A modern and optimized sales process in real estate

Rudolphe ABENRudolphe ABEN - NEXTIMMO.LU

Rudolphe ABEN

A modern and optimized sales process in real estate

80% of real estate agents do not earn money because they waste their time with useless appointments or with clients who do not have the financial capacity. Therefore, we recommend the following sales process.

Our sales process:

1. The right pre-qualification:

1.1. The customer calls or sends his request by email. He wants to take a tour of the property or has questions.

1.2 We contact - immediately - the client. If the potential client is not reachable by phone, we send a request by email and SMS asking to be contacted again.

1.3. The customer wants to make an appointment, we propose a video conference. If the customer does not want a video conference, he/she must come to his/her office.

1.4. We show the property to the customer during this online appointment. During the online appointment, we take a 3D tour. 85% of it is identical to a real visit. However, a 3D online tour does not replace a physical visit. Several scenarios are possible.

S1: If the customer likes the property, we check with a mortgage simulator whether the customer has the financial capacity to buy the property. If the calculation is positive, we set up a personal meeting.

S2: If the client does not like the property, we search our system for another property in our portfolio. If this other property satisfies the client, we check with a mortgage simulator if the client has the financial capacity to buy this property. If the calculation is positive, we make an appointment.

S3: The client does not like any property in the portfolio. We register him in our database and propose him in the future other properties that we have managed to bring back.

S4: The client likes the property, but cannot buy it because his income is too low. We look for a cheaper property in our portfolio.

1.5. If the client likes the property, we also make sure to answer all their questions. In addition, we ask in advance if the client is willing to pay the asking price. There is no point in making an appointment with a client who is not ready to purchase at the required price. If the person interested in buying already makes a price offer by phone / online, please discuss it with the owner / seller first, otherwise we are wasting all our time.

2. The right closing of the sale :

2.1: We schedule an appointment with the client on site. If the potential buyer is married, he must be accompanied by his partner in order to avoid the standard excuse "I still have to talk to my wife". Also, we remind the client an hour before our appointment. We arrive on time.

2.2. If the client still likes the property as much as he did during the 3D visit, we immediately issue the sales contract (compromise/offer to purchase) and let the client digitally sign the compromise or the offer to purchase on the spot.

2.3. The compromise or offer to purchase is NOT immediately countersigned by the seller/owner.

2.4. The contract is initially sent to the credit intermediaries. In addition, we set up an immediate digital appointment between prospective buyers and the credit intermediaries.

2.5. Our partners take a close look at the financial capabilities of our customers. Credit brokers tell us if the file will be accepted by the banks.

2.6. If so, the owner/seller countersigns the contract online directly.

3. The right measures to fight money laundering:

3.1. We ask the buyer for all the necessary documents :

  • identification documents and
  • residence certificates of all parties to the transaction.

3.2. The compromise will be registered without delay with the Administration of Registration, Domains and VAT. A letter is sent to this authority with the compromise and another stamped envelope for the compromise to be returned to us by this authority after payment.

3.3. We continue to assist the buyer and the seller in the sales process. An appointment with the notary is arranged by us. The notary receives a written statement that the price is correct as well as the energy passport.

Explanation of why we do some things differently from other real estate agencies

In these times of Covid, high gas costs, global warming and increasing digitization, we need to be as digital as possible to provide clients with the best possible outcome.

That is, not to waste the time of either the seller or the buyer.

The seller should always be well informed about the sale of his property. He must not be disturbed by real estate tourists, or he must always clean his property at each visit. Thanks to the credit brokerage, the buyer gets a better credit offer than if he went through a classic bank. This alone can amount to 200 to 1000 € per month if the buyer gets a credit that is perhaps half a percent cheaper.

Real estate agents are also more productive, more economical and more environmentally friendly. Thanks to an increase in transactions, there are also more taxes for the government and the banks earn more.

Financial pre-qualification:

Why do you have to ask the client about their salary or financial situation when they haven't seen the property yet? It is none of your business what your client earns.

Because of anti-money laundering laws alone, the real estate agency needs to know how and how much the potential buyer earns.

But that's not the only reason. What is the point of wasting half a day making appointments and doing paperwork when you can do it in 1 minute? What's the point of making physical appointments if the potential client doesn't get the credit afterwards anyway?

