21 Feb Why Don’t You Like Me? Why Don’t You Like Me?
Why don’t you like me, why don’t you like me?
“I could be brown, I could be blue, I could be violet sky. I could be hurtful, I could be purple, I could be anything you like.”
The brilliant Mica, with his hit rendition of Grace Kelly.
Might this be the estate agency sector theme tune?
Estate agency, that most mistrusted of professions. Beaten only by politicians & journalists in the race to the bottom of the Veracity Index.
A brown For Sale board here. Blue over there.
Purple seemingly everywhere.
And not a differentiating feature among them.
Each estate agent more passionate than the next.
Each an ‘expert’ in their area.
Each happy to be available at a moments notice.
Each adding ‘value’ whilst they cold-call prospective ‘leads’.
Many oblivious to the fact that these ‘leads’ may be nothing more than tyre-kickers and that their ‘value’ as an agent isn’t self-determined.
With each unsolicited call, that tarnished reputation corrodes still further.
That’s the environment, sadly, in which estate agents operate.
The over-riding public perception is that all estate agents are the same. And not to be trusted.
So when any estate agent turns up to conduct their Free Valuation/Market Appraisal, whether good or bad, they’re probably already judged by the homeowner.
Met with caution. With doubt. Suspicion.
They imagine you’re there to sell them something.
There’s a few vendors that do take charge of the meeting.
But all they want to know is how much is their home worth & what’s your agency fee. Nothing else matters.
Those that have doubt, they’re in your hands.
Those vendors will politely listen to your presentation.
Chances are, though, they won’t be inspired by it.
Good as you might think it is, to them it’s a bit like listening to the doctor after the examination.
Respectful. A few questions. Something to mull over.
What’s happening here, though, is not what you imagine.
They are listening to what you say, but that’s not the issue.
What’s really happening is that the vendor is trying to glean a few clues about the estate agent.
They’re starting from a position of caution & doubt.
And they’re trying to convince themselves that you are worth their trust.
In your vocal tones & the stance you take on irrelevant issues, it all provides another piece in the jigsaw.
No matter that the valuation was highest, or fee the lowest. No matter the claims to have buyers waiting.
If the vendor can’t build a picture of the agent they’d like to work with, there’s only a slim chance of the instruction.
They will choose, of course. But, without really deciding.
The best of a mediocre bunch.
Congratulations, it’s your agency.
What a miserable existence, though. Moving from lead to lead. Pitching your ‘wares’.
Overcoming objections. Waiting for the perfect moment to ‘close’.
The unmistakable life of a ‘sales’ professional.
There is an alternative.
If estate agents are so poorly perceived, does it not make sense to be perceived as someone, or something, different.
Not just another estate agent.
Not just another more passionate estate agent.
Not just another more successful, or more knowledgeable estate agency.
There is only one way to achieve that.
Rather than focus on competence, as do 99.8% of agents.
Focus on the thing that matters most to any vendor.
The character of the agent in front of them.
The stereotypical estate agent with the shiny suit and scripted patter?
They still exist, but have learnt how to disguise themselves.
By getting the vendor to focus on aspirations & monetary objectives.
Taking the spotlight off themselves. Hiding in the wings, when it comes to transparency.
Until it’s time for them to deliver.
Oft times, they can’t.
How do you compete with that slick and sometimes dubious sales presentation?
This is how:
Create a Personal Brand.
One that is strong enough for vendors to actively seek you out.
Where they chase you. Not the other way around.
A Personal Brand that tells vendors exactly who you are.
Someone other than an estate agent.
Someone who has a story to tell.
Values to share.
Beliefs & convictions.
Someone, perhaps, just like them.
Creating this affinity isn’t for the faint-hearted.
It requires vulnerability.
Because it requires transparency & honesty.
If you haven’t the courage. Or the desire for transparency.
If honesty, for you, is conditional.
Then this isn’t for you.
Your agency life will be spent in that purgatory of endless comparison.
Adding further grist to the mill of current public perception.
Just another estate agent.
Until you are, no longer.
The Darwinian model for estate agency has the ‘strongest’ survive.
If that means intensive, overbearing & excessive sales practice, the public perception of estate agency will continue unabated.
That’s the choice.
Bear this in mind, though, the transactional agents will eventually ‘kill’ each other off. We’ve seen it with PurpleBricks & their ilk. There are far fewer agencies now than at any time in the last decade.
The relational agents?
They’re quietly building a strong & loyal individual fan base.
Of vendors/landlords that wouldn’t use any other agency.
That are prepared to pay more for the privilege.
The privilege of doing business with someone they do like.
Personal Brand will make you different.
There is no other agent, out there, that can compete when the discussion turns to character.
I’m Chris Arnold. Thanks as always for reading. If I can help, just get in touch.