7 Ways to Make the Most of the Northern Migration
Australia is seeing nation-wide records for the volume of new auction listings as the traditional spring surge is compounded by easing of restrictions and lockdowns (AFR, 2021). According to SQM, we’re seeing the largest numbers of new auction listings ever listed in the country, and the numbers could rise even higher as we head into December. Tim Lawless, CoreLogic’s research director, was quoted in the AFR as saying, “Historically, auction volumes peak some time between the final week of November and the second week of December.” (AFR, 2021)
The result is a large number of vendors who are flush with cash from recent sales, combined with a high percentage of southsiders who are looking to make the move to Queensland. According to the ABS, the number of interstate movers in the March 2021 quarter was the highest for a March quarter since 1996 with Brisbane gaining the most people through net internal migration (ABS, March 2021).
A recent report by the REBAA confirms that 23% of buyers are considering buying interstate for their next purchase (REBAA, 2021), with 30% of buyers keen to purchase without a physical inspection.
Sunshine state Real Estate agents can capitalise on this expected migration and the continued growth in house prices across Queensland by optimising their sight unseen strategies:
1. Be as open and transparent as possible.
You might not want to dissuade a potential buyer by not disclosing that there’s a cemetery 2 doors down, but this lack of transparency will play negatively down the track. Whether it’s with a less than stellar Rate My Agent review or the sale actually falling through, the more accurately you can portray a property with imagery, video and virtual tours, the more seamless the sight unseen purchase will be. Virtual tours are vital for this level of transparency. According to Aria Living Group’s General Manager, Zeyad Imam, “Videos and photos are great, but they only allow you to see what the videographer or photographer decides is worth capturing. With a virtual tour, someone can spend as long as they like doing a deep dive into the property and taking a close look at all of the amenities that set a property apart."
2. Use Facetime for home walk throughs
Add a personal touch by offering video walkthroughs of a property. While this won’t negate the need for virtual tours and photography, it can act as an additional tool for buyers who want to feel like they’ve seen a property in real-time. While 3D virtual tours are accurate to within a millimetre, having a friendly face (yours) walk the buyer through a property can feel like a nice touch.
3. Lean into your reputation as a local area expert.
Buyers will be looking to purchase properties from agents who can help them get a feel for the local area. While they may have done their own desktop research, they will be leaning on you to provide them with insights into the best local facilities, and you’ll likely need to sell the area as well as the property itself. Demonstrate your expertise with data, reports and impartial links to sources that showcase the benefits of the region you’re selling in.
4. Use virtual tours to offer the most accurate representation of a property - and 24/7 inspections
A FaceTime inspection is great, but unless you want to jump on the phone every time a potential buyer wants to measure the size of the fridge cavity, you’ll need to provide access to something buyers can walk through at any time of the day or night. Matterport 3D scans are accurate to within a millimetre, and provide the most realistic representation of a property, meaning that buyers will feel completely comfortable when the time comes to make an offer.
5. Encourage buyers to use a checklist
Buyers will need to be more thorough if they’re buying sight unseen so encourage them to make use of a checklist to help them ask the right questions.
6. Invest in marketing and styling to showcase your property to its full potential.
This is almost a given in the current property market, but styling can make a huge difference to the way a property is perceived. But be sure to consider that professional photography can make a property look very different from reality, and the goal with sight unseen properties is to make the marketing feel as realistic as possible. Use a suite of marketing tools for a range of different purposes to keep sight unseen buyers engaged throughout the purchase process.
7. Demonstrate your commitment to using technology to make buyers' lives easier.
Buyers who are willing to shop for a new home sight unseen are likely to be more tech savvy than your average customer, and are looking for agents who will match their level of experience. The way consumer shop has changed considerably over the last two years, and these trends are spilling over into the property purchasing process. Demonstrate your understanding of technology to improve the buying experience by utilising tools like electronic signatures and 3D virtual tours.