Have you ever seen those Valuers and Listers that seem to be able to list everything they touch at one firm, to then wither when they move agents? The hot shot Lister at your arch rivals, the Valuer who can do no wrong, this Valuer can list with his or her eyes closed, only to move from one agent in the town to the opposition across the road ... to become quite ordinary ... have you thought why?
Let me tell you my thoughts on this. This Valuer would have sat at the competitor’s interview, listing his or her attributes, listing skills, sales skills ... and the competitor MD would have thought, this guy/lady is the answer to my dreams .. they are a plug and play listing machine. Both of them of are delusional about each can do for the other.
Yes, the Valuer might be good on the door step, but that might be because he has a fleet of red hot Negs at the office who actually business generated awesome free valuations, hey, they might even use good old fashioned ‘hot boxes’ (anyone under 30 years old in agency – ask an older colleague what they are – it’s how we used to do agency before the tinterweb). That Valuer might have a fab boss who leads him/her and the team to such levels of motivation, the Valuer can’t help but to list. The Valuer might have a marketing department that produces such awesome material, the free vals just drop into his/her lap .... then the firm might have a business generation system hotter than the sun.
... but all the competitor sees (and the Valuer’s tells him or her self) is that this is ALL down to the skills of the Valuer. Yes, you might be a top shot Top Gun’esqe Tom Cruise style Pilot of a Valuer ... but it means nothing without the technicians behind you.
Now I could talk about the importance of team and backroom boffins .. but this is a blog about getting more business. The importance of having a good team behind you is another story I will write in the coming weeks, but today, I want to show you hot shot Valuers and Listers what you should be doing NOW, so when you do move, the business comes with you (and does not revert back to the old agency where the new Valuer is dining out on your old successes) (Business owners .. you could adopt the same principles for yourself?).
Would you agree there is a massive difference between selling to people you don’t know and selling to those you do know? (ie friends and acquaintances). If you have been at an agency for a while, you will start to get recommendations from people you know, and with these people that have been recommended you (and your agency) don’t have to spend a lot of time providing them with your credentials to sell to these people to get the property.
... but why does NOT that transfer when you move agents?
The Valuer (and the team) make the brand, they in fact make the reputation of the agency BUT let the sands of time flow and punters will tend to only remember the reputation of the agency . Let me ask you a few questions .... What was the name of the helpful chap who went the extra mile at bank last year with your bank charges ooh at Nat West (other banks are available).. you know Thingee. Can you remember the name of the solicitor that held the sale together to get your dream house three years ago? Yep, its it was err ... err .... errr... yep, it was Whatisname. Err ... errr .. ah , but I know it Smith and Smith Solicitors opposite Waitrose on the High Street. What’s the name of the chap who stopped late to ensure you got the keys at 8pm on a Friday night before you went on a superb Summer holiday the next morning driving around Devon and Cornwall in your new convertible Beemeer last year... you know .. Oojamaflip.
You can remember Nat West, Smith and Smith and BMW .... but not Thingee, Whatitsname or Oojamaflip. What if that solicitor had moved practice? .. Would you know that .. honestly? Or the guy moving Beemer dealership? ....or would you just ring up Smith and Smith and give them the business? They were good, but I’m not spending 30 minutes to try and find them .. you know Whatitsname. (try typing Oojamaflip from BMW into Linkedin .. it doesn’t work).
It doesn’t matter how good you were, people will forget you, but they won’t forget the firm so easily.
If you try to cross the street to another agent and sell to someone new, a whole bunch of things get in the way .... you to start with,.. your staff .. your new agency .. your marketing strategy ...they all have to change. One of the dangers that every one of you face moving agents is that you have all established credibility, respect and authority with the people you have worked with in the past BUT ITS WRAPPED UP INTRINSICALLY W ITH THE EXISTING AGENCY. Now you are ready to go up a rung on the ladder and go to the competition and the giant challenge is a lot of that stuff ... your winning strategy, the strategy that got you where you are today does not carry a lot of water when you go talk to people you don’t know (and to add insult to injury ... YOUR OLD PUNTERS won’t remember you).
You have to decide going forward are you eager to talk to people you don’t know or do know?
You Mr Valuer or Mrs Lister need to start doing something NOW, which makes YOU more memorable than the AGENCY you work for... and the best bit .. your existing bosses will love you for it. What is that? .. become your local town’s Property Guru.
How do you do that? Write and talk about the local property market, talk about property prices, talk about the property market, write articles in a style that a journalist would write, write them regularly, write them with a narrative, don’t mention yourself, your firm or the services you provide, write about the history of rents, the history yields .. all stuff that excites and interests homeowners. Stuff like this ..
You see I market my services as a ghost writer for agents, writing these articles and show them how to get them out to the public - well there is no point writing a blog if nobody knows of it existence OR if they know about the blog but nobody visits it OR people that visit the blog but don’t keep coming back. However, some of my clients are estate agents and they are telling me writing these articles has a downside .. it attracts homeowners and associated free valuations as well as landlords. We didn’t know this would happen as most of my clients are lettings only agents but Paul Tobias, a letting / estate agent from a small town in Essex called South Ockendon, who writes this blog ..
... wrote to me in February (after he started his blogging in the Autumn) and said his blogging had done this -
“Also as an estate agent I have seen a significant increase in valuations from this time last year. In fact it is roughly a 20% increase”
.. which was on top of what he had gained on the lettings side ...
“Sold our first property to a new client/landlord who had found us through the property blog. Best of all, I have had four new client/landlords contacted me as they where impressed by the property blog and that they want us to source new investment properties for them.”
This isn’t just for lettings .. it’s for both sales and lettings .... so start writing the articles (whether I ghost write for you, OR you come on one my courses were I teach you to write them yourselves), write them in the exact same style as Paul from South Ockendon does, David from Canterbury or Simon from Derby does and I guarantee you if you do it right .. You (not the firm) .. YOU will get to become YOUR town’s Property Guru.