You aren’t an estate/letting agent … you are a Free Val generating machine.

In the estate agency and lettings game nothing is more important to your business as free valuations (…. and when I say free valuations, I also mean market appraisals). To have a viable estate agency and lettings business, you must have those free valuations. Without free valuations you will have no business and therefore you need lots of them. Funny but some estate agents and lettings agents miss this quite obvious point end up spending their time on other less financially rewarding activities. Why do they do this? I have no idea, I really don’t. But let us be brutally clear about this, no free valuations equals no properties to sell (or let) …. equals no money coming in ….. equals financial ruin.

I might even be as bold to say that you aren’t an estate agent or letting agent …. but you are in the free valuation generation business. Say that phrase to many agents and they will say they are an estate agent to which I reply “fine” …. try being an estate (letting) agent without free valuations. What you agents have to embrace and realise is the fact that it is the number of free valuations you have which will either grow your business, keep you in business or put you out of business. Nothing else about your estate or lettings agency business will have as big an impact on it as the number of free valuations that you have and then convert.

In a booming market there are usually many agents relying on passive free valuations. In fact, I believe, that most of the estate agents market relies on them even in the bad times; they just wait for the phone calls or emails to ask them for a free valuation. I call this free valuation receiving. Unfortunately, estate agents who are in the business of receiving free valuations may find themselves selling very few properties when the market drops. On the other side of the coin if you actively focus on generating free valuations through direct and focused marketing activities, you will always be doing the best you can even in a poor property market. If you count on the market to deliver you free valuations when times are good, you better count on it to take them away when the times are bad.

Putting aside the conversion rate of your free valuations, which is a completely different story (and argument) your number one issue is getting more free valuations. The catch is that generating free valuations is not something that can be just turned on or off some good estate agents make the mistake of turning off free valuation generation when they think that they have more business than they can handle, they turn it off and six months later they suddenly realise that the market had shifted slightly and now they don’t have enough free valuations. You see the important message here is that the generation of free valuations always is a switch that has to remain on even when you have enough free valuations walking through the doors and you are selling enough property. Even if you have too many free valuations that is a good thing because you can then pick and choose what business you have and go for the cream of the crop.

The bottom line is this, if you want to succeed as an estate agent or lettings agent, you need free valuations and plenty of them if you want to succeed and grow your business you have to turn from being a receiver of free valuations to a generator of free valuations, only then can you take the business to the next level.

Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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