The 7 Pillars of Rural and Lifestyle Real Estate

Cows grazing in green farm

These 7 pillars provide simple steps to increasing income in rural and lifestyle sales.

The 7 golden pillars:

1.       Get your head right:  If you don’t have your head in the right space it will have an adverse impact on your performance and success. This is a confidence sport and maintaining a confident persona will bring business your way. For example, when your confidence levels are low you will potentially retreat from asking ‘closed questions’ (requiring a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer) as the fear of rejection invades your thinking

2.       Prospect constantly: Whether we like it or not, prospecting is one of the fundamental activities that will determine our success. Prospecting is a continuous activity to build and maintain relationships. Placing a dollar value on each contact you have with potential sellers, or people you have built relationships with is a good way of keeping your work rate constant. If you need to speak with 100 people in order to list and sell a property where the fee will be $20,000, then each prospecting contact is worth $200

3.       Win the Pitch: Being a great ‘lister’ is crucial for long term success. It is a skill that requires a lot of practice and constant fine tuning. Taking the attitude of going on a ‘listing opportunity’ rather than an ‘appraisal’ is a good start. Remember that we sell two things: our services and real estate. The sale of the real estate is solely dependent on our ability to sell our services. If no one is buying your services, there is no product to sell

4.       Present compelling information: All material that we present to people must be of the highest quality and accuracy. However, don’t overload potential buyers with too much information all at once. It’s better to drip feed information to buyers so as to ascertain their interest levels. The more information they request, the more interested they are. Also, don’t hide behind documentation to avoid conversation

5.       Increase marketing/campaigning: The reason vendors don’t accept offers is because they still think there’s a better one out there. Marketing is a twofold process; 1 - find every potential buyer and 2 - prove to the vendor that you’ve left no stone unturned. When a seller accepts that the market has been covered, they generally accept the offer

6.       Manage clients: Managing clients’ expectations is a challenge in any market but particularly important when the market is flat. In a ‘buyers’ market an auction is a great way to both instill a sense of urgency in buyers’ minds and to help the vendors find out the market value. Weekly face-to-face meetings with all vendors and comprehensive written reports are crucial to managing clients’ price expectations

7.       Close Sales: ‘Closing’ skills are directly related to confidence levels mentioned in point one above. Closing questions can only elicit ‘yes/no’ answers. Have you ever noticed that the easiest time to make a sale is immediately after you’ve just sold something else and that you always seem to secure a new listing the day before you head off on a four-week holiday? That’s because your fear of rejection is low so you cut to the chase. Two simple questions to increase your income - “Can I go ahead and sell your property for you?” and “Would you like to own this?”

Final piece of advice for the rural and lifestyle sector: We only have around 40 conversations in our whole career. Every conversation we have is a variation of those 40. Learn the scripts and dialogues to handle all of them and constantly practice the delivery of them. You need to know all the answers and be ‘match fit’ with the way you deliver them! Whist knowledge about farms and farming is important, knowledge about people and the psychology of selling is critical. This a people business, so hone your skills dealing with people. You don’t have to know the difference between lamb and mutton (at least not before it goes on the barbeque) to be great at marketing and selling rural properties!