforehand, we should avoid travelling and find a way to clarify their doubts; whether by email, WhatsApp or by enriching the property files with elements such as the aforementioned virtual tour.
Furthermore, this software even offers guided tours to one or several interested parties at the same time, by means of videoconference. This again avoids unnecessary travel and maximises the number of interested parties both in an appropriate time-scale.
An in-person visit should be the icing on the cake, which, after completed, should assure the clients that they have no doubts and the property is suitable.
5. Show details, not simplifications
We shouldn't focus on generalisations that can already be intuited from the file, such as the property having a kitchen integrated into the living room. Instead, focus on the details that serve as sales arguments and leave no room for doubts. For example, the perfect ventilation of a room so that odours and fumes are not mixed or the existence of powerful extraction hoods without noise.
Other aspects that usually serve to definitively convince an interested party in a property and that are not always appreciated in the file (unless videos or virtual tours are used) are the lighting, the disposition and distribution of the rooms, the access to the open areas (balconies, terraces, etc.) and other determining factors; which subsequently serve to resolve the sale.
In short, it is a question of breaking away from the tendency to follow a commercial process in which the greater the number of visits, will result in a greater the probability of closing a deal, and replacing it with more information, advice and service, less time invested, greater satisfaction and with it, sales.