10 Oct Different – But Not Different Enough.
Different – But not different enough.
Of course your agency is different.
God forbid it be the same as Joe & Co. across the street.
Your agency is better. Often, you can prove it.
But vendors, that don’t know they have a problem, are very, very good at ignoring your agency.
Seth Godin has this to say of them:
“Choosing without deciding.”
Vendors choose an agency because they have a home to sell.
It’s often not a decision.
Because vendors don’t have all the facts they need. On which to base their decision.
In their mind’s eye, your agency isn’t that different from Joe & Co.
In their mind’s eye, your agency will advertise on the same portals.
Take professional photos.
Write prescriptive, factually correct of course, property particulars.
Charge much the same fee. Not that it much matters.
Negotiate the best possible price.
Cross the T’s and dot the I’s.
And when it’s all over, they see themselves sending your agency a bottle of bubbly.
Or a box of chocolates.
Just as it works for most every other agency in town.
Which is why there is competition.
A race to prove which agency is the best.
A race to convince and convert.
A race that no agency can ever win.
Until it stops competing.
What your agency does, along with how it does what it does, doesn’t much matter to a vendor, either.
A vendor expects competence in both disciplines.
All the perfecting, proving and pretending is just gloss.
The vendor isn’t going to tell you this, but let me be frank.
They either like you, or not so much.
It’s a beauty contest where beauty is defined as affinity.
Knight Frank, Savills or Dexters?
All at the very top of their game.
It’s neck and neck down the final straight.
And the winner is…?
That’s my point.
It shouldn’t be that close.
It should be an odds-on certainty before any agency even makes the starting line-up.
Vendors that know, like and trust what they’ve heard.
Before they even pick up the phone.
What are they going to hear from your agency?
Successful sales of comparable homes?
1st place in the Rightmove compendium of best agencies?
5 Star reviews from that flakiest of comparison sites?
How the market is performing in your neck of the woods?
Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
Tell them what you’ve told them.
And don’t forget to ‘close’.
How boring is the ubiquitous sales pitch?
No wonder vendors look to online for some light relief.
At least there, the conversation has no meaning. It’s all about the price and the dull-as-dishwater brands.
Ditch the sales pitch.
And get a grip on better content.
Content that paints a picture of why your agency truly is different.
Have you figured out yet, why?
Here’s a clue.
It’s not about how great your agency is.
How many homes your agency has sold.
The premium price your agency achieved, over and above the realistic asking price.
The network of multiple offices, all connected and raring to go.
The number of passionate local property ‘experts’.
The wealth of information, data and statistics that the research team have pulled together.
In an attempt to convince that you’re the one and only ‘local expert’.
It’s just not about your agency.
It really isn’t.
Vendors don’t buy into a brand so much as they buy into a set of values.
And whilst your agency undoubtedly has core values, they aren’t easily proved.
Vendors aren’t choosing your service. They’re choosing your character.
They’re identifying with who you are and what you stand for.
“Our passion comes from who we are – not what we sell” -Simon Sinek
Whether you know it or not, vendors are choosing whether to like and trust you.
If you turn up ‘cold’ with only the ‘body armour’ of a recognised brand.
To shield you from such personal scrutiny, there’s very little on which any vendor can base their choice.
If you haven’t got a Personal Brand, how will vendors know whether to like and trust you?
Answer. They won’t.
They will guess and use their intuition.
And whose fault will it be if they get it wrong?
Because Joe & Co. made the effort to shine a light on their employees.
Instead of the corporate brand.
Personal Brand, or Corporate Brand.
They’re not mutually exclusive.
A bit like a team of star footballers.
Individuals every one.
All with a unique set of skills and identity.
And all playing for the same team.
An agency might have a strong corporate brand. And be more than happy to compete. But the downside is that they will win some of the games.
And probably lose some that matter.
There’s no competition with Personal Brand.
No pretending. No proving. No fingers crossed.
Just a simple sharing of values, beliefs and convictions.
We trust people based on hints they give us.
On what they say about everyday life.
A shared affinity on something as obscure as a cup of coffee, or a film.
Mostly, people like us.
Trust people like us.
It’s a big change from where you might now be.
To where you ought to be.
Relationship-driven personal branding.
A leap of faith, though, isn’t required.
Build a few bridges.
Start small and start slow.
The people looking for you will find you.
And they will spread the word.
“Modern marketing is the practice of making something worth talking about, developing empathy for those you seek to serve and being in the market in a way that people would miss you if you were gone.” -Seth Godin.
I hope I can help.
Thanks for reading.