FAQs on Attracting and Converting High Value Homes
Between us, Phil and I have spent two decades, teaching and training independent agents how to target, attract, convert and sell the top 20% of homes in their areas. Over the years, we’ve had the same questions about this strategy put to us, time and time again. So we thought we’d answer them all now, here in full!
If we’ve missed your burning question, message Sam on Facebook here and you’ll get a prompt and personal answer.
“How can I make sure we don’t lose our bread and butter instructions?”
Don’t change your marketing message – just see your new high value homes strategy as a new business venture. For your usual clients and market, nothing needs to change. But behind the scenes, you’re launching a new arm of your business.
“What is a high value home in our area?”
As a general rule of thumb, we’d suggest the top 20% of homes in your area. We categorise them as the F, G and Hs (council tax bands). In many areas, this will be around the £500,000 mark, but in Surrey, it could be £1 million and above, whereas in say rural Lincolnshire, it could be as low as £300,000. It’s for you to determine where this line is, in your area.
“How do I budget/cost for this level of bespoke marketing?”
How much you spend on creating the right level of quality marketing materials for these homes is at your discretion, as is the decision of whether to charge up front for marketing or not. We tend to budget anything from £500 to £1000 and over, depending on the house, its value and its individual needs. We don’t charge an up-front fee, but we do ask for our marketing costs to be reimbursed if the house is withdrawn from us before the six months’ mark.
“Can this work for me as a franchisee?”
Many estate agent franchises in the UK suffer from a low value brand image. As a result, most franchisors would be delighted if their franchisees were to successfully target and list high value homes. Depending on which franchise you are a part of, your biggest challenge may be in the public perception of the brand, and therefore you may need to consider creating or using an add-on brand for these homes, if your franchise agreement allows for this.
“Does my area have enough high value stock?”
To find out, go to Rightmove, and search in your target area to see how many homes are on the market, that you would consider to be high value. For example, if you do a search for Telford in Shropshire for homes priced at £500,000 and over, within a 10-mile radius, there are currently 338 properties available. That’s more than enough to create and implement a high value home strategy in that area. As a guideline, we suggest you need around 300 properties in the area you cover, at the price you want to attract. But if you do the same search for Hull, there are only 145 properties at £500,000 and over, which probably isn’t sufficient to justify a Hull centre agent adopting a high value homes approach. There just aren’t enough properties of that value.
[If you’d like to chat to one of my team about your area, and if a high value homes strategy would work for you, click here or call 015394 40892.]
“Do I need an additional up-market brand to run a high value homes strategy effectively?”
The answer to this question depends on your brand name, brand image and branding. If, for example, your brand is a generic name, like ‘Let’s Sell’, ‘Get an Offer’, ‘HomeLink’ or similar, then you’ll find it difficult to stretch your brand to encompass high value homes. Owners of prestige homes will look for an agent with a name that matches the image they seek. Pelham James, London Executive and our own property marketing brand licence, Unique & ExclusiveTM are all brands that sound synonymous with high value homes. Of course, there’s no point in having a great name if the branding isn’t right, so I tend to find brands that use gold, silver, grey, cream, grey-green and navy blue all work best in targeting and reassuring high net worth owners.
In summary, if your brand doesn’t cut it, you’ll need to make changes, or ask me about our Unique & Exclusive licence.
“How do I know it will work for me?”
Are you ambitious to grow your agency beyond the norm? Are you determined to do what it takes to get there? Are you dedicated to doing things differently? If you can answer ‘yes’ to all three of these questions, then this strategy will work for you, just as it has worked for over 1,000 other independent agents over the past seventeen years.
“I’m brand new – how do I start?”
We too had no direct experience of running an estate agent when we opened. Whilst I’d been teaching and coaching independent estate agents for many years, my expertise was in marketing tactics and growth strategies, not operational factors. Phil, my co-director, (find him on LinkedIn here) had come from the energy industry, in an employed role, so we were both starting from scratch. We knew we needed to learn by doing, so we focused on our Four Pillar BlueprintTM to generate leads, convert using our unique Legend FormulaTM, and within a year, we’d overtaken our biggest competitor for listing and selling high value homes in our area.
