27 May Estate Agency – The Future You.
Estate Agency – The Future You.
You’re an estate agent.
Hard-working, conscientious, dependable, charming.
A positive attitude, a team player, resilient.
What’s not to like?
Aside from the fact that the public regard all estate agents with equal suspicion, it’s probable that you haven’t mentioned any of these personal attributes in your marketing.
It’s all been about 5 star service.
For the more ‘forward-thinking’, it’s been about educating the homeowner on matters such as local property trends and about building credibility and authority by sharing knowledge.
Some embrace technology and strive for digital supremacy.
Justifying their lower fees with this automated marketing miracle.
The Facebook or Instagram or YouTube post that took hours out of your day.
And was seen by practically none.
Read and liked by fewer still.
From my perspective, estate agency seems to have lost its marketing way.
“Estate agency is primarily a people-business”. So the saying goes.
And yet, few agents treat homeowners as people.
They are viewed as ‘leads’. As prospects. As more fuel for the funnel.
The respected agency ‘guru’ Tom Panos, in a recent video chat, claimed that
“vendors don’t want their agent to be their mate. They’ve got mates.”
Not for the first time, I have to disagree with Tom.
It’s all well and good trying to be perceived as professional and ‘the authority’ in your local market. Showing just a tiny glimpse of who you might be.
Being a well-rounded, competent agent is claimed to be the secret to success.
But the foundation for that premise is that none of your competitors take up the challenge.
What if they’re all sharing information? What if they’re all passionate about selling homes? What if they’re all available at your beck & call? What if they’re all – highly competent?
“They’re not.” You might say.
But they would say. That they are. And, they will so tell any vendor. That cares to listen.
Vendors not wanting their agent to be their mate might well, in some cases, be true.
But it’s a very insular stance that prevents a human to human connection simply because we presume “they’ve got mates”.
The vendor might like what they hear about you. They might share your values and beliefs.
They’re probably aware of the fake enthusiasm and insincerity associated with salespeople the world over.
“your future depends on doing deals with good people”. -Seth Godin (All deals are a handshake)
how are we to know whether the vendor, or the agent, is a good fit?
Keeping it all strictly professional. Or, opening up to a world of possibility.
They may not like you, of course. That’s the risk you have to take to get better clients.
It’s the risk that too few #estateagents are willing to make.
People generally look for patterns of difference.
It’s analogized as ‘horse-horse-horse-zebra-horse’.
The future You, as an estate agent, has to be more real. More human. More personal.
The cold- calling estate agency? Horse.
The leaflet-dropping agency? Horse.
The social media dynamic and digital agency? Again, horse.
The paratrooper that went to war. Suffered as a consequence and came out of it as one of the most innovative, forward-thinking and generous estate agents of his generation?
Zebra, of course.
The digital billboard agency with all the exposure, all the eyeballs and simply no message?
Horse, I’m sad to say.
Those ‘equine’ activities that define your agency, as within the band of common, consign it to an endless purgatory of competition. Searching for the faintest glimmer of difference, where really there is none.
Estate agency is at a fork in the road and it’s nothing whatsoever to do with online, hybrid or high street.
There will be polarity between those that understand the power of a personal brand . Those that appreciate how inspiring narrative can win both hearts & minds.
Or, those that look for an even easier automated sales option amid the wasteland of digital media. Seeking reach where compression is often a better choice.
Those that draw people in with stories that resonate.
Or, those that entice others into that outdated model that is the sales funnel.
The future of a transactional sales culture is one of exhaustion. longer hours for less reward, fewer prospects and a public perception grounded in asking rather than giving.
“Modern marketing has split. On the one side are the roboticists. They test and measure and do what works. They do it with no interest in how people decide, or what they believe, or what story they tell themselves. Instead, they treat the customer as an ant in an ant farm, a robot that does this or that.
On the other are those that seek to get to the heart of what makes us human….they know that truly understanding our narratives is the essence of doing work that matters, that connects and that spreads”.
The future You?
I’m betting that, for estate agency, it’s personal brand. It’s stories. It’s relationships. It’s generous. It’s community. It’s honest. It’s open. It’s transparent. It’s affinity. It’s, hopefully, why most of us do what we do.
Faced with this fork in the road, all that is required is for your agency to make a choice.
I hope it’s the right one.
If I can help, just get in touch. My advice is always free.
Thanks for reading.