It’s time to turn fear of change into fuel for material information success
Upfront material information is now firmly on the property industry’s radar, with Trading Standards CPR regulations expected to move towards disclosing features such as flood risk, broadband and mobile signal. All leading to more informed buyer decision making, greater confidence in the property market and a smoother, less stressful process for everyone involved.
So, given this will mean faster sales turnover and fewer fall throughs, the business benefits are clear, so what is stopping some agents from using upfront material information now?
Doesn’t everyone in the property industry want to make the moving process as efficient as it can be, when so much is financially at stake in getting the property to completion?
Part of the solution is collaboration. It featured in the top three changes our industry wants to see in the ‘Back to the Future’ report by mio, tmgroup and Conveyancing Data Services, but we rarely see industry legislation that can actually facilitate this, so it’s down to individuals to drive this change. Utilising material information upfront means looking at the whole sale from listing to completion and how collaboration between agents and conveyancers working together from start to finish will lead to more successful outcomes, more of the time.
How does collaboration and utilising upfront material information actually generate more successful outcomes?
If estate agents digitally gather material information upfront from their sellers, and conveyancers are instructed at the start of the process rather than at point of sale agreed, they can share this detailed property information with conveyancers at point of instruction ensuring any potential issues are raised and resolved right upfront. With average transaction times cut in half to around 12.5 weeks where the industry has tested this, according to HBSG research, it offers a golden opportunity to instigate change for the better.
So how to combat fear of change when it comes to adopting upfront material information into your sales processes?
Consider any short-term ‘costs’ such as initial staff training or implementing new technology, against the long-term advantages, look at what costs you already incur through fall throughs or delayed completions:
- What is the cost to your business when a sale falls through during the transaction?
- How much has your business already spent in money, time and resources working on that collapsed or buyer-aborted sale?
- How much commission will you lose by not completing that sale?
- How much more marketing will you need to do and how many more viewings before a new buyer is found?
- Even where conveyancing issues are raised late into the process but are resolved albeit with extra delays to the transaction time, how are those delays impacting your pipeline turnover?
- What do you currently do with the property information that leads to a buyer pulling out? Do you keep that information to yourself and hope for the best, or do you disclose it so that your new buyer is aware and can make an informed decision from the outset?
For some sellers, a collapsed sale prompts cold feet and properties to be withdrawn from the market altogether for fear of further stress and financial losses, which many homeowners can ill afford. So, also consider:
- What percentage of your collapsed sales withdraw from the market completely? And what percentage do you win back?
- How much does it cost to win a new instruction to replace a lost pipeline stock?
- What is the reputational damage to you, the acting agent, for failing to hold the sale together?
Redefine customer expectations
Delivering what customers want is good for them and good for you too – not just for your business income but your professional reputation too. Showing you’re already implementing material information changes that are on the legislative horizon that will make the process of moving quicker, smoother and less risky demonstrates your dedication to helping them have a successful move.
Tom Carter, Partner and former Chairman at McCartneys, comments, “If we can get a change of mindset and change of process from consumers as well – to get themselves organised upfront, it’s got to make a difference. If we’re changing that process and the way in which that transaction takes place, those margins are going to add up and it’s going to make a difference.”
Main Board Director at PropertyMark, Simon Wilkinson, adds, “The leaders and early adopters will adopt what we perceive to be best practice, but very soon it marginalises those who are non-adopters. They will start to lose business because those leaders are then winning business, and so therefore the industry will change.”
Sitting on the fence is no longer an option
Jon Horton, Product Director at mio, is encouraging property professionals to harness upfront material information now, using technology solutions, rather than wait for further regulation changes. He says, “There will always be some early adopters and those who prefer to watch and observe from the side-lines. But we’re already seeing technology solutions, like mio’s Sellers Information Pack, that deliver a simple digital experience for agents, sellers, buyers, and their Solicitors to complete and share more detailed information, much earlier in the process.”
“Speaking to those early adopters, there are clear reasons to embrace the benefits that this brings, particularly in a challenging market where agents should look at every option available, to secure new business and manage a sale through to a successful conclusion. The biggest challenge is change itself, but logically upfront material information makes sense to help reduce transaction times and mitigate fall-throughs - the two biggest worries for agency owners.”
Why waste energy getting frustrated with the constant fall throughs, and wait for legislation to force change, when solutions are already out there?
The time has come to move forward from woeful tales of wasted time, money and resources and reach out to the dawn of a new era of transparency and a more productive sales journey that’s fit for purpose in the 21st century. Are you ready to stand up and be counted?
Check out the mio Sellers Information Pack
Here’s a quick insight to the new mio Sellers Information Pack. It’s well worth a watch. Check out our page for a no-obligation full demo or chat about mio’s sales management solutions.