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Free inspection trips

Discussion in 'Buying Overseas Property' started by Cagla, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Cagla

    Cagla New Member

    Hi to all,

    I would like to learn your thoughts about free inpection trips.
    I sometimes read that there are free inspection trips by agents or developers and I really wonder if it works or not.
    This includes flights, transfers, accommodation and all the costs in the location so it is a high amount for a marketing budget.
    Is this good for the buyer, is it a chance to have a free, short holiday and visit the properties OR is it a pressure of buying the property?
    Do the buyers feel that they become indepted to the agent/developer so at least they say ''we will think of one them when we go back to our home''?
    Is it just a white lie?

    Thanks for all thoughts.
  2. oregon woodsmoke

    oregon woodsmoke New Member

    If they are spending all that money to get you there, they are certain that they can get most of their customers to buy. That means you will be subjected to thumb screws until you sign.

    If it is an area that you are already sure you want, then it is a good deal to get a free trip. I'm sure after you sign up to purchase, they will let you enjoy the rest of your vacation.

    That free or reduced vacation is a very common sales tool here in the United states to get buyers for time shares. Since time shares are generally not a good purchase, and no sensible person would buy one, you have to know that they have really good success with getting buyers signed up, or they wouldn't provide the expensive free stuff to so many people.

    An example: there is a company that has a time share package for Disney World in Florida. Airfare, motel, and rental car are extrememly cheap, about $100 (US) for an entire week. The catch is that you have to spend every morning listening to a different sales pitch for different time share developements.

    Sitting through 7 time share sales presentations is NOT my idea of a great vacation. But if you are planning on buying a time share, then it is a very cheap way to see all the time shares available and make your selection.

    This is my thought on the matter: real estate is a very expensive investment. I am not interested in saving $2,000 on my trip if it ends up with an investment that is not the best one. I would rather pay my own way, so that I can look at all the product offered by every development company.

    However, if I had already done my homework, and I knew I wanted property in the area, and I was already interested in the product being offered, I would certainly accept a free trip to go and check it out in person.
  3. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    All to do with high pressure sales in my opinion - Think the latest way that agents and developers are using is "pay back the cost of inspection trips if you buy" normally there will be strings attached i.e max of 2 people and Max of £500 per person.

    This is usally split between the agent and developer and if agent is lucky the developer will pay it all without cutting into agents commission.

    The old saying "No such thing as a free lunch" would be in my mind if I say a free offer.
  4. Cagla

    Cagla New Member

    Thanks for your thoughts Aegean and Oregon.
    Sometimes big international agents do such kind of trips like tours and it does not affect their budget.At the end, if they sell 3 or 4 of 10 people, then it is accepted as a successful inspection trip!
  5. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    The big marketing companies can afford it as their commission rates are so high - In addition they can offset inspection trip costs against tax if they are paying for the trip. Most don't as they have the developers by the ba**s so force them to cover the cost.

    But in the end its the punter who pays - thats the reality of it.
  6. Olly

    Olly New Member

    Hi Cagla

    Think most of the buying public accept a paid for viewing trip for exactly what is...a push to buy this particular product. That said, most people also realise the cost is built into the developer or agents business plan.

    Personally have found a twin-style offer has worked best for me. Obviously dependent upon the country involved and, therefore the financial value, my agents provide a choice of a rebate of say, GBP 500 per head or, as a contribution to legal fees. Sometimes straight discount off the sales price. Whichever works best for the customer.

  7. rowlandsbb

    rowlandsbb New Member

    I can offer genuine free trips to Polaris World in February on 16th & 17th February but you have to book by 12th February 12.00 and there is limited availability
    These will not involve any pressure and be very relaxed and give serious buyers an opportunity to see first hand all the benefits of a Polaris World Resort
    Contact me to talk about this genuine offer
  8. mickthepropertyguru

    mickthepropertyguru New Member

    Here are a few things to be aware of:

    Beware of Company Credibility pitch. Some agents will give an incredible pitch of how good their company is, how good their rental management company is, how big they are, how many properties they have sold, how many regions they deal in and how easily they will sell your property when you wnat to sell again. This can be a smoke screen. After this pitch people fall into a false sense of ease. Talk is cheap..........they should have written signed evidence of proof of everything that they promise you. tell that to the people that were promise 5% -7 % rental expectations in Sunny Beach and that they will have no issue selling their property with them in the future.

    Dont go on inspection trips. There is a reason why they are so cheap. On inspection trips you have little freedom and are nearly at the will of your sales agent. Every sales trick in the book can be used and people usually end up buying and spending far more than they first thought. How could you ever decide in 3 days whether to invest your hard earned money, your future in a place you have spent 72 hours in.............crazy. Beware the man who thinks he can go on a cheap trip, get the info and return wiser without buying. Your are dealing with highly trained sales professionals!

