The Power of Difference for Agents.

The Power of Difference for Agents.

The Power of Difference for Agents.

Will it be a leap in the dark when a vendor chooses your estate agency/brokerage?

Them choosing, because they have to instruct an agent. without ever having decided?

Modern estate agency training would have you focus on 'better'.

#1 on Rightmove, biggest database of registered buyers, stunning photography, descriptive property particulars, biggest network of agents, more professional, more passionate, better scripts.   Better - because we say so!

Truth is, that those you seek to serve, the vendor/landlord, don't care about 'better.'

They don't appreciate what makes a 'better estate agent' and you telling them doesn't help - because your competition will be selling them confusion. Vendors that don't know they have a problem are very good at ignoring your advice. So that's what they've done when your agency loses the instruction.  You can't reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into. When the vendors have doubt, which they naturally will, stacking more facts and data won't rid them of that doubt. Only a feeling of trust will tick that box,

"We talk about being very good at our craft as though it's some bizarre exception,   Plenty of people are good at what you do.  Very good. Perhaps as good as you.  Full  credit for the work you've done and the skills you bring - But it's not enough."  -Seth Godin.

Better at anything, offers the vendor a comparison. Can this agency sell my home for more and sell it more quickly?

Cheaper, or better value does the same. Is this agency perceived value, compared to others? Are they worth more?

Are you beginning to realize that agents have to get away from this comparison game?

That starts with them ditching the pretense of being 'better'.

They're usually not 'better' - and they can't prove it anyway.

Which brings me to different.

Here's why different provides you with what you want most - attention!

Our world is, for the most part, a succession of humdrum moments. We have routines, we see and hear the same things day in, day out. And so our brains filter out consistency in favor of focusing on differences.

We immediately pay attention if something startles us. A car backfires. A street singer with an amazing voice. A purple cow!

Once our brains have determined whether the thing is of further interest, or not, we return to our unconscious way of dealing with the world around us. Ignoring it, for the most part.

So to get that attention, we have to be different.  Better doesn't do it.

Which raises the question, how are you, or your estate agency different?

I  can hear you now - "we're more passionate, we deliver 5 star service, a brilliant team, we have great marketing."

None of that is a difference.

More passionate - better.

5 star service - better.

brilliant team - better.

great marketing - better.

Whatever claims you make for your agency, others can and will make the same.

So vendors, when they invite you to an appraisal, hear pretty much the same thing from every agency.

The only difference you provide is the fee and the recommended asking price.

Neither of which is a good reason for appointing any agency.

Here's what vendors are thinking but probably won't say to your face.  Let me lay this out for you nice and simple:

Do I like this person who is trying to 'sell' me something?

It's something that Susan T. Fiske/Chris |Malone refer to in their book, The Human Brand.

  • "The unchanging compass to our success in the future lies buried deep in our past. It has been obscured by 150 years of industrialization that has fostered an overreliance on measures of competence at the expense of warmth, of more genuine concern for others. We have always been driven more by warmth than by competence in all our human interactions."

Problem is, estate agency trainers would have their clients focus on competence - being better, winning the game.

" we make such leaps of an extension of our gift for detecting warmth and competence in others. From the moment of observing someone's single action to inferring that person's seeming personality, we "know" and we don't even think about how we know."

Warmth and competence judgements prompt us to feel friendly toward some and alienated by others. Warmth and competence judgements explain why some inspire our loyalty while others provoke only feelings of suspicion."

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for competent agents. Just that competence doesn't matter if they don't like you.


Which is why my role isn't to help you sell more, it's to get vendors to like you more.

I believe two things are critical for that to happen. Neither of which do happen in real estate.



  1.  Agents, whether corporate or independent, need a persona brand. In the past, I have written about personal brand but there was just so much confusion over the term. Some think it simply reputation.  Others think it's how much visibility one has. Others that personal brand and reputation is just a question of semantics. My quest is to determine an agent's character - not their celebrity. That's an essential component of Who you are. And whether you can be trusted. Is there affinity with our core values? Once an agent is prepared to be transparent and reveal the one thing we all look for in others, vulnerability, but unwilling to show in ourselves, then we need to look at how our message is distributed.
  2. That's where story comes in. As old as humanity itself. Memorable. Engaging. Stacked full of clues as to whether that persona brand is genuine. Or just fake news.

Here's what vendors get in real estate:

Realtors that hide behind a mask of competence and affability. Until they get the instruction.

Estate agents that waste their hard-earned money on advertising that has no discernible message, in a medium that has no audience, in order to attract attention that in itself is not enough!

If you have those two things, a persona brand and a story, you my friend are different.

There is no other with a story that only you can tell. There is no other with your multi-layered character.

"Do I like this person, who is trying to 'sell' me something?"

Or are they just another agent, hustling their worth?

Persona Branding  -  Story.  It's as simple as that.

Until you have it, all the competence in the world matters not.

That's my message.

The same message that I share, over and over, until it attracts those that need to hear it. And repels those that enjoy the manipulation and the losing.

Thanks for reading, as always. My advice is always free and if you have any comments, or questions, love to hear from you.






Chris Arnold

Stories that inspire; words that persuade. Peeling back the layers on Who you are, rather than What you do. Personal Branding for those with the courage to be transparent.

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