10 Mar Ready For Your Close-Up?
Ready for your close-up?
We’ve all seen them on film and T.V.
Film directors use them for a number of reasons.
- To convey emotion. A close-up is an emotional moment that draws in the audience and portrays a character’s innermost feelings.
- To play up a character’s innermost subtleties. A close-up allows small details like a smirk, eye-roll, or eyebrow rise to effectively tell the story.
To convey emotion and to play up a character’s innermost subtleties – that’s all you need to take from this if you’re an estate agent/realtor.
Because emotion and character, so sadly inapparent in this industry, is what drives engagement. And then, trust.
Not that emotion and character doesn’t exist. It exists, in real estate, by the shed-load.
It’s just that most agents are simply too afraid to embrace it.
Brainwashed into thinking that they need to be better. To focus on their competence in order to differentiate. To build ‘trust’ with their expertise.
Where did it all go so very wrong for these agents?
Probably when home ownership became so easily attainable in the early 80’s. The boom times brought in a few hucksters that sought to profit from buying and selling homes, without much consideration of how that was achieved.
Those agents that didn’t get their fair share of the pie reflected on why. And were told by some self-appointed expert that they needed to be ‘better’.
“Just copy the strategies of these highly successful agents and you too can have it all.”
Better scripts, greater visibility, better systems. Agents that then followed blindly, even when they were badly led.
Except you couldn’t have it all. Those that had succeeded weren’t going to hang around waiting for their competitors to catch up.
But a few hopefuls, nevertheless, signed on the dotted line and embarked on a journey through shark-infested waters. With nothing to protect them other than the promise that this way lies achievement. This way lies gold.
The emotion and character, still there, but now deliberately suppressed. Better not to risk having a homeowner dislike you. Better not to have spontaneity, lest it detract from our core ‘message’ – simply the best.
So, with emotion out of shot, there was no need for close-up. No requirement for character when competence was, so freely, being sold.
What the camera, the homeowner, saw then was not personality, but method acting. Do this, say that, on cue. There’s money, for you, at the end of it.
Here’s the thing about close-ups. They demand that an actor can really act. Can interpret. Can articulate with expression, as well as words.
When there’s a crowd scene, a long shot, we all blend in. When the spotlight shines on the leading actor, it’s her turn to deliver the lines. But when the camera focuses on close-up, is when the audience pays most attention.
The audience is drawn in. Emotion is at hand. Now we get the chance to feel something. To discover whether we like what we see. What we hear. Whether it matters, or not.
Even on social media, the categories most ‘shared’ and ‘liked’ are these – awe, inspiring, emotional, positive, surprising.
Competence didn’t make the final cut.
So don’t tell me you’re the best agent. Don’t even tell me why you imagine that to be so.
Tell me who you are. Show me something different.
When we zoom in for the close-up, where’s the emotion? What are you feeling? What do you want us to feel?
Don’t make us guess. We’re notoriously bad at doing that. We either switch off, or choose cheap.
It’s an audition, of course it is. But we’re not looking for how well an agent can remember and deliver their lines. We’re looking for the innermost subtleties.
That’s all it takes.
A word. A gesture. An inconsequential remark, said with feeling.
Around those words, gestures and remarks, we vendors build a story for ourselves. We attribute any number of adjectives to something as simple as humility. The more an agent shares their innermost feelings, their values and beliefs, the more believable our inner story becomes.
The tone of voice, cadence and rhythm of speech – more so than the actual words.
“Every human being is the star of their own movie. We have to occupy the central role of our own drama.” –Hugh Laurie
Estate agency has much to learn from the film industry.
Go stand in the corner the agent who said it’s about the scripts.
It’s about the character – not the script.
Having Tom Ferry tell your story, or any story for you, is perhaps the single worst thing that could happen to a realtor. The equivalent of a personality bypass.
Have you so little faith in your own qualities that you have to rely on someone else to do the thinking for you?
To hold you accountable?
You’re so much better than that. You have everything you need to be such a great agent.
If only you would stop with the method acting, be completely yourself and allow others to be themselves.
That requires you be comfortable with your close-up. Sharing your innermost feelings.
O.K with some not liking who you are, or what you think. You’re just not for them, at this time. But for those who are looking for someone exactly like you, it’s a perfect fit.
That’s your choice – a method actor, getting a few worthwhile parts. Working sometimes – sometimes not.
Or, having the spotlight fall precisely on you and being ready for your close-up.
A Star is Born.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
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And, if you need any advice on creating your personal brand, or sharing your story, just get in touch. I’m happy to help however I can.