Make your open houses zing with holiday cheer. 🎄 Follow these handy Do’s and Don’ts!
1. DO: Make an entrance
Whatever the climate, make sure the entrance to the property is presentable. If your clients live in a cold climate, all walkways and stairs must be free of ice and snow. If you’re based in the desert (Dubai Brokers out there!), a quick sweep up of sandy doorsteps will go a long way.
2. DO: Control the temperature
Make sure the AC is turned up or heating turned on, when it’s time for the open house. If buyers are uncomfortable due to the temperature of the room, they are less likely to enjoy their viewing.
3. DO: Track the weather
If there’s a sandstorm or heatwave forecast to hit, it may be best to reschedule the open house. Make sure to keep an eye on upcoming weather warnings and be prepared with a new date.
4. DO: Deck the halls
Get into the spirit of the season. Take advantage of the holiday period by encouraging sellers to incorporate holiday décor into their open house. Twinkling Christmas lights or a scented holiday candle can welcome buyers and lift spirits.
5. DO: Write a powerful listing description
Listing descriptions these days are more than just point form lists. You need a powerful listing description! You want to engage your clients to feel excited about the home — especially about what the joy of purchasing a new home during the holidays will mean for them. Try to capture the excitement of the holidays to drive interest. Don’t have time to think of engaging words and carefully constructed sentences? This can easily be achieved using an AI writing assistant, specialised for real estate marketing.
Don’ts for holiday open houses
There are some things you definitely want to be careful of over the holidays when it comes to open houses.
1. DON’T: Overdo the holiday spirit
Holiday decorations will create a cozier atmosphere in the home, but you don’t want to overdo it. It can have the opposite effect. Anything that may distract from the home’s curb appeal – giant Santa and Rudolph inflatables, for example—should be put away until after the showing.
2. DON’T: Forget to declutter
Try not to go overboard and keep clutter to a minimum. Put away personal items, such as family photos, as they tend to distract potential buyers.
3. DON’T: Emphasize religion too heavily
Remember not everyone celebrates Christmas. There are many religions that don’t celebrate this time of year. Going overboard on religious symbols can be off-putting to some, so remind your clients to keep it tasteful despite their personal convictions.
4. DON’T: Leave presents out in the open
‘Tis the season of giving, but not to potential buyers. Make sure you pack expensive gifts and treasures away. Not only do many presents clutter the home, but they can be awkwardly personal for a new family trying to imagine their own future memories in the home.
Yes, you can sell homes over the holidays
The bottom line is, the work doesn’t stop just because the holidays are here! Use this time of year to brighten your home opens, not as an excuse to give up.
Remember, some buyers and tenants specifically look to this time of year to shop for a new property, and you might have just the one for them.
For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog.
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Qatar isn’t the only country getting a giant boom in tourism thanks to its hosting of the 2022 World Cup.
The neighbouring United Arab Emirates is also set to benefit, with Dubai expected to see an estimated 1 million additional visitors during the course of the soccer tournament, according to the Dubai 6 Sports Council.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, in August called Dubai “the major gateway” to the World Cup and predicted it would see more tourists than Qatar itself.
And the city is pulling out all the stops, leveraging its reputation as a hyper-modern city more liberal and built-out than Qatar and advertising the extravagant tourist attractions it’s developed a reputation for.
Dubai is known for over-the-top and outlandish experiences — like its indoor ski slope complex in the desert, to the world’s tallest building and largest Ferris wheel.
With superyacht rentals, private jets and a soccer-themed hotel – Dubai is ready for the party.
It’s now added specific World Cup-themed experiences, simultaneously taking advantage of the fact that Qatar, a tiny country of 3 million people, is struggling to accommodate all its expected tourists and many of them will opt to lodge in Dubai for the matches instead.
This has been made possible by “match day air shuttles” being operated by Qatar Airlines and Dubai-based low-cost carrier FlyDubai– allowing travelers to book same-day round-trip flights from Dubai or nearby Oman to attend a match in Qatar and return in less than 24 hours.
“Only an hour away from Qatar by flight, Dubai is a familiar destination for global travelers,” Taufiq Rahim, a research fellow at the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, told CNBC. “Its tourism infrastructure and straightforward entry requirements make it a convenient base for World Cup fans.”
Qatar is expected to have delivered 45,000 hotel rooms in total by the start of November, according to Cushman & Wakefield Qatar, with tournament accommodation “bolstered by cruise ships, camping facilities, apartments and villas.”
Dubai, meanwhile, as a city has more than 140,000 hotel rooms, according to hotel data firm STR.
Around the UAE’s different emirates, 43 fan zones for watching matches have been set up, with some of the biggest – like Budweiser’s official BudX fan zone in Dubai Harbor – big enough to host 10,000 fans daily with matches aired on enormous 3,552 square-foot screens.
