Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inside Story

Footy Fever V's Real Estate Fever
Toop&Toop have had real estate fever with a huge week of sales, but what impact will the long weekend of sport - including the AFL Grand Final - have on our fragile spring property market?
The obvious impact is the drop in open inspections in the real estate pages this week as weary sellers and real estate agents take the opportunity to have a weekend off.
There is good news. Sales have been amazing so far this spring - which may come as a surprise to some. The one clear difference to market conditions this year compared to conditions in the late 90's is that "we have buyers". We have heaps of buyers!!
I was selling properties when interest rates were 15% and unemployment rates were double digit. Under those conditions we not only had prices in free fall, but there were no buyers and real estate was totally dead. Mortgagee sales were common and things were really tough. So we haven't seen anything yet in 2011.
I commonly hear real estate people say "this is the toughest I've ever seen it". That is clearly because those people have only been in real estate for a decade or so. Those of us who have been through the late 70's, early 80's and late 90's know that this market is a breeze compared to then. We have buyers galore, we have people employed, and we have ridiculously cheap interest stop whinging and get selling is what I say. It's all about relativity.
Sales are a breeze once a seller has decided they are serious about selling and prepared to accept reality.
The bitter pill for all of us is that the prices we can achieve today are sure not the prices we would have achieved at the peak of the market....but then again, what about the "poor" share investors. You don't hear them whinging all the time. Most share investors accept how stock markets operate and work with it.
Property owners have a lot to be thankful for.
In September Toop&Toop have made 1 x $4 million+ sale, 1 x $3million+ sale, 2 x $2million+ sales and  6 x $1million+ sales. In just 3 days and 3 sales last week we sold over $8 million under the hammer.
So for those agents and sellers it is time to stop whinging, stop sooking and accept the reality of the new conditions and work with it. The world has changed, the real estate peak is over and we have a new era of cheaper houses - so enjoy it. Falling real estate prices and share markets are a worldwide phenomena so we are actually not that special here in South Australia. Let's be thankful we are having a better time than most around the globe.
Let's be real. If you are buying and selling in the same market you are saving money in agents commissions and in stamp duty. Providing you sell first, and then buy, this is a great time to be moving. Given competent agency marketing, up to date negotiation skills and correct price expectations....buyers are active and they are buying!
So this long weekend, prepare for real estate fever as the run up to Christmas get's underway next weekend.
Anthony Toop
Note: Be sure to see this weeks episode of Toop.TV -  we have a frank discussion about shares and property.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It’s awards time again... yawn!

Sellers - not so quickly….

Given recent RP Data research showing that South Australians on average hold their homes for just over 7 years, deciding who the best performing real estate agency is at the time you want to sell (or lease) your property is near impossible.

Times change in 7 years - change a great deal.¶

So how do you determine who the best operators are right now?  The top real estate agent in 2004 may not be the best in 2011, and the best agent during the "boom" may not have a clue how to sell in this tough market.

As an insider, it's pretty clear. One of the best benchmarks of a wellrun real estate business is through the rigor and auditing processes associated with business and industry awards. Sure, award wins can sometimes be luck, but luck will only bring about random results. Consistent year-after-year wins of credible and competitive industry-based awards are not possible without ACTUAL excellence - ACTUAL results.

This week our amazing Toop team beat great odds in achieving 10 finalist positions in the Real Estate Institute of SA (REISA) Awards of Excellence - congratulations to all!

Why do we say "beat great odds?"

Because we're literally running out of categories we can compete in. Toop&Toop have been honoured with Hall of Fame in 6 of our strongest award categories - that means we've had 3 wins in 5 years for each of these categories - now that's hard work. As a consequence we can no longer compete in those areas that help make us one of Australia's most respected and highest profile agencies.¶

We have achieved Hall of Fame status in all these categories : Large Residential Agency of  the Year 2010, Sales Person of the Year (Peter Veitch) 2008, Large Property Management Agency of the Year 2010, Innovation 2010, Community Service (Anthony Toop) 2011 and Website of the Year 2010.¶

Such a privilege - yet so tough to no longer be able to check in each year and benchmark our year's performance against the best of the best in Australia.¶

Along with SA awards, we've also been honoured with top awards from the Real Estate Institution of Australia (REIA) - National Large Residential Agency of the Year in 2007 and National Small Agency of the Year (Stirling) 2011. These achievements were career highlights.

Make no mistake that these are pinnacle industry awards. They're almost impossible to win against the big hitters around the nation, and these great achievements show just how good South Australian real estate agents are.¶

For entirely different reasons, this week REISA announcing Toop&Toop's 10 finalist positions has shown a great depth to our team we hadn't previously acknowledged. Congratulations to them all. With winners being announced in the coming weeks, be sure to watch this space!¶

So, if you're not sure where to start in your search for your real estate agent this year, take the safe option. We would be honoured to show what passion and commitment can achieve for you, especially in a tough market.¶

If 2011 is your moving year, it's no yawning matter. Pick up the phone today, NOW is the time to get moving - right now !