At the beginning of December we published a blog called, Are you prepared for sales success in 2019?
In the post we discussed the importance of planning for the new year and highlighted some important areas you should focus on to get you set up for success this year. Building on the idea of advance planning for your business, this week we’re looking at how accounting for seasonal demands can help you make even better use of your time and resources.
What is seasonal demand?
We say that a product or service experiences seasonal demand when it becomes more or less popular depending on the time of year. For instance, ice cream sellers make proportionally more sales in the summer while sledges and snow boots are in higher demand in the winter.
Variations such as these can be seen in most industries, even where there is not such an obvious link between the weather and the product or service that is on offer.
Why plan for seasonal demand?
If we know that a certain time of the year is likely to be busier for us than another, we should be including this in our plans. We should alter our cash flow predictions to account for downtimes and make sure that we have the correct staffing levels when we’re likely to become overrun.
As a seaside ice cream seller this stuff might seem obvious – of course we need more hands on deck in August when there’s likely to be a queue of overheated beach-goers stretching as far as the eye can see.
But as an agent, it might seem less intuitive. When are the busy periods in real estate?
Seasonal trends you should be aware of
Here at Kyero we keep a close eye on industry and internal data and therefore get to see first hand which times of year are most popular for Spanish property enquiries.
And here’s what we’ve found:
- May and June are key months for enquiries, with portal visitor numbers and agent leads peaking during this period.
- November / December, property enquiries tend to slow towards the end of the year when compared with peak times – although there is still significant interest from buyers – particularly those in the midst of a cold winter looking for an escape to the sun.
What does this mean for your planning?
- You can better manage your resources
If you know that the late spring / early summer will be a busy time, make sure you’re set up and ready for it. Plan time to put robust processes in place to deal with a surge in enquiries and make sure that people will be able to get in touch with you.
Have plenty of staff ready and available to answer phone and email enquiries (don’t let everyone take holiday at the same time) and make doubly sure your website is up-to-date and won’t be needing any downtime for maintenance over the period.
Conversely, knowing that the latter part of the year may be quieter will allow you to plan accordingly. Diarise some strategy sessions, take time to plan for the new year and get your finances in order. You could even spend some time sending Christmas cards to past clients to wish them well and remind them you’re still in business. And perhaps take some time off so you’re ready and raring to go in January.
Top tip: Keep an eye on your own business trends, as you may find that for whatever reason seasonal demand varies in your region or niche.
- Tailor your marketing plan
By thinking outside the box it’s sometimes possible to come up with other marketing or planning ideas that fit with a particular time of year.
In January, for instance, in the post-Christmas and new year slump, people in countries with a cooler climate are often compelled to seek time in the sun and book a holiday. Why not tune into this in your marketing?
You could perhaps contact any warm leads you have on your books and suggest they beat the ‘January blues’ and look at properties on the market ahead of the new season? Or if you’re based in a region that hosts a festival or key event, why not tie that into your publicity, inviting potential buyers over to experience the best your area has to offer while also looking around a few new properties?
Thinking in terms of seasonal demand can be a great way to structure your planning and make it easier to take the right decisions about marketing activities and staffing levels.
Give it a try this year.