Julie Savill, Marketing Director at Beaux Villages Immobilier gives us a flavour of what being an Immobilier involves.
Most agents in France are self-employed and work on commission, only paid if a client buys or sells with them. This means they are self-regulating in how, where and when they work.
Some work part-time, others full-time, but the best ones are nearly always team players. Depending on the agency they work for, the following example is real, if not entirely typical.
Time management is key
Jason sets himself targets and thrives on a job well done, with good customer feedback.
Emails are cleared before other people are up and calls are scheduled between appointments, according to which time zone he is contacting. If he has a full day or days of visits, everything else fits in around that.
Matching buyers with sellers involves answering portfolio questions from buyers and colleagues, whilst prospecting for new instructions to sell. Being aware of other local listings and keeping an eye on properties that are not generating interest are all part of the job. Is it the price? Could the photos be better? He might liaise with the marketing team about website activity.
He’ll send property details to clients, reviewing their reactions and trying to fine-tune his offering. He might call a satisfied buyer or seller and ask for a testimonial. He’ll have contact from sellers keen to sell, and he’ll try and make contact with new enquirers.
Last minute viewings trump data entry, and so the latter will be pushed back in the day. Clients cancel appointments at short or no notice, and some just don’t turn up. All the work invested in arranging viewings is wasted and sellers will be left disappointed.
Now, with unexpected free time, less time-critical tasks come to the fore. The law requires on-going training and he might address some of this if it can be done alone.
He might bring forward taking a new instruction, or seize the opportunity to refresh property images if the sun is shining.
Of course, sales negotiations between buyer and seller can happen at any time. The stakes are high, money meets emotion and a cool head is required regardless of everything else.
The “must do’s”
Then there are the scheduled commitments such as sales meetings, discussing hot buyers and sellers with local colleagues, and structured group training.
Throughout, he will be closely involved in the progress of deals already agreed. Buyers, sellers and notaries all require information and attention, not to mention attending signings and waiting at properties for septic tank inspectors, surveyors and builders, etc.
No two days are the same
His success is seductive. In a healthy business culture he’ll be mentoring less experienced colleagues. His phone is busy, but if he is with a client or in a meeting he can’t necessarily take the call; the backlog grows.
As he is about to go to bed, the email on his phone pings. Everything planned for tomorrow is up in the air; his buyer’s budget has reduced, a buyer or seller has pulled out of a deal, or a potential vendor needs to see him and is only here for one more day. Then the accounts team want to know why he hasn’t invoiced them on his last few completions!
Clearly, the job has little to do with solely looking around other people’s homes. If you ever meet a calm estate agent, you might spare a thought for what is probably going on below the surface.
Julie Savill, Marketing Director at Beaux Villages Immobilier
First published in the January/February 2019 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: Beaux Villages Immobilier and Shutterstock