Feature article

7 ways to maximise success in the winter months

A to-do list from agency heads and top agents that will set you up for success now, and in spring

Traditionally, winter is a slower period for real estate; which provides a unique opportunity for you to open up new opportunities, and set yourself up to start the spring selling season with a bang. 

We spoke to Ben Castle, Tommy’s Real Estate CEO in Wellington, Joe Nidd, owner of Nidd Realty in Dunedin, Lauren Mirabito, branch manager of Bayleys Howick and Beachlands and Harcourts Gold Christchurch agent, Mary Turnbull, for their top tips. 

Work closely with vendors on ongoing market intel

Depending on your market, vendors may be feeling quite nervous about how their property will be received by buyers, and what price it might reach. Hand-holding over the winter months can help sellers feel confident come spring. Concentrate on creating high-level communication with vendors who have indicated an intent to sell, combined with high quality data and market knowledge.

Explore any other marketing tech you can use to help vendors

Are you up to date on your marketing tech? This can be incredibly helpful to ensure you’re able to reach every type of buyer who might be interested in your client’s property. They may be buyers from out of town and not able to visit the property initially; so a 3D floor planning to help visualise the home’s layout.Do you have the latest tech to communicate all the information via text message? Is your tech responsive, quick and easy to use for buyers? Now’s a great time to check and upgrade.

Check in with your client database, particularly buyers and sellers you haven’t been in touch with for over a year

This can be a great time to maintain relationships, especially those with buyers or sellers you haven’t spoken to for a while. Going back into your database and putting in the time on the phone can serve you well in spring and beyond.

Take the time to rectify any problems with a property before bringing it on market

Winter can be a great time to remove potential barriers for buyers. In particular, look to remove all obstacles that will affect insurance, finance or buyer approval of a property. 

It might be a roof, a problematic garage, an unconsented sleepout - there’s often something. The vendor may not get all their money back, but if it helps the saleability of the house it’s often well worthwhile.

Work with vendors on upgrading any key areas of the house pre-sale

Likewise, if your client has a family home with a kitchen in need of an upgrade, it might be worth them doing the work in this market. You can help with builder and design contacts to get the job done on trend and in neutrals. This removes the barrier of buyers being deterred from having to take on the expense and logistical hardships of putting in a new kitchen.

Assess your current community activities

The quieter winter months are a great time to look at the community events that you support either via financial contribution, or in person too.

Think about the need in your community at the moment and see if there’s anything else you can do. Food banks will need more support than ever in the harsh economic climate. It’s harder to fundraise generally too, so spreading the word with your network and rolling up your sleeves to help with events can be great ways to help give back.

Support homeowners in trouble

It may be that you have clients who have been made redundant this year, and that they have to move cities for a time; and this may be a time you can support them.

You can provide information that will help them make decisions. If your company has a property management arm, you could offer to do a rental appraisal so they know what rent they can expect to get if they move cities and leave their home for a period. You can let them know what supply and demand is like as well.


Gill South
Gill South