November 23, 2015 at 23:56 #19678
New estate agent here, contemplating my opening times over the festive period for the first time.
I am currently thinking about shutting close of play on the Friday the 18th and re-opening on the 28th. Thoughts please?
What are peoples experience of viewing appetite? are the viewers serious? Do vendors want viewings then?
Would really appreciate some input on this.
Thanks in advanceNovember 24, 2015 at 08:10 #19697
The 18th??? Sounds to me like you have either left the teaching profession or you have a Christmas job lined up, moonlighting as Santa in the Arndale! When you say reopen on the 28th, do you mean Jan or Feb?November 24, 2015 at 09:12 #19698
Sounds good to me Paul.
Probably only chance you will get to have a break this year so enjoy it.
If you have only opened this year you probably do not have lots of vendors or sales to keep happy.
No body will be calling asking you to market their property and chances are if you do get viewings they will not be convenient.
We are an established firm and we will be closed from midday 23rd till 28th with skeleton staff in between new year.November 24, 2015 at 09:13 #19699
A new agent huh and you want to shut on the 18th?!
Smooth, that will show your competitors just how hungry you areNovember 24, 2015 at 09:42 #19700
You’re a braver man than me to pop your head above the parapet on such a thorny subject!
Firstly – hope the business is going well.
With regard to the subject of your post, there are a number of issues that should affect and influence the optimum times for your Holiday Opening.
In no particular order (and by no means an exhaustive list – we’d be here until March arguing them all… only four to be going on with…):
What are your local competitors doing?
Do you deal with Sales, Lettings – or both?
What other alternatives can/do you offer for out-of-office enquiries?
What would YOU expect from your Agent if you were a Vendor or Landlord?
Remember – it’s your clients you are working for here; them to keep as happy as possible without resorting to 24:7:365.
But it is worth being conscious that every hour you are shut and someone else is open you lose points against the competition – and believe me they will be quick to jump on that and tout your clients offering “a better service”.
Shutting up shop on the 18th seems to me like you’re closing too early. Round here it’s going to be the 23rd for the majority. SOME don’t open between the 24th and 2nd/3rd of January but I would say at least 2 days even on reduced hours is advisable.
Get a sign up in plenty of time – but write to your clients with the dates first. That way, if they all kick off, you can bow to pressure and amend accordingly if necessary.
Is it worth it? You will never know. Even if you sell or let nothing; the phone doesn’t ring and no-one comes over the thresh the fact that you were seen to be open may count for something, some day.
It’s a bit like advertising. Forget every argument going about how effective or ineffective advertising is, here’s the reality:
If you DON’T advertise… you WON’T get anything from it as a result.
Thereby endeth the lesson! ;o)
I, for one, look forward to further similar threads! Believe it or not, established Agents sometimes need to be refreshed – and having to answer questions like these should make you think about your own business as well!
;o)November 24, 2015 at 10:07 #19701
We are open 7 days a week and launched on 2nd of Jan this year. Been putting in 90 hours a week since then.
We have today 140 available homes for sale.
We won’t have any homes available to let come the 18th I suspect.
We manage about 10 props and all tenants will have emergency contact details.
Our team of 14 has worked incredibly hard this year, we have listed 435 sale homes since our launch and agreed sales on about 210.
The break I think will be important to the team recharging to be more effective in the New Year.
I don’t envisage any completions taking place during my proposed shut down. Although should have very clear understanding of any that are and will cater for these. Most Solicitors are shut during that period, from my findings.
I have been toying with diverting all calls to a mobile and perhaps discussing viewing requests on a case by case basis, maybe if they are sstc discussing with vendor.
How busy do people find it?
We are already seeing viewing requests collapse?
Do vendors actually want viewings at this time of year? Again we are already running in to access problems with vendors having commitments family over etc on the weekend.
Is it a busy time for appraisals? Again these seem to be collapsing already with a lot of appraisals we are doing now wanting to have photos after Xmas and after decorarions come down.
