When the New Zealand real estate market dips, two of Hamilton’s top real estate agents say those in the industry need to do old school basics right to continue locking in sales and delivering value for their clients.

Paul Conway and Glenn Collins, Lodge’s number one sales agent both says there are no short cuts to being a good real estate agent and in times when the market dips, agents need to focus on doing the basics well.

Paul had a previous life as a Crime Squad Detective and then a lawyer. He started in real estate in Australia and has been working with Lodge for four years. In that short space of time, he grew to be Dinsdale Branch Manager, although he’s now back focused on sales.

“It’s about consistent work. You need to focus on building your base of clients and keeping in contact with them. Keep them updated on the market because even if they’re not buying or selling right now, they might be in a few years’ time,” says Paul.

He blocks out 45 minutes in his calendar each day to make calls to prospective clients. People who may have been interested in an investment property at some point, others who may have contacted Lodge about selling or first home buyers who were in the market six months ago but didn’t buy.

“If you put some time in every day to speaking with those people it will eventually lead to sales or listings,” says Paul.

Glenn and partner Sonia Christison have been Lodge’s top selling agents since 2004, together making more than $1.4 billion in sales. Glenn says it is a combination of working hard, consistently sharpening the skillset along with market knowledge that got them there. Glenn had been working for Freedom Furniture before joining Lodge.

“We worked hard for it. When you enter the industry, you need to make a name for yourself. We were working seven days a week for many months and had great support from an established agent David Huang,” says Glenn.

Initially it was about being a sponge and soaking up everything they could from other staff, seeking out their tips and seeing what aligned with where they wanted to head in their real estate career, says Glenn.

“Align yourself with successful agents and learn from them. Do open homes with them and get some traction in your business. Real estate is a difficult business to get established in and it’s tempting to try and take shortcuts, but the truth is there aren’t any,” says Glenn.

Both agents can be found at Lodge’s weekly caravan listings, traveling around assessing the new homes on the market to appraise themselves of what’s available and what the market is willing to pay for those homes.

“You can’t say you are an expert in the market if you haven’t physically looked at what’s available and then seen what those properties have sold for,” says Paul.

Both agents also still send out direct mailers with market updates, letters to prospective clients and use their social media accounts to promote the successes they have achieved for their clients.

“It’s always about doing the basics right. It’s a long game and those things you do now will eventually pay off in time whether it be six months or even five years,” says Glenn.

“If people are looking to buy or sell property, they are probably going to ask the agent who has kept in touch with them.”

Lodge Real Estate Director Jeremy O’Rourke says alongside doing the basics well, agents should also use the digital marketing platforms available to them. Lodge uses ActivePipe which provides templates for everything from market updates to letters.

He also encouraged agents to use their social media platforms and look at paid partnership advertising.

“Even if the market dips there are still people looking to either buy or sell their properties. There were people looking to buy six months ago who have still not found the property they want. It’s about picking up the phone and keeping in contact with people,” says Jeremy.

Top tips for new and established real estate agents

  • If you’re new to the industry, align yourself with more experienced agents and be a sponge. Learn all you can from them.
  • Find people who will tell you when you’re going off track or who will be honest and let you know what you’re doing wrong.
  • Set aside time in your calendar every day to make phone calls to prospective clients and do it.
  • Go to the caravan listings each week so you understand what is currently on the market and what those listings are worth when they do sell. Make sure you are the expert in your area.
  • For established agents continue to set yourself monthly targets.
  • Keep doing the basics well. Send out market updates, send letters to prospective clients and use your social media accounts to promote the successes you’ve helped your clients achieve.