15 Mar When There’s No Second Choice.
When there’s no second choice.
Like any industry, the range of existential awareness among estate agents/realtors ranges from visionary to clueless.
“We talk about being good at our craft, as though it is some bizarre exception. Plenty of people are good at what they do. Very good – perhaps even as good as you. Full credit for the work you’ve done and the skill you bring. But it’s not enough“. -Seth Godin.
Agents who can’t think for themselves and who rely on the advice of others, who follow the tribe mentality, seeking to fit in rather than to stand out, those agents stand accused of extinguishing the last dying embers of respect for this industry.
Estate agency has been called a commodity. Not quite yet – but ever so close.
Those agents that can’t think for themselves welcome this generalization.
It helps their hustle. Prevents a vendor from truly understanding their options and allows an agent to use the confusion playbook.
Commodity valuation follows the classical economical principle of arriving at a price by studying the intersection of the demand and supply curve. Said differently, choose me because I am exactly the same, but cheaper. I’m in a race to the bottom, but second or third will suffice.
The vendor is confused.
Whose fault is that?
Not the vendor’s for being uninformed, or misinformed.
Not the agent, so willing to sell cheap what they hold most dear.
The fault lies with the agent who doesn’t differentiate. The agent who loudly proclaims themselves ‘better’, whilst failing miserably to convince with data and logic.
Do they not see the immediate benefit of being different?
“Almost all perception is based on the detection of change” says neuroscientist, Professor Sophie Scott. “Our perceptual systems don’t work unless there are changes to detect.In a stable environment, the brain is relatively calm. But when it detects change, that event is immediately registered as a surge of neural activity.”
It’s the old simile of ‘horse, horse, zebra, horse, horse.’
One estate agent. Then another. Another, each proclaiming their worth. Each promising the earth. The vendor’s brain remains relatively calm in the face of this boring beauty parade.
Then along comes one agent who doesn’t even seem like an agent.
One minute dressed sartorially in suit and waistcoat. The next in denim and sneakers. A reckless honesty, making it all about him rather than about what he does. Both self-effacing and boastful, sometimes in the same sentence. Carpool karaoke, a life spent in the full glare of the spotlight. A free spirit, loving every second of it. Oblivious to the critics – what do they know anyway?
Simply being what vendors and landlords want him to be.
Not an estate agent. There’s plenty of silhouettes lurking in the wings should he choose not to work with a vendor.
Simply being himself. That’s all we ask.
We aren’t interested in great estate agents. As Seth Godin says, “as though it’s some bizarre exception.”
We seek difference.
And unless an agent is prepared to be different, to stand out rather than to fit in to the stereotype, there will come a tipping point. Where estate agency truly has become a commodity.
When there is no second choice. That’s the goal.
Thanks, as always, for reading. If you’d like some advice on standing out, I’m happy to help.
I share my thoughts on the blog and if you would like to be notified when next I post, simply fill out the form on the home page. There won’t be any follow-up unsolicited email, or cold-call to sell you something. That’s not my style. Just a notification, that’s it.
Here’s to being different.