IFE ADEDAPO writes on how real estate brokers can increase sale in a competitive business environment
Experts have observed that the Nigerian real estate market recorded significant growth in last decade in response to demand for residential and commercial properties.
They also note that the growth in commercial properties was driven by new investments in retail, hospitality, tourism as well as the telecommunications industry.
In addition, they are of the view that the spike in demand for residential properties is linked to population growth and rising income levels due to the emergence of middle class.
However, they note that the real estate market will grow despite the predictions of major economic downturn, retrenchment and hardship for employers and employees.
As a result, they have highlighted some methods that brokers can utilise to sell more properties.
Importance of business credibility
The Chief Executive Officer, Poise Nigeria Limited, Mavi Isibor, points out that it is important for professionals in the real estate sector to fashion out ways to succeed in business.
She says it has been predicted that the real estate industry will enjoy some growth despite the 2016 economic doom.
However, she says potential investors in properties will still be sceptical when investing due to lack of credibility of operators and unpleasant experiences that they may have had in the past.
As a result, Isibor emphasises that an important trait that real estate brokers should build is credibility.
While addressing stakeholders at the Poise Nigeria real estate forum, she explains, “The chances of being swindled are high and can be linked to mismanagement of funds by operators. What will matter in this sector is credibility and ethics. How do you ensure that your organisation build a credible image? Build a strong ethical code and a way to monitor or regulate the activities of your employees.
“You need to be able to build a system that will engender trust between your organisations and your clients. In a tough business environment terrain, the best thing to do is to sell more.”
How to build credibility
The CEO, John Zedomi and Associates, Mr. John Zedomi, says that it has been observed that there is always an economic downturn every six years and people must do business against all odds.
According to him, credibility is the ability to inspire belief in the mind of clients and businesses can only thrive if it is credible.
“We live in a society where ethics is not upheld. It is either you are ethical or unethical. People have the ability to rate you based on your ethical conduct,” he adds.
Highlighting the elements of credibility, Zedomi says that integrity, which means commitment to the truth and fairness, has to be developed by stakeholders in the sector.
He adds that people with expertise will enjoy a level of credibility than those without.
He says, “Have a sound judgment. What is your track record of relationship in the past years? Have emotional intelligence. It is the ability to connect with people at a heart-to-heart level. Soft skills are good and they will set you apart. Be likeable because people will do anything for people they like.
“Keep exposing your business, shout and attract attention to yourself. Competition will be very stiff and these qualities will set you apart.”
Find the right customer
The Managing Director, UPDC Plc, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, says that targeting the right customer is the first step in selling a property.
According to him, real estate operators cannot afford to sell in a crowded market. He says that they have to create a market for a particular set of people and be flexible in the niche they have created.
“Segment your customer based on income and occupation. Consider the benefits the customers will enjoy. Most times, operators think for customers without finding out what they really want. Find out customers values and preference. Let your customer validate the values you are bringing. Find out the lifestyle of the customer by segmenting them based on geographical location and family size.”
Have the right product
Sell what people want to buy. When you get your location right, pricing will be secondary.
He says, “Have a product that speaks to the value your clients are looking for. Not everyone wants a swimming pool, boys’ quarters, lawn tennis and 24 hours electricity in an estate.
“Determine which housing variants they want. Ask whether they will prefer to have terraces; detached houses; semi-detached houses; flats; or bungalows. What recreational facilities do they value? What number of parking lots or visitors’ car park do they want? Will they need children play area, swimming pool; gym or lawn tennis court? What is their budget? What can they pay for a particular type of offering?”
Start the marketing drive
You can’t sell real estate with sealed lips, Ogunniran says.
He suggests that operators can start their sales drive by listing all the market channels open to them and utilising them.
The UPDC boss says existing data base, yellow pages, estate agents, referrals, alliances, corporate bodies, government, parastatals, ministries, banks, oil companies as well as other corporate organisations are marketing platforms.
Acquire selling skills
You have to meeting new people, Ogunniran says.
According to him, people who never meet anyone new people will never have anyone new to sell to.
He suggests that operators should learn to make personal connections and follow up on every sales lead.
“You don’t have to be the best at everything to succeed in this business. You just have to be competent and likeable. People buy from people they like. Follow-up is a big area where most sales people fail. If you aren’t going to take every lead you get and work it to death, then you’ll never be a top performer,” he adds.
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