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Agents should make better use of ‘social proof superpower’ - claim

‘Social proof’ will be an agent’s most important tool during the tougher property market, it has been claimed.

Industry trainer and founder of the UK’s Best Estate Agent Guide Peter Knight  claims accreditation and customer recommendations will become an agent’s “superpower” as they battle to win instructions and grow market share.

In 2022, the Home Moving Trends Survey found 51% of home movers said it is important for agents to hold accreditations, up 31% on 2021. Knight anticipates this rising once again this year.


He said: “I feel for agents today; it’s not easy and success requires numerous skills. The ability to price accurately, market well, safeguard sales as they progress to completion - there are so many areas agents need to be top of their game to compete effectively. 

“That’s assuming they can get a valuation booked in the first place.

“This market provides the perfect environment for good agents to shine, so long as they can harness their strengths and communicate them effectively to the market through social proof.”

This is where, he suggests, social proof will become more important.

Popularised by Dr Robert Cialdini, the social proof phenomenon occurs when people, often lacking in confidence, rely on the opinions and behaviours of others to make a decision.  

Knight added: “Humans are social creatures and often believe others have more insight or information about things than they hold themselves. Estate agency has always been an industry relying heavily on word of mouth marketing. 

“Home-moving is such a significant and emotional decision, often involving family and friends, so it is no wonder people look to external sources to help make their decision. 

“Certification is one of the six categories of social proof, as well as the wisdom of the crowd and celebrity endorsement. 

“These categories evidence your prowess as an agent through the social proof of third parties but as celebrity endorsements lose their credibility, accreditation remains one of the strongest forms of social proof. 

“Countless studies show the positive relationships between brands with visible accreditation and the preference of consumers at a purchase decision. I truly believe this form of social proof has never been more important for estate and letting agents, as more than one in two home movers now consider it an important criteria. 
“Consumers are more receptive than ever for reliable recommendations, as distrust for politicians, fake news and disreputable companies is at an all time high. Now is the time to harness your social proof before your competitors get there first.”

  • Chris Arnold

    Social proof is for kids. For when agents are happy selling to strangers.
    In the world of micro-celebrity, fake reviews and lack of transparency, social proof is dependent on what other people think and value. If we rely on social proof, McDonalds is better food than a Michelin restaurant.
    If you care what other people think, you will always be their prisoner.


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