You too will succeed so long as you have the right combination of mentorship, information and determination.
“How can I make sure my team are up to the job?”
Not all teams are. You may need to make some difficult changes, using our advice and support as you do. We will give you the structure you need to make sure your team can deliver on your bespoke marketing promises, and show you exactly how we recruit and train our team, so you can model our system.
“How can I get invited in to more high value homes?”
Our Four Pillar BlueprintTM is designed to get you through the best homes in your area. All you need to do is to follow the exact steps, which we will give you in detailed video tutorials, and support and advise you through coaching calls and live Q&A sessions. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – our Blueprint has been designed to attract high value leads in the most efficient way. Just follow it, and replicate the success we and our clients have had.
“How can I make sure that once I get the appraisal, I convert without dropping my fee?”
By following our Legend Conversion formula. Once you become a client, we will send you the video tutorial so you can watch it straight away, and share it with your team. I have spent the last fifteen years refining this formula, and it is the exact structure we use to convert at 90%, and at the highest fee in our area.
“What marketing and lead generation tactics should I be using?”
If you become a client, we will take you through the Blueprint so you have a clear picture of the lead generation tactics you should be using on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You need to use both online and offline marketing tactics to make sure you aren’t overly dependent on any one source, and our Blueprint ensures you don’t waste a single pound, or hour, on marketing that just won’t work for you.
“How can I raise our profile and become known for selling high value homes if we’ve never done it before?”
The same way as all our clients do, by following the Blueprint. Most of our clients had never before targeted, converted or sold high value homes until they joined the Firewave Academy. Now they have the knowledge, structure and confidence to pitch to the best homes in their areas, and win the best instructions. And you can, too.
“What if you’re already working with one of my competitors?”
(If your area isn’t currently available, we’ll add you to the waitlist and let you know if your area becomes free in the future.)
“How can I double my fee?”
By being worth the extra investment to the client! One of our clients was already charging 1.5% in his area, but rarely took on a property over £250,000. Following our training, he pitched to a £425,000 property at 2.5%, and won it. Just using the methods we’ve taught him. And amazingly, he’d only been a member for a week!
“What should I be doing on Facebook?”
Being yourself. Show your audience who you are, and what you stand for. Don’t hide behind a logo or your brand – stand out for being authentic and genuine. You’re an independent agent, and the reasons people are drawn to you are because you’re perceived as being more personable, trusted and committed to helping them, than the corporate agents in your area. So, show them your personality on your Facebook page, and also your personal profile, and watch your audience engagement increase as a result.
“Is it worth doing Google Adwords?”
Only if you’re going after a mass-market target audience. If you’re looking at a low-volume, high-quality market, then Google Adwords won’t help you. Facebook Ads and a robust and creative content strategy will be much more effective for you if you want to target high value homes.
“Should I turn down low value homes, and if so, how?”
By having a minimum fee high enough to deter the instructions you don’t want, or that aren’t a good fit. Our minimum fee is £5,000, so anyone with a home of less than £350,000 would be better going to another agent with a lower minimum fee. Also, we only list unique homes, which usually takes lower value homes out of the running. However, if we went to see a truly unique and beautiful but tiny cottage, we would take a view on how much we thought it would fit our register, and our buyers, before making a decision. If you tell homeowners of low value homes you have a minimum fee, or that you only take on unique homes, you can turn away that client with sensitivity and courtesy.
“How much does it cost to become a Firewave member?”
It’s £350 plus vat per month to be a member, (£500 plus vat for sales and lettings) and for that you get full access to our Firewave Academy too.
“What do you get with Firewave Academy?”
A ton! Here are the highlights:
🔥 Private Business Strategy Consultation with Sam or Phil
🔥 Quarterly Mastermind day at the AJ offices in Windermere
🔥 Entry to the secret IGNITE group – packed with goodies
🔥 See behind the scenes of all AshdownJones’ marketing
🔥 Fortnightly live Q&A calls (recorded) with Sam & Phil.
“I want to know more about working with you, what’s the next step?”
If you’re serious about growing your agency, you’re ambitious for yourself and your team, and you feel your company has massive untapped potential, then we’d love to work with you. Put in your application straight away to see if your area is available, as after fit, membership is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sam and Phil