Experts

Booking an effective appraisal

The process of booking a vendor or landlord’s property appraisal is usually relatively straightforward.

But as a commercial property agent, have you ever paused to consider just how important that first step towards marketing a property can actually be?

Here are some key ways you can get far more out of your appraisal booking.

Ask how the vendor found you?

Discovering how a client came across your details isn’t just an important way to evaluating the extent to which your own agency’s marketing is working. It’s also an excellent method for setting up your sales pitch further down the track.

For example, Spencer says that if a client is referred to you, finding out what their referrer said about you can give you some direction as to what the new client wants to hear.

“Those things are going to give you really good quality bits of information that you can use later when you’re talking about yourself, your unique selling proposition, and of course in selling marketing and closing the deal,” Spencer says.

Get a description of the property

You can gather various bits of information from that short initial phone call and getting some quick details about the property is critical to the next steps in appraising it.

Of course, the vendor’s description will tell you much of what you need to know about the property you’re going to walk into, but Spencer says it also assists you in preparing for the type of client you’re going to be dealing with.

“It … gives you an understanding of the types of marketing of similar properties and case studies you can bring in with you,” he says.

“The description of the property gives us detail (about the client’s) personality type. If someone describes the property really, really quickly, you’d be safe to say that could be a 20-minute appraisal where you’ve got to go in and just go bang, bang, bang, bang, with information.”

“However, if that description of the property is a far more detailed description, then what you might want to do is bring in more information. Bring in spreadsheets, bring in data, bring in a whole heap of information that’s going to help them make a more informed decision.”

Access the decision makers

In taking the initial booking, ask questions about the property’s ownership. Is it freehold? Is there anyone else on the title? Who are the business owners?

Spencer says you should aim to get as many of the decision makers as possible involved in the initial appraisal, so they’re all on the same page and aren’t relying on relayed information.

Establish their purpose

Determining the vendor or landlord’s readiness to go to market is important, as it allows you to tailor your appraisal accordingly.

Spencer says you should essentially be asking, “What type of appraisal would you like me to do?”

If the vendor is considering selling in six to 12 months, a 15 to 20-minute appraisal should give them a good grounding on how their property is tracking.

However, for clients ready to go to market within three to six months, when you meet for the appraisal, you’ll need to be discussing fee structures and marketing strategy.

Spencer says you should drill down into much greater detail when booking the appraisal, and question them about how they feel their property compares to other recent sales or leases of similar properties in their area.