At the moment, to me it seems a little like we’re just laying down and taking it. What are we doing to combat the ever-increasing disconnection between us and consumers? How are we demonstrating the value we add to the transaction?
In an industry which is growing increasingly tough, it’s more critical than ever to prove your value and deliver on your promises.
All agents are not created equal
It’s unfortunate that the market in recent years has created an environment where even poorly skilled agents can succeed. What many vendors don’t realise until it’s too late is that had they engaged a more skilled agent, with proper marketing, social media reach and an extensive database, their OK result could have been an incredible result.
Our margins and profitability are under attack on so many fronts, but we’re still doing all of the heavy lifting. Worse still, we’re our own worst enemy. With stock levels lower than ever before and competition amongst agents always increasing, we’re all clambering to win business and a fee discounting culture has become rife.
So do we just sit back and accept that the only way you can win the listing today is to join the fee discounters? The answer is a resounding ‘no’.
Our services are not a commodity. We’re not selling a TV off the shelf in a department store. What we do is far more complex and our skills as agents unquestionably have an impact on the end result.
Real estate isn’t easy. But unfortunately we’re in a temporarily inflated marketplace right now where even poor agents are able to look good – and this feeds consumer perception that all agents are the same. We’re not!
Put the same property into the hands of two different agents. The first agent simply puts the property online and answers any enquiries as they come in. The second agent also puts the property online, but they also mount a social media and print campaign, implement marketing automation practises and tap into their extensive database to engage a much larger audience of potential buyers across a larger demographic and geographic footprint. Most importantly, the second agent has the skills to lead the buyer to pay a premium price and feel good about it. Do you think both agents will achieve the same result? Yes, they’ll both sell the property. But there’s no question that the second agent will be able to achieve a better result – and likely in a shorter amount of time.
It’s important to never forget that it’s not about the amount of time we put in that’s important.
Our clients are paying us for an outcome and our fee should never be linked to the number of phone calls we make or how many inspections we schedule. It’s not about time. If you can identify one buyer on your database that you know the property is perfect for and they’re prepared to pay more in order to secure it in the face of competition from other buyers, then that’s worth something. It’s worth more than dozens of phone calls or scheduling another couple of inspections. You’ve been able to provide a better outcome for your vendor because you’re a skilled agent. It might have taken less time, but it equates to real value.