There’s even a soccer-themed hotel on Dubai’s man-made Palm archipelago, where the most dedicated fans can stay while being shuttled in and out of Doha for daily matches.
A $20,000 per night match viewing experience
Dubai’s revenue won’t just be coming from hotel stays and restaurants. Visitors to the emirate can rent superyachts running in the tens of thousands of dollars per night to watch matches while sailing through the Persian Gulf.
Xclusive Yachts, the UAE’s largest private charter yacht company, offers its most opulent seaborne experience at $20,000 per night on a trip-deck super yacht complete with a skydeck, onboard bar, skylounge, five cabins and a Michelin-starred chef serving gourmet meals.
“We are expecting a more than 300% [rise] in yacht bookings in November and December mainly due to visitors for the World Cup and Qatar who are also looking for leisure activities in Dubai,” Managing Director Amit Patel told Doha News in October.
Flight traffic is also shooting up — Dubai Airports in mid-November announced that a whopping 120 shuttle flights will fly in and out of the Dubai World Central airport each day between the tournament’s start and end dates of Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.
CEO of Flydubai, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said that nearly all of the airline’s match-day shuttle flights to Doha were at full capacity.
“This is a pattern that looks set to continue over the next couple of days and weeks,” Al Ghaith said.
Flydubai and Qatar Airways will be jointly running the match day shuttle flights between DWC and Doha. With the addition of flights from Dubai’s main airport, Dubai International (DXB), travelers can catch a flight every 30 to 50 minutes.
Private jet demand booms
Private jet charter companies have also seen a boom in business, with some fans willing to pay eye-watering sums to get to matches.
“We certainly see a great increase in traffic between Dubai and Doha over the coming month,” Oleg Kafarov, portfolio development and communications director at Dubai-based private charter jet company Jetex, told CNBC.
Prices for some private jet service packages run for 29,000 dirhams ($7,895) a seat. The flight time between Dubai and Doha is roughly an hour.
Like everything in Dubai, there’s a luxury option if you have the cash to spend. And given its reputation, we wouldn’t expect anything less as neighbours to the World Cup host.
So whether you’re partying on the ground, or taking to the skies for a taste of the live action in Qatar, it seems there’s no escaping World Cup fever and Dubai is ever-ready to get you in the spirit of the world sporting celebrations.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of overwrite.ai and its owners.
Dubai’s property rent review regulations are to be shaken up. But is it for the better?
Rent reviews are currently linked to a geographically segmented rental price index. Reviews are capped in line with the average for a property’s location.
The Dubai Lands Department is rolling out a new index, said to factor specific building quality and amenities.
At first glance this looks like great news.
Vigilant. Proactive. Data-driven governance. But on reflection, could this be interventionist overkill?
An index comprised of such granular data becomes a mammoth task to maintain, even with the use of modern technology. Very possible that it falls on its own sword over time.
Example: A building’s owner spends millions today, completely upgrading its lift systems. How long until that Capex is reflected in the index? In real time? A month later? A year?
(More detail on how the index will be constructed and updated would help).
A Healthier Alternative?
Could we instead rely on market economics to determine rent reviews. At most, the regulator can set a cap and collar in place to protect against tenant and landlord exploitation.
Wouldn’t that be:
Less labour (and tech) intensive? Less subjective? More efficient?
All Systems Go
At the end of the day, property investment yields are a correlation between price and income. When the former is determined by free market economics, and the latter is controlled, the result is high price volatility.
The precise opposite of what a stable, healthy real estate economy needs.
Is this proposed change vigilance, or overkill?
Share your vote below 👇
For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow overwrite.ai on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog.
overwrite.ai | the AI writing assistant for real estate | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.
Inflation is hitting everyone hard. Interest rates are higher than they’ve been in years. Home prices have continued to rise, and buyers have cooled on buying homes in the short term.
But there are some things that real estate agents can do now to survive, and grow business during the coming downturn.
Savvy real estate agents are preparing for the slowdown. Doing everything they can to pick up momentum and come out on the other side a leader in their market.
Looking for ways to ride out the recession?
Here’s some tips to recession-proof your business.
1. Expand your Territory
When the housing market shifts, it rarely shifts all at once and all in the same direction. Typically, a cooling off in prices and demand for homes in one sector, means an increase in another. If your local market is quiet, start by expanding your reach a little outside of your everyday transactions.
Look outside your normal geographic area and outside your normal price ranges. Find where people are still buying and selling.
You might even consider a completely different niche—like divorce leads. Done right, this can be a generous source of qualified leads that can fill your pipeline indefinitely. Visit DivorceThisHouse.com and learn the secrets to tapping into this often overlooked lead-gen source.
