The start is as important as the finish

When a champion sprinter climbs into the starting blocks, they aren’t focussed on the way they’ll cross the finish line. They’re thinking about getting their footing right for the start of the race.

The same thinking should apply to the auction process.

In our view, too often agents and vendors are trying to define the finish line, before they’ve taken the first steps. In other words, we’re getting carried away with surpassing the vendor’s reserve price, without thinking about how we’re going to reach it.

After all, in a market where properties aren’t always rushing past reserve like they used to, preparation at the start is key to setting up a good finish.

It seems obvious, but the current dip we’re seeing is easily defined as the gap between the price the vendor wants, and the price the buyer is willing to pay.

Some things to consider to help set you on the right footing:

  • Who is your prescribed buyer and is your marketing talking directly to them? Think about your imagery, language and overall approach and ensure they’re tailored to your buyer.

  • Why not try getting a gauge of market value by talking to under-bidders and other active buyers before you start marketing? Giving this feedback to the vendor before the start of the campaign will offer insight to market value.

  • In order to earn the respect of your vendor, define your authority on the subject of price and set realistic expectations. It’s powerful to say “no”.

  • Like any relationship, your relationship with your vendor must be based on trust and honesty. You’re going into partnership to achieve a goal – you need to be on the same page.

  • Understand who all the surrounding owners are and let them know about the impending sale before anything hits the market. Keeping the neighbours in the loop may reveal more buyers who are already advocates for the area.

So as you climb into the starting blocks on your next sales campaign, ask yourself: what can I do now, to help bring about an excellent result in this campaign?

Paul Tzamalis