The agents that survive the “buyer’s market”

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Around 2011, Svensk Fastighetsförmedling (Sweden’s no 2 estate agent chain) launched a nationwide advertising campaign. They communicated the number of home buyers they had in their customer database in each city.

“Right now we have 11 231 homebuyers in Helsingborg”

Personally, I don’t believe the campaign was very successful. The sellers can be confident that the buyers will come to the viewings when it is a seller’s market as it was 2011 in Sweden. It doesn’t really matter too much which estate agent you choose and if the agent has a good database of potential buyers or not.

 

It is no longer the seller’s but the buyer’s market in Sweden and the old rules for estate agents are no longer valid.

 

If I would choose an estate agent today I would base my choice on things that I would have ignored a few years ago: Does the agent have an up to date database of buyers? Has the agent sold similar homes recently? How many came to those viewings? How many put it an offer? Are those people still looking? Can I believe that the agent is telling me the truth regarding this?

 

The largest will become even larger in Sweden

The 1-3 largest agents in each area will take market shares during the spring if those who are about to sell reason like me and it will continue to be the buyer’s market. The word “area” is very important, as a seller I don’t care if the agent is part of the biggest chain  in “Stockholm”, what matters to me is if the agents is the biggest and has contact with the most potential buyers in my quarter or my part of the city.

 

From the agents perspective I see the following things:

  • Build up or improve a database of buyers that is 100% updated together with you colleagues in the office. Use those who have shown interest in object’s that you have recently sold as the base.
  • Get in touch with each person in the database that is seriously interested in your area every fortnight to keep the database uptodate.
  • During the valuation meeting, make sure the seller understands why your up to date database is better than “we are the largest agent in Stockholm”, “We only have happy customers”, “we have the best homepage” or “we give you extra advertisement packages for the home”. Tell the seller exactly how many eager buyers you will call as soon you have been instructed.
  • Focus on a smaller area where you are or can be the agent that sells the most homes.
  • You will have a head start if your are in a big office where you have many colleagues.

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