The Modern agent: Being the Innovator, not the follower

InnovatorIt’s hard to hide from the facts, in recent surveys, real estate agents have been ranked 45th out of 50 professions with regards to the most trusted profession. It doesn’t make for pretty reading considering agents are a fundamental part in most people’s biggest financial decision, purchasing the family home. So, how can we change this? By being an innovator within the industry, we are leading from the fore front and providing clients with a higher level of service and exceeding their expectations.

Innovation is something which is adapted in all aspects of life and the real estate world is the same? Social media is something which has taken off. Facebook is barely 10 years old and has more then 500 million active users. 500 MILLION!!! Twitter is not far behind with over 200 million active users. Can you imagine as an agent if you had only 0.01% of each of those markets? That’s 50,000 and 20,000 respectively. That would keep any agent on their toes. It’s amazing to see the transition of agents entering the social media network. The cream does rise to the top as  it’s the top agents who are separating themselves away from the others buy being innovators within this rising platform. Market updates via Youtube, recent sales data on Facebook and the one which had people talking from a previous post of mine, selling properties via twitter. And finally, maybe the best concept which makes Principals and Directors smile…..it’s free.

An aspect of innovation which I have been implementing into my work is the use of videos. It’s taking the next step and providing the client with a higher level of service. I started completing routine inspections via this format and I would encourage anyone in the Property Management scene to incorporate this. It provides the landlord with more information as they are gaining a better scope on their investment, much more then a simple picture of the lounge room. Expanding on this idea of videos, I have begun by incorporating this into maintenance issues and also outgoing inspections. It is amazing how much information can be obtained from a short 60 second video and the responses from the landlords in far beyond expectations. By increasing the client’s expectations gives them comfort in knowing that as an agent, they know what they are getting and so much more. Adding on to the last comment, it provides you with the greatest marketing tool, word of mouth.

By implementing innovation correctly in our industry can ensure that those responses for low levels of trust are a thing of the past.

The Millennials: Generation Y and our infatuation with Real Estate.

Gen yThe Millennials, Gen Y and my favorite, ‘everyone gets a trophy generation. Let’s face it; they have been branded many names by the generations which they have proceeded but are we really that bad?

Every generation has their pros and their cons, their positives and negatives. Currently, we are living in a technology ridden world where everything can be accessed via the palm of your hand and if it can’t? It will be shortly. Let’s face it, Millennials are at the fore-front of Social Media. They are the most marketing-savvy and advertising critical generation that has come through the ages. The concept of Social Media is the case in point. Social Media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have brought the world closer together and allowed people to communicate on different levels. Gen Y or ‘Millennials’ are naturally drawn to this way of communication as it allows us to communicate not only to people who we know, but to audiences on a larger level. My favorite story is how a friend of mine, also in real estate, sold a property via twitter. Imagine trying to explain that to the Baby Boomers.

I touched on how Millennials are attracted to this platform and I thoroughly believe that this can be put down to our generation being the most educated. It’s mandatory for every child within Australia to be gaining an education up until they are 16. With greater education ensures people to make better decisions in life for themselves but also the people around them. It also enables us to be more financially sound and to secure ‘The Great Australian Dream’.

Millennials grow up and what to have what our parents had and more. We want to own that house or that car but due to an ever expanding population, overseas competition and other external factors, it feels just that little bit harder. In the current real estate market, with prices sky rocketing, it feels that first investment property or future family home is moving further and further away. To help get the youth into the real estate market, ideas have been trust into the ring but by potentially deferring taxes such as stamp duty ensures that this generation has a chance to dip their foot into the real estate world. This maybe something that the governments have to consider to ensure that the millennials have a fighting chance in this market.

Victoria Park & Zetland: A new sense of Community

Joynton ParkIn previous posts, I have touched on how the local area is expanding with new high density developments finishing and how the area is evolving. Inner-city living is on the rise and Victoria Park is in the thick of it. In many high density developments, the sense of solitary can be evident but this is not the residents fault. In many cases, this can be put down to the overall landscape of the community and the way it has been designed. This is why Victoria Park is different.

With the addition of the new developments, the difference between Victoria Park and previous urban renewal projects is that the small district has not become a ‘high-rise haven’. Yes, there are numerous towers reaching towards the heavens but by ensuring that the local nature reserves such as Joynton, Tote and Nuffield Parks has provided that the space is different from previous redeveloped areas and that it allows that sense of community. By having these parks in place throughout the community, establishes the sense of a social neighborhood. It allows for public events to take place which adds to that sense of community. Lets be honest, there is nothing better then socializing with friends and having a barbecue on a summers day and having this with in walking distance of your own home creates the vibe and buzz which Victoria Park is striving for.

With the natural park lands added with the modern facilities such as the East Quarter Market Place which is set for completion in the near future, Victoria Park is becoming its own community. Not only is it becoming your standard residential community but it’s an area which has “heart and soul”. It’s a place where you want to live and somewhere that you want to be apart of. It’s creating that new sense of community.

Can the Boom Continue?

auctionAs we make our way into the Autumn for 2014, the current trend has followed that from the booming end we had to last year. With auction clearance rates above 80% for the 5th straight weekend after last Saturday, the question which has to be asked is, Can this boom keep continuing for 2014?

With the low interest rates, low Australian dollar coupled with First home buyers, Down-sizes and the much publicised ‘Overseas Investors’, it does appear that the trend will continue to rise steadily. However; it would be highly unlikely to see the growth exceed into the double figure range as it did towards the end of last year. There have been some bullish analysts who are predicting towards 20% increases within the greater Sydney market however; anyone can make brash predictions at the start of the calendar year.

 

So, what does this mean for Victoria Park & Zetland?

With a steady amount of properties currently on the market within Victoria Park and Zetland, it is evident that the supply is there and as mentioned before with the first home owners, down-sizes and overseas investors, the demand has followed. It is safe to say that we are in a sellers market with numerous properties throughout the area exceeding reserve prices and clearing them by the tens of thousands and in some cases, more.

With new developments set for completion throughout Victoria Park in 2014, it will be interesting to see what this effect has on the market. Personally, even with the added supply, I do not believe this will dilute the market as the demand is out there. Having spoken to people within the industry, it does make for exciting times within the area but only time will tell…..WATCH THIS SPACE!!!