Pricing your products to adapt to change
THE TRADITIONAL REAL ESTATE agent model is being challenged by disruptor sites like BuyMyPlace and Purplebricks. These sites are offering homeowners low-cost way to sell their homes and agents are increasingly having to be open to different ways of operating.
But change can happen at any time in any industry and it can happen swiftly; business owners and operators in all fields need to be able to adapt to change and see it as an opportunity to do their business differently. Often times, what’s required is a change to the way you price your products and services. And there are many things other people in business can learn from the real estate industry.
I was looking for a roofer to do some work for me recently. The first roofer I spoke to said he could solve my problem for a flat $1200; estimating the work could take between one and two days. Another roofer I spoke to, and ultimately ended up hiring, said he would charge me his $600 a day “day rate” until it was fixed; it only ended up taking one day.
How much time do agents spend selling your home?
Like Rome, a home isn’t sold in a day. Depending on the property and its location it could take anywhere between four and six weeks; quite likely less, but sometimes more.
But an agent doesn’t spend every one of those days working on your property. They spend portions out of their day working on it. An agent will often have three or four listings at the same time so they’ll split their time among those listings, while also chasing down leads for new listings.
Consider the Purplebricks method
Purplebicks has determined that it will cost between $4,500 and $6,000 to appoint one of their “property experts” to sell your property. Although they’re licensed real estate agents, they don’t call them that, because the service is different. (Buyers arrange inspections and make offers through the Purplebricks “property portal,” which homeowners also use to make appointments with buyers and accept offers.)
The Purplebricks fee, which is payable regardless of whether the property is sold or not, covers the cost of an agent-appraisal, all the marketing and advertising costs, as well as conveyancing. But the homeowner does the rest via the Purplebricks property portal software.
Find an agent that’s willing
If you’re prepared to pay an agent for the time they spend working on the sale of your home, regardless of whether it’s sold, you might find one that’s willing to alter how they’re paid. More real estate agents are trying to be as transparent about the process as possible, and this is just one more way that they can be.
Sweeten the pot by breaking the process down into phases (a four-week campaign may have two; a six-week campaign three) and pay them once each phase has been reached, like you would a builder. You can even add another sweetener: a bonus if the agent sells your home over a certain threshold.
For the agent, the upshot is getting regular money (which is good for their cash flow), rather than waiting until the property is settled.
There are many things bookkeepers — and anybody else running their own business — can learn from the real estate industry; see some of our past blogs about setting prices; formulating sales pitches; how to use video and images and how to advertise on Facebook.
Stuck in a rut running a business for yourself?
“Mark Starts his Own Business…”
As part of our EzyStartUp Course, we give you real-life business case study scenarios, including the case of Mark the Painter and Decorator. This case study outlines the questions asked by every business owner when they first start a business: What should I do and how much should I charge?
Some jobs are small and straightforward, while others are blow out and become time consuming and fiddly; some work is complex and requires fine detail, while some work is basic and low level.
Managing ones’ time and figuring out how to price for different kinds of work is always a challenge in the successful running of any business.
Our EzyStartUp Course teaches you how to use digital and social media marketing to attract enquiries, how much to charge, and how to clearly define the work to be done. We explore productivity tools like Google Gmail and Calendar to help manage time, improve sales and customer service, and how to manage the change in your charge-out rate depending on what clients are willing to pay in the market.
Find out more about our EzyStartUp Course and Digital Business Course.