As an agent, it is essential to fully understand the make-up of the local area in which you operate and be able to convey this information to your clients with confidence.
Knowledge of what has drawn the locals to an area can help agents understand who potential buyers could be for any particular property and what drawcards could help them effectively market a property in that area.
“Walk the area,” is the advice from Sandy Warburton, Director and Licensee of John Flood Estate Agents.
“Knock on doors and introduce yourself and ask what the residents like about living in that area,” he said.
Cilla Green, Property Specialist at Breakfast Point Realty, looks after a range of properties in the emerging suburb of Breakfast Point. According to Cilla, you need to be an ‘encyclopaedia’ for your area. She recommends agents make themselves known to local community executives, such as the country club manager or local shop owners, as they are key sources of local information.
“Our clients need to know how to get to work and school. Know the golf courses and sports facilities available and the good coffee shops and restaurants,” she said.
Residential Sales Committee Chair Kathryn Hall, Director of Kathryn Hall Real Estate in Avalon, advises agents to go online and research their area.
“It is important for agents to have a thorough understanding of the area in which their listings are located. If you understand the make-up of the area then you can relay key information to clients, which could make the difference between a sale and someone walking away.”
The Journal has put together the following list of what you should know about your farming area.
Find out the neighbourhood’s demographic breakdown, focusing on average income and cultural diversity, by visiting the Census QuickStats function on censusdata.abs.gov.au. The website allows you to search an area’s census information, which includes breakdowns on people, family and dwellings.
Families and young couples looking to start a family will be keen to find out which of the local school catchment areas the property falls under. Research the reputations of local schools and how they rank in comparison to one another. Give the schools a call to find out if there are any restrictions to catchment areas and ask to be updated of any changes.
It is also useful to know where the nearest school bus stops and the safest route there from the property. Search The Sydney Morning Herald’s NSW database for ranking information at smh.com.au/ nsw/my-school-primary-2012 or for secondary school information visit www.smh.com.au/nsw/my-school-secondary-2012
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, during the 12 months prior to interview in 2011-12, 65% of Australians aged 15 years and over participated in physical activities for recreation, exercise or sport. It is worth exploring your local area for clubs and outdoor facilities for both children and adults, and noting the distance to these facilities from the property.
Everyone wants to know the closest place to buy milk when they run out, but what about when they want to do a ‘big shop’? Where is the nearest supermarket? Where is the nearest farmers’ market? Where is the place to go for the perfect coffee? Familiarise yourself with the local amenities and the people who run them as they could be a good source of recommendations.
Discover what the key forms of transport are that service the local area. If there is a central transportation hub nearby such as a train station or bus depot, find out the most efficient way to get to that destination and what time public transport begins and ends. Also, research on-street parking options if no parking space is provided with the property.
Maintain contact with the local council’s planning department and/or economic development officer to check out any new developments planned for the area. This could include residential, leisure and key infrastructure projects such as new roads.
Find out what the big events are in the local area, what they entail and who they are aimed at. If there is an annual street carnival, let the buyer know.
This article was first published in the May 2013 edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.