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Constant Contact

By Andy Shaw | January 23, 2010

Originally Posted 26th November 2007

I was chatting with Julian a few weeks ago regarding how frustrating it is when you walk through the door of one of your best producing Estate Agents only to see in the window a property that if they’d offered it to you, you would have just bought.

Ron the operations manager was there at the time and he said, ‘But how can they end up in the window when the agent should know that we’ll buy it?’ To which Julian and I both scoffed at him saying, ‘they don’t do that Ron!’ And herein lays one of the great unknowns regarding the vast majority of Estate Agents.

Most EA’s really do have the memory of a Goldfish and whether we like it or not it is our job as diligent property investors to make sure they do their job properly. Yes, I know we shouldn’t have to but that’s beside the point. The reason I first employed Julian was that he used to be an EA and when a property came in that he thought even vaguely matched my criteria he would pick up the phone and try to get me to view it. He was the only one in the entire Worthing area that did that, despite the fact that we already owned 50 to 60 properties.

The trouble is that EA’s don’t think outside the box regarding sales, they don’t look at their most valued clients and think I’ll call them first even though you’d think they would. Why? I don’t know why! And right now, while you’re thinking well mine does, the chances are they are already going cold on you, but you won’t realise it for quite a while.

But the main reason for me telling you is that just putting your name down on the list of people to contact when a property comes in is not very likely to get you a deal. It is all about being in the right place at the right time. EA’s have 10 people a day coming to them and saying they are property investors. Julian says that EA’s consider these leads ‘binners’ in other words after you’ve given them your details and left, they put your info in the bin.

They haven’t got time to remember you! As they are far too busy dealing with several sales going through on properties where other investors are giving them grief. So why is it then that we’ve found some of our best EA’s have passed deals to complete newcomers over us? As we think this may actually be a clue as to why they persist in doing things the hard way. I think it is simply that the person was in the right place at the right time and they were the easiest route to a sale right there and then.

So the solution is to get yourself into the position of being in the right place at the right time, so that you create in the EA’s mind, ‘Top of Mind’ awareness. They need to think of you first, and how we have to get them to do this is by near constant contact. We call the agents we use the most on a near daily basis just checking that they haven’t had any new property come in that morning or afternoon, and even at that level of constant contact, sometimes a walk in investor still gets to the properties in front of us. So if you want to become the person that people say, ‘Oh well the EA calls them first.’ Then simply all you need to do is be in their face in a nice way several times a week. In the end the EA will get fed up with not having done a deal with you, and that will help you get a call or them asking you to go and do a viewing when you next call.

Also the ones we get before they come to the market are where we call and ask, ‘Are you doing any viewings that may interest us?’ When you’ve got a good track record the agent for an easy life will like to tie up a deal quickly with someone they know will complete on the sale with the smallest amount of grief possible.

The reason we are able to buy 3.8 deals a week in a market where people say they can’t find deals is because we are in constant contact with our Estate Agents, are you?

Best wishes

Andy

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