During the last 12 months, I have had the pleasure of being introduced to some of the best independent estate agencies and come to mention it, agents, across the UK. I have travelled from Cornwall to Dover, across the South and London, Midlands to Manchester and Liverpool, through Wales, up across the Lakes and over to the North East, I have literally covered most of the UK.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining because the people I have met, owners, investors and directors, and some amazing frontline negotiators across Sales and Lettings are dedicated, hard working honest people with a passion for delivering a best in class service to the public in their local areas. It has been my pleasure.
The time they all spend, every day, ensuring their hard won clients are provided a service that will keep them happy is commendable, however, there is a problem that appears to me as clear as day….They are spending longer amounts of time, working harder than ever, spending more, for a reward that is growing smaller by the day!
In this day and age, all around me I see, ‘compare this and save £000’s’, ‘buy one get one free’, ’30+% discount for new customers only’ (drives me crazy) ‘we will beat any price’, ‘if you find it cheaper we will match it’ and the list goes on and on! It’s almost like we ourselves as agents are members of the public…! We, as members of the public, could have been brainwashed into believing that the customer now only chooses products and services based on the cheapest price they could pay. Furthermore, we may believe that a vendor or landlord thinks this!
Having spent circa 27 years listing and selling property, very few people, who have invited me into their home, have claimed that they are only interested in the fee cost. I understand that what they really want is;
An Agent they can trust and have confidence in to advise them on;
The local housing market
The best way to market their home to gain the best price within their given timescale (applies to both online and offline)
Additional services to help them at the right time
Vendors want to hear how an agent is going to help them achieve this MOVE, minimising the stress and workload involved.
The reality is that they hear the same story from agent after agent and therefore the only real differentiator is the COST!
Here is the reality: in my opinion, it’s time to differentiate. Your customer wants to hear it, they want to hear what makes you different, they DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE THE SAME as the others.
Focus on things that only you can say, things they would not have heard from other agents.
Ask yourself – What do you do that others don’t? chances are there are many things, write these things down and practice articulating it
If agents don’t change then your fees will continue to be the only thing the vendor is interested in!