24 Aug It’s Hard To Watch This Happen.
It's Hard To Watch This Happen.
Sunday Times Rugby correspondent, Stuart Barnes, commenting on the recent British Lions vs. Springboks tour.
"Brute force and so much courage. The stuff of heroes. But for all the physical bravery and outstanding athleticism on show, this may well be recalled as the moment when some of the world's best players handed complete control of the game to the coaches."
It's already, long ago, happened in estate agency.
The ex-agents, ex-journalists and ex-area managers, all claiming to be #1 trainer, who think they have the answer to a lack of instructions.
Most of the general advice is third-rate. Even though it comes under the heading of "the latest thinking in contemporary estate agency.".
"The Ultimate Cold Calling Dialogue."
The ultimate cold calling dialogue that turns out to be yet another spurious "survey" of the local property market.
" It's not all about relationships in estate agency".
Relationships that are based on nothing more than pleasantries.
"Homeowners are strongly influenced towards giving their instruction to the enthusiastic local expert."
Another survey that apparently reported that an agent has to be an "expert" and "enthusiastic" !!!
Another trainer, with whom I have strongly disagreed recently on marketing, has this on his website:
Two options - Let's Talk.
Or, Learn More.
Given that curiosity is one of my five core values, I chose to Learn More.
I clicked on each individual tab (Business, People, Customers) and learnt this:
"Lorem ispum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor."
Not once. Not twice. But three times a charm.
Do what I say, not what I do appears to be the message. If he can't get the website ready before .....!!
Another leading trainer has this to say:
"Let Us Make You Better."
Turns out that "marginal gains" is his USP.
All well and good if the strategy and execution are bold, but a waste of time if the only advice given is to carry on what your'e doing , but be 1% better at each part of it.
It's an improvement offer when, in reality, the goal should be to replace what's not working with something different.
"Knock, uninvited, on 100 doors? Knock on 101 doors, you're only one door away from success."
Instead of ditching the begging act and coming up with something that will inspire rather than repel.
"Afraid of video? Do it anyway and get better as you do more."
Instead of don't do video - try podcasting, or writing. Video may not be for you.
Elon Musk didn't set out to build a better car with marginal gains. He set out to dominate a category.
Marginal gain delivers a commodity industry, designed for those afraid to lose. Until a creative agent, standing out for reasons other than their competence, quickly picks them apart.
It's in the best interests of the 'coach' that agencies sign up to be competitive. It's how they make their living. For the agencies, it's the road to perdition. A purgatory of constant comparison and rejection.
Which is why I termed it "They Follow Blindly, Even if they are badly led."
In my view, it harms the industry. Positioning it, not as striving for excellence, but as doing whatever it takes to win.
It is compounded by some agencies, themselves, having big earnings as their USP.
"Earn £100,000 per year with our self-employed model" claim several recognizable self-employed agency brands. Attracting the very sort of agent that will do "whatever it takes."
If the industry is ever to improve its lowly ranking of Trusted Professions, that is the first step to change. Get rid of the fixation on Get-Rich business models. Then get rid of the urgency to be 'the best'.
It's limited thinking that serves none but those who encourage it.
As with the Rugby, it's also incredibly boring. Warren Gatland had a winning team with Wales, but the style of play was the same boring spectacle that he produced with the British Lions. Afraid to deviate from the game plan.
The stereotypical estate agent in their sharp suit, with their painted on "charm" and the obligatory BMW. Boasting, promising, convincing and converting.
It's hard to watch this happen.
An industry that has been taken over by coaches. Scripted and manipulated to take every last inch of individuality out of the equation. Success leaves clues, they intone. Follow this process. Say this, do that.
Vendors aren't looking for the 'best agency'. They're looking for an agency they can trust. And if agents don't have the foresight or courage to be authentic. If they follow the common and refer to each new potential client as a 'lead'. If they promise, boast and manipulate their way to the instruction. There's little hope of trust.
There's a glimmer of light, however, behind this hard to watch spectacle.
A few inspirational trainers that think differently.
Matt Giggs and Ben Moore are two that stand out. Both for their character as well as their competence.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not arguing against the advice of the 'establishment trainers' - I'm arguing for them to change. To help bring estate agency into the 21st century instead of being stuck with practices that should have disappeared long, long ago. If their advice had been half decent, the industry wouldn't be in the mess it is today.
"Take the risk of thinking for yourself., much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way." - Christopher Hitchens
Thanks, as always, for reading.
If you have any comments, positive or negative, I'm all ears.