Why doesn't the owner immediately countersign the offer or compromise?

If the compromise is signed by the owner, the owner is blogged for 4 to 6 weeks, as he cannot sell the property to someone else who may have a better chance of getting a loan without the owner being required to pay a 10% penalty. During the period when the potential buyer is looking for a loan, the owner is therefore contractually locked in. That's why, with us, the buyer must first talk to the loan officer before the owner signs.

Why shouldn't the potential customer talk to his bank alone and ask for a loan?

Bank employees have a different motivation to grant a loan to a potential client than a credit broker who gets 3000 € to 6000 € commission per successful loan.

Very bad in this respect is for example the Luxembourg Savings Bank (BCEE), which pursues the strategy that you need to have a lot of equity to buy a property and preferably have a civil servant's salary (A1 career). It is preferable, for example, to receive 5 counter-offers from other banks so that it is obliged to grant the lowest credit rate if it wants to keep its client.

If the potential buyer applies for a loan through such a bank, it is quite possible that one of them will discourage the potential buyer from buying and that the latter will miss the opportunity to become a homeowner and benefit from the strong appreciation in the real estate sector every year.

Credit brokers are free and the more they negotiate with the banks themselves, the better deal they can arrange for the buyer. Is it better to pay 4% with your main bank or 3.5% with another?

Electronic signature

Is this legal in case of a lawsuit? Why not paper?

We would go so far as to say that with Adobe Sign, a contract is even more legal than a traditional paper contract. With Adobe Sign, everyone gets a copy of the contract and a contract can always be found. Moreover, it cannot be falsified or manipulated with a fake signature. Plus, if you use the paper version, you waste a lot of time going back and forth. Who wants to go to Esch and Ettelbruck when it can be done online in a minute?

Signing the contract after the physical appointment:

Why does the customer have to sign immediately after the physical appointment? Sales psychology: the client is committed to the contract in writing and cannot change his mind. As a real estate or sales agent, our role is to help the client make a decision and close the deal immediately. Many bad salespeople don't dare ask the client to sign and continue to chat in the hope that the client will close the sale himself.

Another objection to this procedure: When the client signs a compromise or an offer, he has to buy the property. You can't get the client to sign right away, he hasn't talked to his bank yet. Answer: There is a "suspensive clause", if the client receives a no from 3 different banks within 4 to 6 weeks, the offer or the compromise is not valid. But for us it doesn't matter, because if the credit broker says that the buyer doesn't get the credit, then the sales contract will be cancelled anyway.

Virtual tours

Why start with an online conference? Why not set up an immediate meeting with the customer?

Frequent counter-arguments from customers

It would be even better if the client saw the property immediately. People don't have time to set up an appointment on the Internet. Other real estate agencies don't ask questions.

Time is money!

Many inquiries come from so-called real estate tourists. You have to make an appointment with the owner, then call the real estate tourist again to make an appointment. Once the meeting is set up (between 30 minutes and 1 hour wasted). Then you have to go to the appointment. After the appointment, the real estate tourist must "always think about it". Real estate tourists often don't even show up (1 to 4 hours wasted on the way there and back). During this time, we could have helped the really interested potential buyers.

We have to find the best offer for our clients!

The client is not buying our property, but the property that fits their needs. Many real estate agents try to sell properties like cars. "Oh my gosh, it's so beautiful here". "No problem, it's not a problem, the room can look bigger if you remove the doors, etc". A good realtor, looks for what the client really wants to buy. We don't sell, we make them buy.

All of this is much easier to do with online tours than with traditional tours.

Recommended tools:

  • Portals to receive client requests : AtHome, Immotop, Wortimmo, Vivi
  • Digital meetings: Google Meet, Zoom
  • Digital signature: Adobe Sign, Docusign
  • Customer management system: Apimo, Easy-to-pilot
  • Calendar management: Google Calendar
  • Document management: Google Docs, Google Drive
  • Real Estate Brokers: Credit immo, athome finance, Albalux, Nexfin, Fidem
  • Credit simulator: Nexfin, athome Finance
  • Cameras to create 3D visits: Matterport and Girafe360