    5There is no reason why you cant make an appointment and meet them when you are out there. If they refuse the appointment for whatever reason then you can bet that their prices are inflated and they know when you shop around that you will never buy with them. Some agents get less commision if you go for an appointment (Appointment is where you travel out by yourself rather than solely with one company on an Inspection Trip) rather than on a Inspection Trip so they may say “no” to appointments until the last minute hoping that you will change your mind and go only with them . Some agents dont do appointment because there is a huge risk that you may not buy through them when you have a chance to check the other agencies, then and a “No Sale” shows up on their sales record and hurt their credibility as a top sales person in the company.

    6Property exhibitions = Company paying for the transportation of sales agents (sometimes from plane , bus) , accommodation for their staff in hotels, then taxis to and from venue , renting of the venue of Exhibition, Advertisement (Tv, Papers , Radio). This costs a huge amount of money for companies to shell out for exhibitions. Why .......for your details and to get you on a inspection flight. Every persons details that comes through their door is possible commission for that company !!!! This is why they will put you under pressure for your phone number. Don't give them details of your friend who may be also interested. He may not thank you later.

    Dont ever leave you Details (name, address, NEVER LEAVE YOUR TELEPHONE NO.) at the entrance to any exhibition and especially dont book an inspection trip on the same day of meeting an agent. People afterwards can get plagued with calls,(some of you will know this to your expense). You can always call them later with their card if you want to. Your details are like gold dust which can be sold to other companies by unscrupulous employees for good money. Every persons details can be worth up to 20,000 euro on average to big big companies if you buy at some stage during your life. This is why big databases are crucial to companies with potential buyers.

    A Pencil Pitch is where an agent puts a sheet of paper in front of you and writes down the price of the apartment and calculates the increase in price in year 1 , year 2, year 3 etc. this can cause gold fever in excitable young people and when they see the price of the apartment in 5 years they cant wait to go on an inspection trip ...this is a sales technique.

    Silence is a sales technique eg. “So when can you go over on a inspection trip ..................(silence) )” or "So just sign here" This can put huge pressure on the visitor or buyer to say something first and usually the ordinary person will say “when have you got space on your inspection trip” and then an agent will pick two or three dates with only 3 seats left and if you don't go then they are booked up for months and you will miss out (pure sales technique called boxing and closing)...................and then you WILL be asked for you Credit card....Don't ever give you Credit Card ever ever ever to reserve a space (oldest trick in the book) Ask to see where they got the information on the available dates , most wont be able to show you or they may say that they only have 2 seats left on plane that day...I doubt it that they rung the airline.
    Its called “getting the clients details, closing the client, controlling the client and box and close” which are worth huge money to property companies. Its thought that if you give a credit card over to reserve a place there is less chance you will cancel....think about it! Unconsciously you have given them a promise. Apparently you are 70% less likely to cancel. Sales trick again.
  9. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    Good post - nice to see honesty. Let's see if some will come back and say these things don't happen.
  10. rowlandsbb

    rowlandsbb New Member

    They do happen but not from a real professional agent and I suppose that is how we do business and compete with the big marketing boys
  11. dave99

    dave99 New Member

    Nothing is free - someone has to pay !

    Being a small developer I will never agree to any free or subsidised viewing trips.

    I do not use agents to sell so I'm not going to make everyone else pay for people who may not even be genuinely interested in my development.

    If what you have to sell is that good why would you need to pay for people to visit !!!

    I'm happier to see potential owners pay for their own trip and view my development along side lots of others - that way they are under no obligation to anyone.

    Keeping costs down is the best way to get satisfied owners and still make a reasonable return on my time and money.

  12. New Home in Turkey

    New Home in Turkey New Member

    No one can really argue with what mickthepropertyguru wrote, and I can even say that most of it is true and happened and most probably will happen again.

    However, I don't really think that all companies organizing viewing trips are just cons. I, for myself, am a strong supporter of viewing trips. A client wishing to have a viewing trip to Spain, Turkey etc. has already a global idea of the location. He goes there (generally) after making a profound research on the area (through the web, thanks google/google map). Which means that, what he'll see is just about adding some concrete facts to his already gathered information pack.

    As for the hassle during the viewing trip. I wouldnt call it a hassle, but if there is something no one should forget, is the very fact that a viewing trip is not a holiday trip but a business trip. I dont think that, to have an agent taking you from one property to another in order to show them is a problem, quite the contrary, this is exactly why the client and the agent are there.

    As for the client details, I would say that as much as you can be sure that some companies get your phone number/adress etc to re-sale them, some are just putting them on their own database and keeps them for themselves.
  13. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    Viewing trips are fine but I think what we are on about in this thread is the free 3 days inspection trips that are on offer.

