Not to embarrass her (as her name is a ‘little unique’), I’ll call her Chloe. Chloe said, “Its proving to be difficult against so many established agents.... I'm struggling to get people to believe that my company is just as good, if not better, than these agents”,
... I replied, “that's just the problem .. YOU are trying to prove it when it should be THEY who prove it to themselves .. Only then will you succeed.”
... to which Chloe replied, “I just want to try to be as unique as possible and use that as my selling point but it's very hard to find something that no other agent is doing other than I'm available everyday till late unlike a high street agent.”
.. for which I said, “the fact you open late isn't what will get you business. If a solicitor or accountant said they opened until 8pm ... Would anyone care ?.. Would anyone go wow ?.. Would it make people talk in the pub?.. No ..Not really. YOU have to be interesting to YOUR potential client by talking about something THEY are interested in.”
Being a letting or estate agency is hard work ..on the estate agency side, if you don’t keep getting new stock.. once you have sold your existing stock ... like a shark who doesn’t keep swimming .. you are scr*wed!
Lettings is a bit easier, as landlords don’t tend to leave a letting agency, but I know many agents who are slowly losing 3% or 4% of their managed stock each year due to landlords selling .. but not replacing them. And think about it... as landlords aren’t easy go .. that means they aren’t easy come .. thus growing a lettings agency is just hard.
So what should our friend Chloe do? Chloe needs to have two things .. guts and generosity
... the guts to grow her lettings and estate agency without the need lots of money nor the approval from anyone apart from herself.
I told her that if she wanted to succeed, she should have the guts to be different, not different for the hell of it but a difference that would add value to her potential clients, (by being either educational or entertaining). By being educational or entertaining (or both) to her potential clients (be that the landlords who own rental properties in her town or the homeowners who own property her town) she will add value to their lives and from that, albeit very slowly at the start, people will begin to trust her ..... and people do business with people they trust. (and if you don’t believe me .. would you do business with anyone you dont trust? Exactly!)
However, guts on their own won’t get you the prize.
The second thing Chloe needs to realise is that she shouldn’t market AT her potential landlords and house sellers, or even TO her potential landlords and house sellers, but market FOR them and WITH them
....and how do you market for them and with them?
Easy... educate and entertain them by giving stuff that potential landlords and house sellers want to read, want to watch or want to listen to. By being generous and giving them what they want .. you will by definition marketing for them and with them.
Good estate and letting agents have for a long time understood that it's very easy to attract a landlord or house-seller’s attention. But attention on its own won’t get you the business. But grab the attention of those local landlords and home owners and then have the guts to be interesting and generous by doing stuff that is either entertaining or educational ... and you will fly.
By being generous, by talking about something that interests your potential landlord or homeowner, they will look forward to what you talk about, hell, they might even ring up if you fail to deliver (just like the agent who got thirty phone calls from thirty landlords in one morning ....(read why 30 landlords rang him in one day here) http://how-to-grow-your-lettings-agency.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/what-would-make-30-new-landlords-ring.html
So at the crux of all this .. what is interesting to homeowners and landlords?
Well its none of these ...
We sold x number of houses this month (want a medal?.. well you haven’t sold mine yet)
· Landlords wanted leaflets (You know these don’t work anymore)
· We have arranged 50+ viewings for the weekend and its only Tuesday (Who gives a !!!)
· Smashed my target and its only the 18th of the month (Don’t worry SunnyJim, Your Area manager will whack it up next month .. and anyway – no one likes a bragger)
· Tenants waiting (dull dull dull)
· XXXX have been awarded the 'Best Agents in the London accolade at the xxxxx annual conference 2015 (at least your Mum will be proud)
· We are about to open our 10th office .. exciting times (it might be for you but I don’t suppose the Mayor will be having a parade in your honour)
.. but I do think I know what is interesting though homeowners and landlords in your town...
· How much is my house worth?
· What is happening to the local property market?
· How does my town’s property market compare to the neighbouring town’s?
· What sort of returns and yields can I get from buy to let property?
· Should I buy another buy to let property in my town? ..and if so, Where?
Stop talking about yourselves, your firm, your services, how wonderful you are agents and start talking about what interests your potential clients ... you become the local property market guru ... then you won’t have a problem in getting more stock .. be that lettings or sales.
Here are some examples ..