We expect January to be busy so I would be lying if I didn’t say a break is attractive ahead of a big push in the new year.November 24, 2015 at 10:10 #19702
Oh and on the comment of being hungry, I am ravaging!November 24, 2015 at 10:24 #19703
What did you do before opening an agency up Paul?November 24, 2015 at 10:31 #19704
I reckon you’ve got it spot on PaulC. The legal world just about shuts down over Christmas/New Year so you won’t be able to do much sales progression. The period is good for getting everything ready to hit the ground running on Jan 4th but when you’ve done all you can, take the break.
Frankly I would rather give my staff a decent few days break which they will appreciate than earn their resentment by insisting on having them man the office for short hours on those few days. It’s usually an utter bore. If you were to miss the odd instruction or a viewing opportunity because you were closed I suggest it is a price worth paying.November 24, 2015 at 10:35 #19706
If you dont mind me asking, 140 properties for sale?
That is phenomenal for an agency opening in its first year!
Are you a high street agent? what have you found that works advertising for you?
Always looking to learn and i am not embarrassed to say with stock levels like that i am listening.November 24, 2015 at 10:35 #19707
Lots of things, ran a multi million pound computer manufacturing business at the age of 18.
Then a chain of CYBER CAFES in the early 2000’s. Sold that when home broadband started to bite.
Then a highly successful software company specializing in cloud based crm for the automotive sector which branched into total call recording for businesses.
Was involved in building a viable competitor to Autotrader. Motors.co.UK
The most recently on the board of a 2.7 billion pound turnover automotive retailer. Still do that on top of the estate agency.November 24, 2015 at 10:51 #19708
Impressive CV, did they all close on the 18th?November 24, 2015 at 10:55 #19709
They all opened for the appropriate times for the industry.
Getting that approach right is the key and hence why I am asking for valued opinions.
As for marketing tips.. that’s probably off topic and a big topic but maybe someone should start a topic on marketing ideas that constructive commentors could contribute too.November 24, 2015 at 11:00 #19711
If you are as successful as you claim to be, I’m failing to see why you would come onto an Estate Agents forum to ask advice on opening times?
I’m pretty sure, with your CV, you have made slightly bigger decisions all by yourself before.November 24, 2015 at 11:01 #19712
‘Someone should start a topic on marketing ideas that constructive commentors could contribute too.’
That would be a really good idea PaulC. Go on. Do it. I’d really like to see if those few posters on this site who seem to do nothing but criticise and browbeat anyone with a new idea can hold themselves in check and give the more moderate readers on PIE the space to air their views in a calm and professional manner. Anyone else agree?November 24, 2015 at 11:04 #19713
Ive both closed for nearly two weeks over Christmas and have opened most of it and in the end I would conclude that although there is not loads of business to do your year can get off to a slow start if you close down for too long. Perhaps suggest everyone needs to do at least one day over Christmas. It gives you time to get the tree down and be ready for business come January and still gives staff a good break.November 24, 2015 at 11:04 #19714
I certainly agree with starting the thread ……. Not sure about the comment on regular posters that look to browbeat ……. I like to call it constructive criticism 😉
Would be good to see new posters though always welcomedNovember 24, 2015 at 11:16 #19715
Gump only a foolish man thinks he knows everything. In my experience everyone can always learn from others.
My experience of the volume of activity in the estate agency owner operator market over Xmas is close to zero. I have a good understanding of portal activity but I am interested in how that actually converts to calls, viewing requests and appraisal opportunity in the branch.
Thanks for the feedback so far.November 24, 2015 at 11:20 #19716
Unfortunately Smile while there’s nothing wrong with criticism some don’t always make it constructive. I know of several colleagues who would like to post on here but don’t do so because they don’t like the aggressive hectoring style that some people use. I’m no fan of Mr Corbyn but at least he has managed to turn the ya-boo circus that was PMQs into something a little more civilised. Would be good if we could do that with PIE don’t you think?November 24, 2015 at 11:30 #19717
I’m assuming most have realised, but just in case, you need to remember that the 26th is not a bank holiday, but a normal working day. The 28th is a bank holiday. It can make it difficult if you have rota’d staff.
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