08 Nov Less Traveled – It Makes All The Difference.
Less traveled – it makes all the difference.
A poem by Robert Frost, of course, The Road Not Taken.
“Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted I should ever come back.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
A defining moment in your life, or in your estate agency business, “it is in our moments of decision that our destiny is shaped.” -Tony Robbins.
Today, there is such stark choice facing realtors & estate agents.
Not whether to embrace and double-down on the traditional high street model.
Or to follow the evangelists in their pursuit of online utopia.
No, the polarity of choice is not between how the business is structured.
That stark choice is between a sales-driven culture and a relationship-led culture.
A sales culture where competition is rife. Where bigger fish swallow the minnows. Where agencies with other people’s money can experiment and disrupt. Where hustle is the name of the game.
The purgatory of inadequacy and endless comparisons. A shortcut culture of fake reviews, tips and scripts, likes and funnels.
The road more traveled. By agents chasing the next shiny object.
“Follow the best. They’ve been there and done that. And for a fee, we can show you the road they took.” say the guides. Hoping that agents aren’t smart enough to realise that this strategy makes competition ever more inevitable.
Saying, and sometimes doing, whatever it takes to stay alive when night falls and the forest turns ever darker.
If that’s the future for estate agency, it’s pretty bleak.
Not just for agents, but so too, for homeowners.
An never-ending stream of realtors/agents door-knocking to ‘introduce’ themselves. To conduct a ‘survey’ of sorts, thinly disguised as a method of collecting data. Coming, of course, from a position of ‘good intent & giving’. Just in case any homeowner thought you might be trying to sell them something. Perish that thought.
The constant bombardment of unsolicited cold-calls. The steady stream of flyers that are mostly filed under W.P.B
And when an unfortunate homeowner does actually have to put their home on the market, a litany of bragging, promising and emotional manipulation ensues.
No wonder estate agency is ranked in the bottom three of trusted professions – keeping company with politicians and journalists.
Ask any agency trainer what agents need to do in order to succeed.
Get vendors to trust you, will be the answer.
Whilst simultaneously pointing the agent in the wrong direction.
“The #1 Thing to Do BEFORE and AT the Appraisal.” from a recent Tom Panos Coaching Podcast had this to say:
“You’re using this appointment to get them to like you, to trust you, that you’re listening to them & that you can understand their problems. By becoming an interested introvert, rather than an interesting extrovert.”
All that in the space of an hour.?
Getting a homeowner to ‘like’ a complete stranger?
Worse yet, getting them to trust you? Based on you being interested, rather than interesting!
Every agent that walks through that same door will attempt “interested.”
If the agent does their job properly, in that scenario, the homeowner is non the wiser.
Every agent is the same. No differentiating feature.
All caring, sharing, sycophants.
Giving such advice isn’t helpful if it leads to the wrong outcome.
“An interesting extrovert” is by far the better option.
Because it requires you to be interesting. To create emotion. To have a story to tell.
Tom’s a sales trainer, for those in a sales culture. He should stick to the script.
And not dabble in areas where he’s out of his depth.
Trust and relationship isn’t compatible with selling.
It just isn’t.
You can try to blur the lines, but at the end of the day, you’re either into one, or the other.
Relationships, or Sales.
Relationships take time.
Trust, even longer.
In some cases, a year.
Wait, where are you going? I haven’t finished yet!
A year spent developing relationships does one thing.
It reduces the opportunity for your competitors.
One by one, the more relationships you develop, the more trust you gain and the quicker your reputation spreads.
There’s no need to ‘sell’. Homeowners have been attracted to your message. They know and like you, before you even meet.
Compare that scenario with an agent who is a complete stranger, asking potential vendors to like or trust them on that first date.
That’s the difference between selling & relationships.
And now it’s time to choose.
Which road will you take?
Have you the courage to take the one less traveled?
The road that explores relationships?
“People do not buy goods & services – they buy relations, stories & magic.” – Seth Godin
Sharing values and beliefs, with story, for a potential audience is a start.
Attracting, not the most people, but the right people.
Connecting with the local community, in an effort to inspire trust in what you do and in who you are.
It’s not easy. It’s not a quick fix. And, more often than not, it doesn’t produce instant results.
That’s why it’s a road less traveled.
But compared to competing with every man & his dog, it’s the most satisfying choice.
“The people around you are your mirrors. They are the one’s who allow you to see aspects of yourself – and vice versa. If you spend time with people who mirror your own insecurities, or fears, or judgments, then you’re going to see those traits every single day & begin to believe in them. They will be reinforced in you to the point where you decide that is “who you are.” Nicolas Cole.
So choose wisely.
A session in the ‘gym’ can have serious side-effects.
Not the least of which is damage to your reputation.
Surrounded by thrusting, ever-eager sales people that can’t take No for an answer, an agent is vulnerable to the siren song of success.
“If only they follow our methods”.
Methods that have got this industry, the reputation it has deserved.
If you’re trying to emulate another’s reputation, try doctors. Try the Fire, or Police services. Or the Armed forces.
Where character matters.
Where foundations are built on trust.
Where they don’t try to sell.
In a sales culture, the question you have to ask is this:
Is the ‘advice’ right for me?
Am I willing to follow that ‘advice’ and execute on it?
If it doesn’t work for me, will I survive? Plenty haven’t.
Do you feel lucky….?
Thanks, as always, for reading this far.
There’s plenty of free advice available if you’re looking to build relationships, personal brand, and story.
Seth Godin, Nicolas Cole, Bernadette Jiwa, Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, Steven Barlett and Matt Gottesman to name just a few.
I’m happy to help with any questions you may have. Questions that don’t revolve around selling. My advice is always free.
“I took the one less traveled by. And that made all the difference.”