    Fully planned out not for client but for the company - basically controlling clients and attempting to close a deal.
  14. mickthepropertyguru

    mickthepropertyguru New Member

    Inspection Trips are fine if you don't mind that there may be a chance that you may pay 10% - 15% over the odds (yes it happens every day), and or if are buying a holiday home and you don't really care about investment at all, and or you are easily pleased. There are plenty of people like this and thats fine.

    But if you are serious about investing and serious about getting the best return then inspection trips are a no go.
    You can find out exactly the same information by making an appointment with the company instead of an IF.
    Yes it may cost you a couple of hundred quid extra but it could be the difference of selling your property or not in the future, ie: Exit strategy. If all this seems like a lot of trouble, than you should consider whether investing is right for you.

    Any investment is only as good as its Exit strategy and this can only be achieved by shopping around and talking to a variety of companies, comparing and contrasting and making an informed decision.
    It can be a good idea to bring a female companion when fishing for an investment because they have a natural inquisitive mind and their views can be invaluable when investing epically in a beach location, detail detail !

    If you do go on a IF then go in a small group as its far easier to offset the pressure tactics with 2 or 3 by buddies by your side and 2 or 3 heads are 100 times better than 1. Your buddies wont let you be pressured and more than likely will stop you making an impulse decisions which you may later regret.

    ***** One thing people never ask when on a trip is how much do you charge when i want to sell the property (NB: an exact quote)................if its is 10% run fast because you may be screwed when buying it too...............FACT
    waterfalls, bmw,s biggest sales, biggest.......
  15. New Home in Turkey

    New Home in Turkey New Member

    I sincerely think that there is a distinction to be made between the big boys style of organizing viewing trips, and other, lets call it "smaller" companies.

    Agents in mogul companies are constantly under pressure, and know that not only their income but their job is relying in convincing the client to purchase something during the trip.

    However, I'd say that things are slightly different with smaller companies. In that case, although the agent naturally wishes to make a sale, he will not have the same pressure on him/her, and thus, will be less "pushy" regarding the client, and more on the "helpful, attentive, listener" side.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2008
  16. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    Think the general public see any inspection trip in the same light be it Big Boys or the Small ones.
  17. willowtree1

    willowtree1 New Member

    These big mogul companys work on stats and the pressure to maintain a consistently high level of closing from above is massive. They advertise for a constant stream of new recruits that is why alot of people resort to inventing fake sales pitches they ushally end up getting promoted.It is not a nice enviroment to work in
  18. mickthepropertyguru

    mickthepropertyguru New Member

    They very nature of the Inspection Flight is hugely limiting the choice of the investor. Whether the company is big or small is irrelevant. Its the very nature of the beast that is the issue. If inspection trips were outlawed the big bmw bullies of the industry would have to cut there advertisement by over half or more leaving more a chance to the little guys.
    Remember i am looking through the glasses of what is best for average joe, you are are looking through from the other side.

    Question to New Home in Turkey or anyone else: What can you do for me on a Inspection Flight that i cant get by an appointment ?
  19. New Home in Turkey

    New Home in Turkey New Member

    Mickthepropertyguru, I have no objections to the idea of a client looking for the best property by its own means, and I, as a company, will never refuse a client coming by appointment, and do all my best to show all my properties (or lets say, those I think are suited to this very specific client).

    However, what is the meaning of a viewing trip? Talking personally, although I strongly believe that this trip is more about business than holiday, I also do think that its also about getting the client to know more about the location. To purchase a property is not only about getting 4 walls and a roof, but also a "lifestyle". The house can be absolutely perfect, but it has no value at all if the location is way behind what was expected.

    Do you think, a "client" who has 10 appointments, with 10 different agency,and this in 3 days will ever have time to truly discover the place? By night, he will be so tired that even dinner will be most probably forgotten...

    I think that your main point is at the "hassle from the eager-to-sell agent", and I agree with you that this can be very very annoying. Aegean has a point when he says that there is no difference between big-small companies for the client. I am not very sure of that, since the client can very easily have an idea about each companies with just a simple click into each respective web sites. One will show 10 countries where they operate, while the other is most probably only operating in just one. Even this may be enough to give an idea about the company.
  20. Investy

    Investy Senior Member

    True 'investors' ALWAYS ignore everything verbal, all that counts is whats written in a sales contract.

    Agents will tell you its easy to let a place yet lets take a look at the hgh profile POLARIS WORLD rent results;
    Many owners now reposrt the rent just about covers the ongoing maintenance and rental costs and that thier properties are empty much of the year, but even now agents will tell you the reverse.
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