I like the theme of MIEA for this year, L.E.A.P. (Lead, Evolve, Adapt and Disrupt) I think it’s applicable to all and not just real estate agent and negotiators. As I listen to the speech of The President of Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents, Eric Lim I learnt that he is also encouraging all the real estate agents to combine the effectiveness of the online marketing with the professional skills and knowledge of the agent / negotiator so as to be able to serve the customer (buyer / seller) well. (Earlier article here: Online does not kill RENs. It’s a combo yeah)
Eric shared how classifieds advertisements in The Malay Mail was the most effective for real estate agents once upon a time but this was later taken over by The Star newspaper. These days, he said that advertisement in the newspaper is no longer effective and the role has been taken over by digital media. It’s usually taken over by the property portals which everyone thought would never be successful. He said that now Facebook marketing seems to be the most effective medium to generate leads. Due to the popularity, the cost per lead generated by Facebook is also creeping higher. He quoted a statistics from National Association of Realtor (NAR) of USA stating that more than half of purchasers relied on the internet to make a property or a home purchase decision. Please refer here for Eric’s full speech with more points to ponder. (just click to read)
Nevertheless, despite the successes of all these new marketing lead generators, most buyers still refer to their trusted real estate agent and negotiators after they have a few choices in their mind. Due to the value of a property, people are not going to part with their money easily. This is why it’s very important to keep the human touch. Agents and negotiators can elevate their services through education and training. (Here’s an earlier article: How agents can be better agents (negotiators)
Eric also said that the issue of property overhang has been sensationalised and trumpeted by the media. Due to these, the sentiment of the public and investors are affected. He hopes that the media would do an in-depth analysis and clear definition of property overhang instead of generalising it as a whole. He hopes that the government will extend the various incentives and stamp duty exemptions for new and in-progress properties to the secondary market as well. The reason is because the transactions for secondary residential properties forms 80% of total residential transactions. Earlier article here: More options for First Time Home Buyers, please
Beyond incentives, Eric hopes that all stakeholders understand that the concern on household debt is fine but mortgage debt should not be a bad thing because this is a good debt and is appreciating. Thus, it is sad when the deal is cancelled because of the loan rejection issue. He then shared the important of having more locals buying inside city centres because if one is staying nearby the city centre, one spends less time on the road, less stress and this will improve their lives too. Currently, foreigners are the ones purchasing properties in the city centre. Please refer here for Eric’s full speech with more points to ponder. (just click to read)
I just want to elaborate on technology, in this case online lead generation. All real estate agents / negotiators MUST understand that if lead generation is ENOUGH to close a RM500,000 or a RM1,000,000 or even those affordable home deals, then this is already the end of the road for everyone. For real estate purchase, the LAST MILE connectivity is the critical part. Could we give the potential buyer a good overview on the pros and cons based on what we know after understanding their needs? Were we able to provide a true picture of the current negative sentiment instead of just simply agreeing? Could we explain to first-time home buyers how buying the right property will be protecting their future? There’s more. Happy following and wishing everyone a successful 2019 and beyond, together with online.