If you’re new to Estate Agency, lets say in the last 20 years, then I am afraid you are carrying the can for those who went before you ! That’s right, people hate you, not because you’re you, but because of how the industry was in the 80’s and 90’s.
Many have tried to brush that era under the door mat, unfortunately with zero success. There is always some one out there with a story to tell and that story becomes legend amongst family, friends and colleagues.
“You’re All The Same”
“You Do Nothing For All That Money”
“You’re All Far To Pushy”
“All You Do Is Lie”
“You Spend All Your Salary On Hair Gel”
OK, so no one brings up the hair gel issue, but the rest are like three jabs and an uppercut and leave you floored. Is it all deserved though? I’m afraid that an element of lazy good for nothing so and so’s are tarring the rest with the fabled brush.
Thankfully the many can change the opinions of everyone who has dealings with estate agents and move us up above the ranks of ‘Tax Collectors’, ‘Parking Wardens’ and ‘Solicitors’, by following the rules we have all been taught.
#1 – YOU’RE ALL THE SAME:
When you are invited to a valuation, the vendor is welcoming you into their inner sanctum and before you walk in you must, as they say ‘leave your ego at the door’, this isn’t about you, it is about them.
Whilst the vendor is looking to get a price and your fees during the meeting, they are looking for someone who is showing empathy towards them. This is where your experience comes into play, how have all the experiences you have been through going to help that vendor and the situation they are in – Not “I’ve sold 400 houses, therefore I am the best”
You can bet not all agents will Empathise with the vendor, therefore not all agents are the same!
#2 – YOU DO NOTHING FOR ALL THAT MONEY
Instructed to sell a property at 10.30am – full asking price offer by 12 noon, vendor on your back about commission fee by 2.30pm.
The vendor has no idea about the 200 viewings you have done with the 20 potential purchasers you brought round to view, about the financial checking you have done to ensure that the buyers are in the best position for them or the amount of time it has taken you to register and weed out all the ‘non-buyers’ during a six month period.
Tell them! Tell them how you operate, tell them how it assists with helping to sell their home and because you have spent that much time with these purchasers, you know they will meet the vendors criteria and also their properties.
Now they know that it isn’t nothing and you do work your socks off!
#3 – YOU ARE ALL FAR TO PUSHY
To be fair there is a good version of pushy, but alas no one cares about that, just the bad pushy.
Bad pushy generally comes from not listening, pushing a purchaser into viewing a property because you haven’t listened to what they actually want (then they don’t turn up – but that’s another issue), pushing a vendor into accepting an offer, but if you had listened to what the vendor wanted and gave them that information wouldn’t they have accepted the offer anyway?
Listen to what your clients and customers want and then guide them in the right direction. All of a sudden you become the light at the end of the tunnel, rather than the one that pushed them in.
#4 – ALL YOU DO IS LIE
This one is a real minefield, ‘lie bombs’ going off everywhere, on telephone calls, face to face meet ups and marketing material.
“I’ll call you back” – Ahhh, that gem. It would be ok if you did call back promptly, but promptly fails after 10 minutes, it is best to give a time scale that you can meet and then call back before that time scale run out.
If at anytime you are face to face with a customer or client and can’t answer a question, don’t try and waffle your way through, its not helpful and is seen as a lie. Instead explain that you need to give the correct information and will gather it and call back with the correct answer (In a given time scale!).
Your market material state quite boldly that you are “THE BEST”, “No.1 ESTATE AGENT” or “THE AREAS LEADING AGENT” – I will agree with you on one condition – That all your staff have been in the same office for 10 plus years. Vendors will see past the ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ you put together on your material and when you send out someone with one years experience to value their home against another agent with 6 years experience then your trumpeting will be silenced.
Call people back, don’t waffle your way through an issue and only say your the best if it can be 100% backed up – that way you dispense with all the lies !
If all Estate Agents just did those four points in a correct manner, then there is no reason why, over the next 10 years (Yup, it takes that long) that the industry couldn’t hold its head up higher than it already has done – and who knows one day we may actually be respected member of the community. Any way I’m off to buy some more hair gel, enjoy your journey to the top.