Communicate, Even When You’ve Got Nothing to Say

One aspect of being a rural property agent that I once found mentally challenging was keeping in touch with all my clients on a regular basis.

You see, sometimes I don’t have much to tell them. Especially when a property is for sale by private treaty (that is, listed for sale with an asking price, as opposed to an auction etc), it is not uncommon for a rural property to lay on the market without much passive inquiry or response to promotion.

Now, I love jumping on the phone to have a yarn with anybody and everybody. It’s just that when nothing is going on from a professional angle, I found it awkward to strike up a chat. “I’m just ringing to tell you that I have nothing to tell you”, was how the conversation would sometimes begin.

Then I realised that most vendors are happy with that. If nothing is going on, then they want to know just that. The mere fact that I bothered to call was enough to keep the communication channel open. Most understand the market can have moods and swings and that it may take time to sell their property.

Rarely do those calls lead to nowhere; more often than not they lead to a useful understanding of the current situation. How the livestock are going, what rain has been received, how the fencing program is progressing.

Similarly, if you are selling your farm, don’t be afraid calling your agent to say, “g’day”. Providing your agent with feedback or just letting him know what’s happening on the farm can be welcome anytime, I’m sure. Again, the conversation will more than likely end up having both sides glean a little information on the current situation.

The same applies to buyers. It can be a fine line between checking in on a buyer’s deliberations and harassment. This is because, like vendors, every buyer has a different way of going about things when it comes to communications. What’s classed as neglect by one may be classed as hassling by another. The agent’s experience will allow him to judge an appropriate frequency of contact. Whilst a vendor may be anxious to hear the potential purchaser’s intentions it is equally important for that vendor to trust the agent to glean the purchaser’s thoughts without coming across as hard sell. In the rural property game, there is one sure-fire way of increasing the risk of a sale falling over; that’s adopting the “hard sell” approach on buyers who are simply taking their time, doing their due diligence and making a considered evaluation of the property for sale. A vendor needs an agent who can confidently make this judgement.

And if you are in the market to buy a property, don’t be shy at coming forward and calling the agent if you haven’t heard from him for a while. He may be just that little bit out of sync with you with regard to communication.

Most important of all, no matter if you are the vendor, the agent or the buyer, if you say you will call at a particular time, then do it.

Graham MacDougall
MacDougall Rural Property
02 6772 4200

Graham MacDougall has a lifetime association with rural property. In addition to over 30 years in the cattle industry, for the past 10 years he has been specialising in the marketing of commercial agriculture and rural lifestyle properties in northern New South Wales.

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