Thursday, December 17, 2015

A year of incredible achievement and client support

As we approach the last weekend of real estate for 2015 we are so grateful for the incredible support we have received from our clients, and we are filled with immense pride of how much our team has achieved.

In 2015 we focused on our property marketing. With the number of ways to market a home increasing quickly and dramatically, our focus was on making clients' homes stand out and for buyers to connect with properties even more.


We looked at innovative ways to take our clients' homes to the market quickly to hot buyers and how to create even more urgency from them through our ToopVault (a service whereby the public are not even aware these properties are on the market). As a result, we have seen our ToopVault grow from 1,300 members to over 4,100 members who we communicate with daily, and this membership is growing... FAST!

We went 'Mobile'

In 2015 we took our ToopVault mobile and created the first real estate agency app for iPhones and the Apple iWatch in Australia. This has allowed buyers to have exclusive access to services, such as alerts when they drive past ToopVault properties.

Improving our landlords' bottom line 

This year in property management, we focused on ways to improve the bottom line for our landlords. Through our My Maintenance patented software we have been able to provide tenants, landlords, suppliers and our team 24/7 access to lodging, tracking or reviewing their property maintenance requests.

Using the My Maintenance self-help function, our tenants have solved 283 maintenance items themselves which as a result, has saved our landlords $28,300 by avoiding unnecessary call-out charges! 

Our Property Management team has also been working closely with mortgage broking business, Funding Options. Through this collaboration, we have worked with a number of our landlords, saving them over $45,000 in interest. 

One of our proudest moments this year was at the 2015 Real Estate Institute of South Australia Awards which were held in October. 

To be recognised for excellence and win six of these award categories is unprecedented throughout Australia. While the trophies are fantastic, the true reward is in knowing that the innovations and services we are working so hard on, are making a difference - a difference to our clients by helping them achieve a fantastic sales result or increasing our landlords' profits. These innovations are also helping buyers find their dream home quicker, and making it easier for our tenants to fix their leaking taps.

To us, valuable outcomes for our clients is how success is measured. Thank you to all of our clients who have trusted our team and our brand to deliver results for them, and to our team who are so passionate about what they do, who work hard and are committed to achieving excellence.

It has been an amazing year, and we are so excited for what is in store for 2016!!

From everyone at Team Toop, have a fantastic Christmas and safe and happy New Year.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Can big data really tell us when to buy or sell?

It seems that nearly every day there's a new release of real estate facts and figures regarding the residential property market.

Hitting news headlines nationally this week was the release of university research, providing an answer to the age old question, "When is the best time to buy or sell?" 

Swinburne, Griffith and Monash Universities analysed 20 years worth of data in each capital city and their research tells us categorically that to get the best result here in Adelaide, we should buy a house in July and sell a house in April. The study tells us we will save an average of $7,019 if we buy in July and make on average an additional $9,948 if we sell in April.

Being as passionate as I am about property but also having lived and breathed statistics and numbers during my Finance degree, I know that numbers don't lie. So when an in-depth study covering 20 years of data from leading professors in our country releases such data, then clearly there must be some truth to this notion of 'the best time to sell is in April'.

On the other hand, the research may be misleading. Not in terms of the historic trends or information discovered, but in terms of whether or not this is useful to someone looking to buy or sell in the future.

Whilst $9,948 is certainly significant, it pales in comparison to the difference an effective agent can make to your sale price.

These numbers don't relay the importance of choosing an area expert and an agency who is geared up to create tailor made marketing strategies for your home. If your agent is doing everything possible to reach the buyers most suitable for your home, an increase well above the quoted $9,948 on the sale price of your home could be achieved in any given month of the year. ​

We are living in a world where we have increasing access to statistics and expert analysis to help guide our decisions. But it is important to remember that there are a huge range of factors at play when buying a home, not just which calendar month it happens to fall in. 

Drawing on knowledge of those who are in the field, day in and day out, are the ones that can give context to the data and allow you to achieve the best outcome. This is the agent's role now, to be absolute experts and help you achieve the best possible price. Remember, it's what happens on the ground that counts.

Suzannah Toop

Thursday, December 03, 2015

There’s no place like home…

Team Toop recently took a day out to review the year, set new goals and plan how we can help our clients even more in 2016! 

Two weeks ago after returning from the world business forum in New York, this was a great opportunity to reflect on our time there and for us, it became even more obvious that there really is no place like home, Adelaide! 

While we were in New York everything seemed to be happening. There was a crime scene from a multiple shooting right outside our hotel (in a very good area of the city), there was a huge tenth storey fire half a block from us and then, the horrible events that happened in Paris.

The Paris attacks shook the city and being there you could feel how much the events from September 11 were still raw and still forefront in the hearts and minds of those living in the city. Everyone was on edge and we found it interesting to see first hand how this event had 
an impact in our real estate world. 

In the days that followed, while everyone was trying to make sense of what happened, we were entrenched in the NYC real estate world. We found it interesting to see first hand how this event impacted our real estate world and in very different ways for different markets. It seemed to have an instant sting to their market. 

Suzannah and I spent time with Emily Beare, New York's Number One Real Estate Agent from CORE, an agency that specialises in the top end Manhattan real estate. The feedback and concerns she was getting from sellers on how the events in Paris would affect home sales was instant. 

Within three days of the news, she had four clients asking how this would impact them and others questioning if it was a good time to be listing given the events and with buyers putting the brakes on decisions, at least in that very short term.

For the Adelaide real estate market, these types of events appear to have a different effect. Personally, an event of this nature makes me reflect on what I value and how I want to live my life. Our November website statistics reveal that many expats do too, with almost 3,500 visits from interstate and more than 100 visits from people overseas searching for a dream home here.

Adelaide property is becoming more and more sought after on many different fronts. We have a stable market, value for money property, and a lifestyle many Australians are envious of. There's our world-class hospital and education systems. Then there's our vineyards, restaurants and the rise of funky bars, cafes and little city hot spots and great hospitality putting our city on the world map... I really do believe there is no place better to call home!