Estate Agents may say they are different. They may even believe they are different.
But, the perception of many vendors is that most estate agents are the same. A commodity.
'Property is our passion', 'Hard work and dedication', '70 years of experience', 'Honest feedback and progress reports', 'We go the extra mile', 'Longer opening hours', 'Distinctive For Sale boards'.
The list goes on and, in almost every case, it is hard to be inspired by the lack of imagination shown in the attempt to convince vendors they are truly different.
While estate agents may sell a commodity, they should remember that they are all unique as a company and, more importantly, as a person. And that uniqueness is worth paying for.
The reasons a vendor should choose your estate agency are not simply the benefits that might be
obtained from your business, or any other agency.
If your agency service is any good, other agencies will try to copy it.
- 'More passionate'. ('Yes, so are we.')
- 'Hard work and dedication'. ('Yes, that’s us.')
- 'Over 70 years of combined experience'. ('85 years over here.')
It’s the least vendors expect from any agency, but not something that gives them a
reason for choosing to work with your firm.
It’s pretty simple really, vendors will choose your agency because of you, because they have a relationship with you and because they are made to feel safe by you.
Vendors want to know the people behind the service – how committed they are to delivering a quality service and what things matter to the agency.
They don’t want to know that you’re hard working and dedicated, or how many awards you've won.
And, if they can’t find an agency that shares their beliefs, values and convictions,
guess what? The vendors are going to choose an agency based on either valuation,
brand or fee.
That, unfortunately, leads most agencies into the role of a salesperson in a sales culture. Not a good position, unless you enjoy the manipulation of vendors for your own personal gain.
What’s the alternative? Well, you need to tell your story. Stories that are interesting,
resonate with potential vendors and reveal your human side.
The power of story should not be under-estimated. It’s been the bedrock of
communication pretty much since the dark ages.
It does take effort to find an interesting perspective to run-of-the-mill daily events, but with practice, it gets easier.
The result is that, over time, your own personal narrative becomes your
business card. 'This is what I believe, this is who I am and this is what I consistently
The up-shot is that you will attract vendors that share your beliefs and like what you say. They will be loyal to your message and ultimately you will be able to build up trust.
The flipside is that you will deter vendors that aren’t on your wavelength. Those
vendors that are more interested in the price than the value. Leave those to the
other agents, if you dare.
Ultimately, your message will spread and your agency will be defined, not by the reviews or awards, but by your character and culture.
The curious mind, however, may wonder where this 'personal story' might be heard, where potential vendors might access your inner thoughts.
On your website and blog, of course.
*Chris Arnold is the founder of Agency Negotiation Limited. He also runs 'Needle & Haystack', a podcast which focuses on estate agents and their unique story.
The podcast is shared on iTunes and has already featured agents from Knight Frank and Winkworth. To find out more, contact Chris on 07875141436 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.