Those of you that have heard me recently will know that there is one part of the process for which I’ve passionately lobbied for change.
The Sales Memorandum.
After 2-3 years of a lot of hard work, conversations and ‘back to the drawing board’ moments, I finally think we’re getting somewhere. For the last few months I’ve been working very closely with Estate Agents and Conveyancers to see what can be done about this relatively simple yet fiendishly tricky document. It is becoming increasingly understood across the industry that the current document is no longer fit for purpose. But what’s the alternative?
I’ve put a lot of work into thinking this through, but inspiration came to me a while back from an unsuspecting source. I was watching a documentary on how a modern day Mini is put together. If you’re into your cars like I am, you’ll know that attention to detail is crucial to this process – and exacting.
There’s many constituent parts that makes the car personal to you; everything needs to be detailed and handled in a specific way, otherwise the end result is, at best, disappointing. When you then start to think about how this process expands out for other manufacturers, models and bespoke makes, it’s really quite incredible just how much information is collected right at the beginning of the process to make sure everything is perfect for the customer.
How does this relate to the Sales Memo? Imagine going down to your local car dealership. You tell the sales representative exactly what you’re looking for and your budget. You’re in luck, as they can have a new car built that exactly fits your specification. But before you can even agree the sale, the representative is going to ask you for a lot of details.
Things they will ask:
- Exactly who you are and verify your identity.
- Where you live, and how best to get hold of you (telephone numbers, address, etc.), after all, they’ll probably want to give you an update on the progress of your car.
- How much deposit you’re going to pay, by when, and how – actually, nothing will happen until there is proof that you can pay for the car.
- You could imagine the response if you were to say that you were paying with cash. If instead you had to part exchange your existing car, the sales representative would want to establish its value and if any equity would be left after paying off any finance. And what of the balance – how is that being paid?
That’s a lot of information upfront – and it’s only when the representative is completely satisfied that they’ll counter sign the order form which has the client’s signature as well – just to confirm complete understanding.
By now, you can probably guess the potential problems with today’s Sales Memos, and remember it’s these deals that are in your pipeline, and in your exchange predictions.
So why wouldn’t we want some sort of Property Transaction form, which collects as much information at the very beginning of a transaction as possible, including key information and all parties involved, and that should include details of the chain as well. We all have information at our fingertips, so why wouldn’t we collaborate and share that crucial information, for the benefit of our mutual clients.
It would certainly save a lot of time, by my estimations it could save up to a fortnight on transactions. Fall-through rates would also reduce, which should be music to everyone’s ears and it should mean that deals when put together properly is far more likely to exchange, quickly.
Doesn’t that sound better?
Do you think I’m on the right track? Join the conversation in the comments below.