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The sales agent should take
the total cost of the trip from
the prospect, pay for it and
issue the prospect with a
credit voucher towards the
purchase for double the trip
cost amount.
Juan Selaya, Miami Realtor
popularity. Thai developer Absolute, for
example, has been doing it since 2002,
off ering guests free accommodation
for a week on the understanding that
they attend a presentation on the
benefi ts of vacation ownership with
Absolute. The key to success, it says,
is a no-pressure approach with fully
serviced properties supported by a
range of amenities to really experience
the benefi ts of ownership.
In the US, Chinese buyers looking for Bespoke tours
Grupo Marjal, which builds tailored villas, says at least a day is
investment properties have signed up needed to show the local area, design and materials for projects such as La Romana.
for extended viewing tours organised
between American and Chinese when everybody was selling, our tour is an important way of fi nding out refundable under French law. “In all my TION
agents, while Florida Home Finders of strategy was the client paid for the about the local area and learning more inspection visits I never once received
Canada off er credits of up to $1,500 on fl ights and accommodation, and about the company selling them the one on the day but they would more
closing. In the Caribbean, agent Punta if the sale went through we would dream. The hard sell is out, and buyers commonly follow in the next fi ve
Cana works with travel partners in the then reimburse the client their need the right balance between space days after they would return home,”
US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Europe costs,” recalls John Bartram of French to discover and reasons to commit. says Bartram. “This in turn meant less
to off er inclusive package fl y and buy developer Garrigae. “We were so cancellations later - in other words
tours to the Dominican Republic, confi dent about our products we Time to think more real sales.”
promoting incentives from local didn’t have to give sweeteners to sell The cooling off period has become Robin Barrasford, of developer
developers ranging from US$600 up to them. Things are diff erent now and more important to this type of Barrasford and Bird Worldwide, claims
US$4,000 payable at closing. developers have lost their confi dence potential buyer and provides an a 90% success rate on inspection trips
Allowing prospects to road test and will do anything for an inspection opportunity for the vendor to show – but after years of trial and error. “For
properties can be fraught with visit.” that it’s not being overly aggressive or us, it’s all to do with selling the person
diffi culties, though, as they tend to be Cypriot developer Alpha Panareti too desperate. But there are ways to conducting the viewing trip, then
more fussy – so property management has a strict policy on inspection trips keep buyers engaged during this time the country, then the area, then the
and fi nish must be of a high standard. If to test the commitment of prospects, rather than risking temptation to pull resort,” he confi des. “We off er a menu
a client is prepared to pay for the fl ight, only subsidising visits for qualifi ed out or look at other options. of diff erent viewing trip opportunities
then their stay should be as pleasant clients who have paid a reservation “After properties have been viewed, for each client. They then choose off
as possible. fee. “It’s quite some time since we there should be a Q&A session with an the menu and we create a bespoke
off ered any sort of free or, at least, opportunity to make sales and gain viewing trip (or so they feel) for every VEL
Make them pay subsidised inspection trip to potential a commitment from the client by a client.”
Miami Realtor Juan Selaya agrees buyers,” says sales & marketing small returnable deposit to reserve a
that the client should pay for fl ights, director Andreas Ioannou. “Our unit,” suggests Ray Garnett Dip, PFS, Don’t trip up
but he feels this should be part of an records showed quite clearly that the Managing Director of fi nancial services One element of the inspection trip
incentive to buy. “The best way to conversion rate from such visits was and business consultancy Utopia that few take into consideration is the
handle it would be for the sales agent dwindling rapidly.” Group - who adds that video footage of liability that might arise – an issue
to take the total cost of the trip from Spanish developer Grupo the site and client testimonials will help that came under the spotlight last
the prospect, pay for it and issue the Gomendio believes the web has to reassure them. year when several airlines went bust
prospect with a credit voucher towards eff ectively made such trips redundant. There are various policies on and stranded hundreds of passengers
the purchase for double the trip cost “Clients do not need organised tours deposits and reservation fees. Garrigae around the world. If fl ights are ARKE
amount,” he says. and make their decision initially by takes 2%, making it clear that it’s fully cancelled or accidents happen
Hoping to remove any barrier to a Googling,” says Commercial Director
potential sale and get prospects on Gabriel Fernandez-Alava. “Then
site, developers are now more inclined they call up a few agents, compare Clients do not need organised tours and make their decision
to subsidise or even pay for inspection commissions and negotiate on price.” initially by Googling. Then they call up a few agents, compare
trips. However, for those buying to retire commissions and negotiate on price.
“Back in the good old days of 2007, or emigrate overseas, the inspection Gabriel Fernandez-Alava, Grupo Gomendio
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 43 28/01/2010 15:21
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