2. Level up your Personal Branding
Now is definitely not the time to become a secret agent. The last thing you want is to drop off the radar in your market.
Focus your marketing efforts on brand awareness and social media marketing. You want your prospects to know who you are and what you stand for. That way, when they’re ready to pull the trigger on a purchase or sale, you’ll be the person they think of.
3. Healthcheck your CRM
Your customer relationship management (CRM) should “work” your database for you. Setting up your CRM to keep track of your prospects, clients, and leads in today’s real estate space is essential.
Focus your marketing efforts on people who will need your services three, six, or even 12 months from now. That will help fill your pipeline with clients and keep your business healthy.
The CRM will act as an assistant, reminding you of important facts about your clients, what you discussed in your last conversation, and when you need to follow up. Let the technology do the heavy lifting.
4. Maintain Existing Clients
When the economy changes due to uncertain conditions, changing your approach to servicing your buyers and sellers may be necessary. Your client relationships are key at this time of transition, so showing them that you can still help them in whatever market we find ourselves in is important.
Even when the market isn’t in your client’s favour at the moment, it’s important to maintain your relationship because the market will always change, and your clients will remember loyalty.
5. Keep ahead of the (Economic) Times
It’s important to understand how an economic downturn impacts housing. If things in the real estate market go south for a little while, we likely won’t be alone. Many sectors of the economy will also contract, and it’s essential to understand the housing market in the context of the overall financial picture. Not all sectors of your market may slow down.
Companies like Keeping Current Matters provide graphics, charts, and infographics that you can add to your branding and post online. Posting relevant market insights positions you as an expert to your sphere and helps inform your community about current market conditions.
6. Connect as a Real Person
Recessions are challenging for everyone. That’s why it’s important to connect with your clients as a human who cares about them (and not just a real estate agent who wants to help with a transaction).
Inflation is high, prices for consumer good are rising astronomically and the world seems a pretty unstable place right now.
A phone call or a text checking in can go a long way. Plus, you’ll stay top of mind when those market questions come up.
If all you care about is getting their commission fee, this will soon become obvious to your clients. Genuine agents will gain the trust of clients. They’re likely to remain loyal and turn to you for unbiased advice, even if the outcome is not in their favour.
7. Focus Your Attention on Your Sphere of Influence
Switch your marketing efforts to your personal sphere of influence and develop a stronger referral base. These are people who already know and trust you; you don’t have to win them over for business—all you have to do is be present at the right time.
Spend time reaching out to them, supporting their endeavors, especially in a social setting, such as advertising for their kids’ sports programs and sponsoring events. Those relationships are key when there is a recession, and the market is slow.
Establish yourself as the hyperlocal leader of your community, allowing you to give back in a positive and productive way.
8. Make the Switch to a Nearly All-digital Operation
If you haven’t done so already, an economic slowdown is a great time to get your business caught up to the 21st century.
Take your business confidently online so that you are able to conduct business much more efficiently, in a digital space, without you having to be at the helm constantly.
If you’re lacking in certain areas, sign up for some courses to acquire these skills quickly, or talk to a colleague in your office who you know may be comfortable with these technologies.
Try streamlining processing that ordinarily take up valuable time, using technology to improve their efficiency.
For example, boring tasks such as writing listing descriptions can now be generated using AI writing assistant technology. This saves significant time as well as improving lead generation.
9. Market Your Current Listings More Aggressively
If you’ve got listings on the market when a recession hits, the race is on to move those properties before buyers retreat. With unrealistic expectations over the past several months, it’s even more important to price homes to move quickly.
By ramping up your marketing with new social postings, and unique language, can make a huge difference. Well written descriptions will entice potential buyers to view your listings, and make you stand out online.
You can also refresh your current listings instantly using overwrite.ai which allows you to regenerate property writeups, if the property is taking a while to shift.
Your pricing strategy is going to need to change too: prioritize speed to close over the final sale price. Of course, you still want to get the most you can for your sellers, but the longer a property sits on the market during lean times, the harder it becomes to sell at any price.
10. Join a Team
As a solo agent, you reap all the benefits of your hard work. On the other hand, you also shoulder all the risks if things go quiet. Joining a real estate team can provide you with a source of leads, some useful tech, a greater sphere of influence, and the financial support you may need to make it through particularly tough patches.
Over to You
Come out on the other side of the recession ahead of the game. Savvy recession-proofing strategies can set proactive real estate agents up for major success.
A financial recession and its negative consequences can have some unexpected benefits for upstart real estate agents.
Your job now is to find creative ways to demonstrate value to your sphere. Keep communicating with people, create conversations, be as visible as possible, and stay authentically human.
What other ways are you recession-proofing your real estate business? Let us know in the comments, and let’s keep the conversation going.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of overwrite.ai and its owners.