Author: property advisor Alexandra Gevers
As a property consultant in the Flemish Brabant region, I am increasingly asked why the sale of our new construction projects runs so smoothly. Many property developers even send a “mystery shopper” to attempt to understand my sales methodology. I lost a lot of time with this, so I decided to share my “success formula”. Although interest rates are historically low and the property market in Leuven is in excellent health, competition is fierce due to the many new construction projects.
The reason my “sales velocity” is so high, is as follows:
The correct product mix
Working with the developer, I determine (even before the architects are appointed) the correct programme in terms of the requirement, demand and the trend in the market. This goes much further than defining the classic programme of large and small apartments and/or commercial spaces. It is a very detailed product matrix tailored to the needs of the market for the next 3 to 4 years.
Collaboration at the drawing table
It’s unusual, but indispensable. I sit at the drawing table with the architects from the first design. Using the product matrix, I carefully check whether the apartments have a logical spatial layout, the right proportions and preferably optimal orientation.
It’s also essential that the entire interior is drawn up including furniture, and even the direction of windows and doors. This is a time-intensive and iterative process that does not stop until all the details have been cleared and adjusted. I still get surprised about how large the gap is between the architect's first design and the actual customer demand.
Well-chosen materials make the difference
We also take a lot of time to find to the right materials to form an aesthetically coherent unit both inside and outside. I know that will be appreciated by 75% of buyers no matter what. Or one with which I will easily be able to convince an additional 20% of the potential customers based on the high quality material.
The needs of the buyer are crucial
As a property advisor, I want to proactively make it clear to a buyer that a lot of thought has been given to practicalities during the project. I like to tell dynamic and active people about the parcel service that is put in place to receive their online orders when they are at work or not at home during the day.
And of course, I remind everyone that they don't need to go and check the mail three times a day because their smart mailbox will send them a message when the postman has been. Believe me, this exceeds expectations.
Classic project developers often believe that the more brokers they use, the higher the chance that apartments will be sold quickly. However, the reality is different. As an exclusive broker, I know the project in and out, which means every apartment is unique to me (all the more because I helped shape it). As a result, I am not only able to provide the customer with a lot of information, but they will also feel my personal involvement.
Another advantage is – importantly – if the customer drops out, I know exactly why and can use this knowledge on the next project.
PropTech influences the buyer’s perception
Innovative technologies that support families give buyers “more value for their money” and, in particular, more time – the most important happiness factor for people. When I explain to buyers that a smart doorbell connects visitors directly to a resident’s smartphone wherever they are, their confidence in the project grows.
Advising instead of selling
The purchase of property is one of the most important decisions anyone will make. I clearly inform interested parties about the advantages of the apartment and the project, but if I feel that there is no “match”, I advise them not to proceed. I don't want to sell just for the sake of selling, I would rather advise buyers, so their confidence grows quickly, and potential buyers have all the information they need to make the right decision without delay.
Is this the ultimate formula for success?
The complete success formula may be slightly more extensive. But the most important ingredients are clear. A product mix that responds perfectly to the demand, a logical plan with far-reaching details, well-considered aesthetic material choices, contemporary technologies that increase convenience. Last but not least, an advisory trust that allows the buyer to make a well-considered decision.