In the third part of this exclusive series with Homesearch’s chief operating officer, Sam Hunter, Angels Media’s Lee Dahill questions him on how agents can dominate and educate from a brand perspective.
In the video interview, which runs to just under 10 minutes, Dahill starts by asking Hunter what agents can do to educate and dominate from a brand point of view.
“Rather than talking about educating and dominating, it’s almost educate to dominate. Lots of people don’t like agents putting out pie chart after pie chart after pie chart, or agents putting out marketing saying they’ve been in business for 120 years,” Hunter says.
“The market doesn’t care about your pie chart. They will respect that when you’ve earned their business. You can present that to them in their living room, not to get into their living room.”
Hunter argues that people everywhere, whether they’re letting a house or selling a house, are responsive to what resonates with them.
“Put your customer or client hat on for a moment and think about what I can talk about that is actually going to resonate with the people I want to talk to the most,” he adds.
Hunter, who adds the caveat that he’s never worked in lettings before, goes on to say he doesn’t believe marketing and education in lettings is drastically different to sales.
“Lettings is probably in a stronger position than sales right now,” he argues. “If I’m an agent and I want to meet more landlords, the natural thing I want to talk about is how much rental prices have risen in maybe even the last four weeks.”
He continues: “Talk about the changes in price, talk about the results you’re getting on your own register. What is the real value? It’s not rents have gone up 4% - people won’t know what that really means. But if I said rent for houses like yours have gone up £50 a week over the last three months, that means something to them.”
Hunter says Homesearch are seeing more and more lettings valuations booked off the back of old sales stock than they are anything else at the moment. “You can book more of those vals day in day out, by just asking the question: ever thought about renting? Renting is booming now.”
Towards the end of the interview, Hunter talks about his own recent experience of buying a house with his wife.
“We were in the fortunate position of knowing where to start, but for a lot of people that isn’t the case,” he said.
He points to a recent article in Estate Agent Today, where it was revealed in a study by Skipton Building Society that many first-time buyers were overwhelmed or scared to talk to estate agents during the homebuying process.
“What a sad survey,” Hunter says. “Those people are not getting the advice that they need to make probably the most important financial decision they are going to make in their lives. For me, that screams opportunity. Agents have this almost raison d'être to fill those gaps, to say: ‘you’re probably scared to ask me a question because you haven’t had a good experience in the past. Well, what do you want to know?’”
“The agent can then say: ‘I’ve got a whole database of people who want to sell their house but can’t find where they want to live. What you’re seeing on Zoopla, Rightmove, OnTheMarket or Boomin is only 1% of what’s out there, let me help you find something else. And let me talk to you about all the other bits you need to know along the way.”
Hunter claims if you said that to 20 buyers, 10 are going to turn around and say: do you want to look at our house too?
It’s a fascinating insight, which focuses on the need for problem-solving and finding out what is important to the customer rather than what is most important to the agent.
The full video can be seen below.