We recently welcomed Mark Bowis to the team at Cobden & Hayson Balmain and we’re delighted to have such an accomplished, reputable sales professional join the fold. With 15-years experience in the Inner West property industry, Mark’s focus is on the Balmain peninsula and surrounding areas such as Lilyfield and Drummoyne. He brings immense industry insight and broad experience in selling a diverse range of properties, from small apartments to grand waterfront homes.

Of joining the C&H family, Mark enthuses, “There’s such great awareness of the Cobden & Hayson brand in the Inner West. They’ve got a winning team and lead the way when it comes to marketing, which provides clients with a unique advantage. I was particularly attracted to the fact that they’re so embedded in our community and involved at a level where they offer great local support without expecting anything back.”

“There’s no denying the market has changed significantly over the last 12 months and the way we operate as agents has had to evolve with this softening market. The key skills we need to be successful in this environment are hyper-local market knowledge and more intense work with buyers, because right now they feel they can achieve a better deal if they ‘wait for the market to bottom out’. We need to provide them with insightful information, guide them through the process and give them the confidence to move forward and make an offer.”

“From the vendor management side, we need to have some tough conversations about the market and pricing. One of the biggest challenges will be educating vendors to accept the true value of their property in this climate.”

“In terms of where the market will go in 2019, I believe there is still some further softening to go – perhaps another 5% over the next six months. The Federal election in May will likely have some influence on this and for the 12 months following that the market is going to be fairly flat. Beyond this we may start to see some small incremental growth. While the current market may be more advantageous for buyers with better value now than in recent years, it’s important to remember that property is a long-term prospect and Sydney will continue to perform well over an extended period. I’m firmly of the belief that if you find the right property, you should buy it rather than trying to second guess where the market’s headed.”

“When it comes to recommending a sales method I am still a big believer in the auction process, even in a softening market where clearance rates are down. Setting an auction date and having a structured deadline creates some level of urgency and this is one thing lacking in buyers at the moment. Buying at auction provides a level of social proof of value in the property and this then encourages other buyers to bid. It allows them to see it all happen in front of them and know exactly where other buyers stand. Auctions also give flexibility and further options for achieving a sale, in terms of negotiations pre-auction, on auction day or post-auction.”

“Buyers need to know there’s complete transparency when purchasing a property and more than ever this is critical because typically the community may feel our industry is lacking in this area. Our clients know there’s no hidden agenda and all information is divulged so that they can make informed decisions.”

“The client experience is becoming increasingly important. Often people don’t remember exactly what you said but they remember how you made them feel. I endeavour to make my clients feel important, that I genuinely care and that I understand their situation and expectations. It’s also about doing the little things that they might not expect but which can really make a difference, such as helping them with property presentation – anything that’s going to make the process easier for them, reduce stress and achieve the best possible price.”