State of the market

Compared to 12 months ago it is very obvious that there is currently significantly less activity in the marketplace. With predictions of slowing economic activity many tenants are looking to downsize rather than expand, and prospective owner /occupiers are constrained by tightening funding availability. Just as in boom times when activity begets activity, so too does inertia beget procrastination in slower times.

However it is in times like this that the difference between motivated and skilled agents and "others" becomes very evident. We all have to look in the mirror and examine our sales skill levels. The opportunities are still there to do deals. But creating activity requires energy and imagination and skill. Most importantly it requires a return to the basics of salesmanship. Deals don't fall out the sky the way they might have 18 months or 2 years ago. They now require agents to work their contacts (and their shoe leather), know their stock, learn their clients' business and understand how to structure a deal that will work for all parties. Too often currently we are seeing a lack of creativity and lack of lateral thinking. Deals are still there to be done. But first we have to qualify the client, understand their needs and then use creativity to match them and their resources with suitable property.

In a more constrained market flexibility becomes even more important. At Expedio we recognise the necessity to be able to be flexible - to sell, to lease, or a combination of lease-to-own options, and to provide various forms of vendor finance - often at better rates than banks are offering.

We urge agents to discuss clients' requirements with us at an early stage. Often we can assist.