The biggest day of any project release, the sales day, is the culmination of months and sometimes years of planning on the part of the developer. They’ve acquired the land, architected a design, gained approvals, developed marketing materials, and in some cases they’ve even started construction.
Most importantly they’ve briefed you, the agent, on exactly what this development will offer its future tenants – the value, the lifestyle, and the potential return on investment that make this a once in a lifetime opportunity for the right buyer.
But what does the term ‘sales day’ mean? And how do these days work? Let’s take a look at what exactly an agent can expect from this important moment in the project lifecycle.
What is a sales day?
A sales day is the day on which a set of apartments within a project is released for purchase. At this moment anyone who has registered an expression of interest (EOI) in the project is able to reserve an apartment by putting down a holding deposit – the first step to owning their brand new property.
Every project will have multiple apartment releases, and therefore multiple sales days. This is to ensure that the market isn’t flooded, so that all apartments in the development retain their value. Often the first sales day held for a project is used to prove demand, which helps the developer secure funding and start construction.
Sales days, particularly those that are earlier in the project’s lifecycle, can offer the best value to buyers. Developers generally offer better deals initially in order to generate interest and get the sales wheel turning. With no apartments yet reserved, this is also the time that the buyer gets their pick of the litter.
On the flipside, the closer the project is to completion, the shorter the wait and the more ‘real’ the purchase feels, and thus there are often more people fighting over far fewer apartments. This, combined with the fact that the developer has had multiple sales days to adjust their pricing to reflect the demand, means that it can be comparatively difficult to find a bargain later on in the piece.
What does a sales day look like?
There are two main types of sales day – traditional and electronic.
Traditional sales days are in-person events put on by the developer. At these events you can speak to all the major stakeholders in the development, conducting negotiations in real time, side-stepping the time consuming back-and-forth of the foot soldiers checking with their superiors. At these events you’ll hear of people placing ‘stickers’ on ‘floor plates’ to reserve a property; the equivalent of slapping a SOLD sign on the For Sale board outside a residential property. Presentations will usually be made that offer insight into what the final product will look and feel like, examples of the materials, fixtures and fittings will often be available, and there may even be a part of a display suite showcased.
Developers with good technology portals may choose to hold an electronic sales day, which is becoming an ever more popular option as the technology advances. These sales days are less extravagant affairs – they simply open up reservations online on a set date, with agents able to login and complete a reservation on behalf of a client. These bring less fanfare and sometimes less efficiency, as the dealmakers aren’t in the same room as you and your client, drawing out negotiations.
Some sales days will see potential buyers being formed into a queue in order of the date that they expressed interest. The earlier the EOI was lodged, the earlier you’ll be invited to browse and reserve apartments. Other sales days will be open slather, with all parties who expressed interest being invited to browse and reserve at the same time. First in, best dressed.
The developer will make clear what type of sales day they will be holding prior to the event.
An agent’s responsibility
What is the agent’s role in all this? You’re there to guide your client through the day; to ensure that they know exactly what they’re agreeing to, that they get a great deal on the perfect apartment, and that they are happy with their purchase.
Agents can act as the intermediary in the negotiation, mediating proceedings between the two parties. It might be that the buyer isn’t quite happy with the choice of finishes on offer, or the developer doesn’t want to bend their rules when it comes to the deposit payment timeframe. An agent can help the parties find a solution in these situations.
If a buyer can’t make an in-person sales day the agent may be given the power to act on their behalf (Power of Attorney). It’s an agent’s responsibility to clearly define the exact parameters of the purchase before the day, and work strictly within them on the day. Electronic sales days will generally see agents completing a reservation for their client online, but the developer will likely offer an e-contract that can be sent straight to the buyer to manage the legalities.
A day of opportunity
There’s no day quite as exciting as a sales day for a project sales professional. This is where much of the preparation and groundwork comes to fruition, with your clients excitedly reserving the apartment of their dreams.
And with project sales commissions far higher than their residential sales equivalents, these days can prove to be quite the windfall for those who play them well.
Are you looking to dive into the exciting world of project sales? This blog was formed from insights in Selling The Invisible, a CPD accredited course by LEAP Academy, the project sales training experts. Led by Michael Sheargold, Australia’s foremost real estate coach, it gives you all the tools you need to master project sales.
Want to learn more? You can get a taste of the course here.