So you’re going to visit your local estate agents for the first time. This article is designed to aid your success.
Before you enter the estate agency it’s a good idea to do the following. (There are several reasons for this)
You need to appear knowledgeable (even if you are not: perception) and make sure you are not having the wool pulled over you eyes.
• Use Rightmove to make sure you have knowledge of the prices, areas and types of property in the agent’s proximity. The better you know areas, street, other investors and local knowledge, the more ‘Social Proof’ you’ll have
• For your first time, you should probably be looking for anything under £100k to start with [unless central London – look high yield & low value] this leaves the door open for quite a lot of deals
• Do not register your details online, you’ll be an instant ‘Binner.’ We know an Agent who sends us through all the online enquiries and makes comments about them. Walk in. You do not want the wrong type of agent claiming you as their applicant; you’ll be stuck with them
• Do not make an appointment, walk in off the street. A pre-arranged appointment will usually bug the agent because you are committing their time before they know if they want to give you it: this will make you a ‘binner’
Note: When meeting the agent face to face for the first time, 10-15 minutes should be the maximum time spent in their office: you should be employing ‘Time-Bridging’
You will want to have a set of goals for you first meeting. We believe that the following are important:
• Choose your individual estate agent wisely. You are looking for experience, great negotiation skills, and drive [‘Wheeler-Dealer’ – though not always]. This is difficult to determine before you have spoken to them so I would recommend targeting the busier individuals (they are busy for a reason). If that agent also holds power within their office then they can also offer you protection from other buyers. Browsing through the window display would be a good way of checking the dynamics of the agents within [who owns the ‘hot desk,’ who is at the front and the back]
• Book 2-5 viewings on the first visit to show that you’re motivated [10 makes you seem like you don’t know anything, and you’ll be viewed as a ‘procrastinator’]. Ask the agent to recommend a property to view [Law of ‘reciprocation’]. Explain to the agent why these properties are of interest [Law of ‘Authority’] and be constructive of those properties you are not interested in. DO NOT cancel these initial viewings or be late – start as you mean to go on.
You only have a short space of time in which to make an impression. Be memorable, likable [mindspace], and make sure you are presentable. Some agents have a tendency to judge your capability to buy by the way you present yourself. There is no need for business cards, but if you have them be sure that they are not the free Vista business cards. Agents associate these with you being ‘tight.’
Ask the estate agent for their opinion on the market and the type of area they think is best to rent out [Law of ‘Reciprocation’]. Sometimes they will reveal locations where there other investors like to buy property.
Very important: Do not ask for ‘BMV,’ ‘NMD’ [illegal] ‘NMLI, ‘Lease Options’ ‘Instalment contracts’ or repossessions, and do not mention discount or creative finance at this stage. You do not want to introduce anything that a typical investor would say, nor to you want to puzzle them with creative finance lingo: they’ll put you straight in the Bin!