Australia has long had a love affair with property and the predominant East Coast method of sale has been by public auction, a quick and clean process that has brought excellent results over recent years in a rising market.
While there is little doubt auctions will remain popular, the recent cooling of the property market has led to fewer auctions being held and lower auction clearance rates. The auction process is an expensive campaign for vendors, who no longer have the same certainty that their property will sell and at what price. As such, vendors are now often ‘sitting on the fence’ and unsure whether to go to market or not.
For agents, listing new properties for sale is their lifeblood, and another tried and tested method of sale is regaining momentum. This is the off-market sale, a process whereby a property can be brought to market while keeping the costs and exposure down for the vendor. All aspects of the vendor’s downside are well protected and the process is all upside.
The off-market conversation has quickly become a powerful listing tool for savvy agents who know that once they have secured the listing they can deliver for their client, whether the property is sold off-market or eventually by another method.
The key is to be able to offer the vendor something unique to achieve the initial listing. Vendors are keen to understand how their property will be promoted, what competition will be created and how costs will be kept low.
Traditionally, agents have put off-market properties to their own databases, hoping to generate an offer at the level their vendor is seeking.
With the rise of off-market sales, a new entrant to the property space has given agents a real listing and selling advantage. Property Whispers is a web-based service, instantly connecting all buyers with directly relevant purchase requirements with the specifications of matching off-market properties listed on the portal. When matches occur, the agent and the buyers are instantly informed and the sales process can commence.
Agents can now offer vendors a new way of promoting their properties off-market to a growing and ready audience of buyers, without incurring otherwise expensive advertising costs. In two months since launch, Property Whispers has registered over 1,000 ready buyers for whom over 200 matches have occurred.
In the current climate, using Property Whispers is really attractive to vendors; there’s no downside at all and it’s a great listing tool for agents. Better still, Property Whispers is currently being offered on a free trial period to agents and does not deal directly with vendors. Property Whispers is ultimately a subscription-based business for agents; it does not charge referral fees or share in commissions.
Agents have always been agile in adapting to changing market conditions and there is little doubt that, after a long and stellar run, things are now different. Every property sale could start life off-market and, once listed, good agents will make the most of that opportunity for their clients, particularly with new portals like propertywhispers.com.au to assist them.