520 COMPETITOR ESTATE + LETTING AGENTS GIVING YOU THEIR BEST SECRETS
It’s tough out there, being a letting or estate agent. More competition from agents, less properties coming on the market.
Hell ..It’s really tough out there and quite often, it isn’t enjoyable being an agent either (not like the old days). I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy my work, I want to really enjoy it and get better at it. Not only do I want to work better, I want to get better at what I do every day.
I have no desire to be the agent everyone is gunning for, be it my Area Manager or Branch Manager saying my figures could be better or being successful and having agent touting my business like its ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ and my stock list is free to any Tom, Dick and Harry to tout, pinch, pilfer and general steal with sharp, underhand and sometimes, darn right lies.
Wouldn’t it be easier if all us agents could just get along with each other? There is enough of the pie to go around. Let’s us win and lose business on our merits or failures – not whether some bull$hit shinny suited corporate 20 something is ‘trying to prove something to the boss’ in his new company Mini, buy telling a pack of lies about you, your agency or your service.
Well here is the good news … it can be … and it’s happening now.
Two years ago, there were around 10 to 15 of us, all letting agents (before I go on – you estate agents keep reading – there is something for you in a minute) whom came together to share best practice and share ideas to be better letting agents and get more business and we started a Facebook Group called ‘Landlord Farming Group’. In those days, we had around 5 or 6 posts a week, sharing ideas, helping each other, asking questions and seeking advice
At the start (as the name suggests) it was lettings only focused. None of us worked in the same town, so were happy to share ideas, share thoughts and opinions on the Facebook Group, help and guide each other. Then six months after that, someone suggested we had a get together to share the same things we did online, but face to face. We called it ‘The Summit’ and we had 32 agents to the first Summit
Today, the Facebook group has adapted and improved, so we are both resi-sales and resi-lettings focused, and we are now 520 agents strong, both letting and estate agents and we are about to have our fourth
Summit. In November, 185 agents will come together for the 4th Summit in Doncaster. Why Doncaster? Because we have outgrown the hotel in Grantham (you will see in the video below how we squeezed into the last hotel room in Grantham) and one of biggest agents who gives their time, effort and passion into the Facebook Group is Sanjay Gandhi (from Donny) – hence the Summit was christened one evening (probably after a few glasses of vino) on the Facebook group ‘Sanjfest’ (..and the you should see the video we have done – awesome! Its at the end of this post – I think it will make you smile)
This summit – It’s not a money making exercise like other Conference’s and Events. You can wave goodbye to £200+ per person if you went on the certain EA and Lettings Conferences ..ours is £50 to cover the cost of the food and room hire. We do it because we want to help each other – not make a fast buck.
We do it because we want share, we want to help, guide and support each other and learn more knowledge for ourselves and others to benefit from…and the reasons why we share are quite simple
Givers .. Receive
By sharing opinions, thoughts, advice, ideas and working together, every agent in the group involved benefits and receives a something back. There are upwards of 10 new posts a day because without making it known what our issues/thoughts/ideas and thinking are, it’s impossible for other agents in the group to contribute to that thought process and knowledge.
Uniting Ideas In New Ways
One agent can never have an idea that is faultless. By sharing my ideas in the FB group and Summit, we are shown a side to the idea that we may have never thought of before. New and better things come out of sharing ideas with others.
Using the power of the group we have all contributed to these marvelous ideas.
A 100% tried and tested method to convert Self Managed Gumtree landlords into landlord clients and Ambassadors, neigh Prophets for your Agency.
A system obtaining the address of nearly every rental property of your competitor agents
A full on guide to doing videos where it doesn’t look rubbish
A social media guide designed by agents for estate agency that actually works
We have some awesome experts in the group who make their knowledge available to others. They spew information as others record it and then others add opinion and ideas to that .. meaning everyone wins
This way of working never lets you connect your ideas with others and improve upon both ideas. There’s no way one brain can think of every angle, so everybody has to cooperate and work together to reach a common larger goal. The human race is a cooperative race and its allowed us to do great things.
We don’t sit on an idea, like we own it, because that has never helped anybody meet a greater goal.
Connecting Agents Together
Certain aspects of Estate or Letting Agency business model is quite easy to automate. Uploading brochures, datafeeds to Portals, Online Board ordering, Property Mang’t software like the awesome FixFlo have been invented to make our life easier.
However, there are certain things that can’t be automated and they are all based off of connections. Connecting is uniquely human and can’t be automated or taken away.
We are in the people business .. not the property business
The connections we make with fellow humans come through sharing information and what we are working on, those connections in return allow us to do bigger things.
The more connections we make the more we can do in a shorter amount of time.
Listen and Think
Have you ever come across someone in life who just tells you stuff, but is so busy telling you stuff, they don’t have time to listen?
When we take a second to shut up and listen, all of us can obtain a lot more insights and build on our own knowledge much easier.
.. and don’t get me wrong, we are perfect in out Group. Like all FB group’s, there are some members (thankfully in the minority) who don’t contribute – and I cant force them. However, isn’t it funny that all the agents that do give their ideas freely, sharing their ideas and making that exchange of knowledge also have a much greater tendency to adopt and adapt other’s group member’s ideas. … and they also tend to be the most successful agents in the group .. funny that
As we read others ideas and what they’re working on, we have our own thoughts that we also share.
When we listen, we’re forced to think about our own ideas and fine tune those. If we listen, we’re better equipped for the discussion with others to develop better ideas together.
Money for Ideas?
Nobody owns an idea, they aren’t a bargaining chip, they aren’t money .. nobody owns an idea .. because someone else might come up with the same idea.
As Seth Godin (my hero) says, we are in the Connection Society.
Connections are more important than ideas – we are in the people business and people buy from people.
.. but combine the two (ideas and connections) and the something very special happens. Connecting ideas is where innovation comes from, and connecting with people makes those innovations come to life. ..and that is the beauty of our next Summit.
The power of 185 letting and estate agents, all coming together to share. Coming together in Doncaster in the middle of November. You might think this post is a plug for the Summit .. sorry – it sold out in a week and we have a waiting list.
No the purpose of the Facebook group and the Summit is to show you when sharing happens, everyone is able to boost listings, new instructions at a faster pace. Also, more importance is put on problems solving and innovation. If you hold ideas as a currency for being an agent then there will come a point when that currency is worthless. Value must be created and recreated in the form of the networks we create and maintain. That’s not something that can be stolen, lost, or diminished.
So whilst I was rather naughty with the title of this blog post, as the members of the FB group wont be your same competitors on your High Street, they are someone else Competitor and they are giving advice, ideas and opinion to you … for free
If you would like join the Facebook group, and you are a sharer, and want to learn from others, then we would love you to be in our tribe of estate and letting agents. Go to Facebook and search ‘Landlord Farming Club’, see the group description and instructions (and apply to join. .. we would love to see you there!
PS My next post later on the week will Part 2 of my ongoing topic/series of WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH UK ESTATE AGENCY TODAY?
PPS Now .. here is the video .. it will make you smile and make sure you turn up the Volume baby!