May 26, 2020

GOODBYE OPEN HOMES: Proactive agents to lead innovation in property inspections

While it doesn’t appear to be the ideal time to start a business, The McGill Group is seeing plenty of silver linings.

During the GFC, the McGill Group founder, Mark McGill was forced to make the career change from an architect to a property sales agent, and it paid off.

The multi-award winning agent recalls those days as some of the best days in his property sales career so it comes as no surprise Mark would take things to the next level during a pandemic.

Since launching his brand, Mark and his team have faced unprecedented times, but despite the new challenges, Mark is taking it wholeheartedly in his stride.

Take the concept of ‘Open Homes’ as an example.

We’ve encouraged consumers to inspect this way, but for the first time ever, an opportunity to innovate this procedure has been presented.

“Most agents tell their buyers to go to an open home because its just the way things have always been done,” said Mark.

“Some agents will struggle with the changes, but there are proactive agents who see this as an opportunity to innovate some of these ‘archaic’ practices altogether.”

For the last few years Mark has been adapting his systems to meet the modern consumer who is too busy for the open home model.

“For sellers there is a lot of preparation required for an open for inspection and for buyers, there is always the constant struggle to fit multiple property viewings in the one day,” he said.

“Especially when most of them are scheduled around 11:00am-1:00pm.“

“Private viewings can be done online and linked with an agents calendar, allowing agents to accommodate buyers and guarantee sellers their hard work in preparation is not wasted for nobody turning up to a viewing.”

“It is also great for appeasing tenants in rental properties that are for sale, as it minimises their disturbances.”

Over the last few years Mark has been witnessing an increase in the number of buyers who want to do all their research before spending their valuable time inspecting a property.

“While we have less enquiry, we have much better quality, because we are dealing with the ones who are very serious about purchasing. Sellers appreciate that.”

“By the time the buyer has done a virtual 3d walk through, viewed the plans, watched the video and read the body corporate information, the only thing left to do at the inspection is sign a contract, and we can do that electronically too.”

On a positive note, Mark believes the challenges being faced by agents at this time will divide and conquer, for good.

“Just as we saw during the GFC, lazy agents will sink away and those who remain will be better prepared for the buyers, delivering better results for their sellers,” he said.

Professional agents have been using 3D tours, videos and floor plans for some time, however in a strong market, many agents and sellers didn’t think they needed to include these as options to market a property but now they will be essential.

When asked how the market has been in the last two weeks, Mark has said that monitoring online activity has increased.

“There is defiantly a spike in viewings, I’m guessing that many people have a lot of spare time off work and are watching the market for opportunities.”

“People always need houses for a variety of reasons,” he said.

“Some have just sold and need to buy, some need a bigger home while others are looking to downsize.”

“Their decision to sell has nothing to do with the market and either way, properties will still transact during these times,” said Mark.