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Gain the Instruction

I ran a two day-training course for about twenty five managers and instruction-earners of a successful Midlands estate agency chain a couple of weeks ago. The company is known to be very progressive and punchy, and its marketing is sensational – fresh, crisp and inviting.
One of the exercises I facilitated on the first day of the course helps agents identify and harness what it actually is that people like about them. We know that the media paints a poor picture of agency, so I started by asking them to list all the things that the public apparently dislike about estate agents. The response was not unexpected and went something like: “estate agents are lying, self-serving, overpaid, overvaluing/undervaluing, thieving b’stards who never return phone calls. They wear flash suits and drive flash cars, they don’t care about the clients, they do private deals for their friends, they ignore conflicts of interest, and generally offer poor value for money.” 
I then asked them a slightly different question; “what do you enjoy about working here, and why don’t you work for another agent in the area?” Initially, many of them start to list how they include HIPs, they have no fixed sole agency, how they are open seven days a week or subscribe to various portals. But that was not the question. The question is more personal. “What do you ENJOY about working here as opposed to anywhere else?”

Then we get some real answers, and last week’s Midlands agency chain is a good example what tends to follow. The answers often go like this: “I love working here because there is such a good team spirit, work ethic and energy. Very supportive and forward-thinking management makes me happy to go the extra mile. Promises are always delivered and I feel I can make a difference. I like the way we value our clients and share a common vision for excellence – with very clear communication all round. Everyone knows what is going on so if I’m out on appointments, someone else will usually be able to handle my calls. Most of my colleagues have been here for several years so there is great loyalty and trust all round. Frankly, it’s just great fun – we have a lot of laughs!”

So we find ourselves with three lists – 1) a list of media-driven public perceptions of estate agents, 2) a list of the services your company provides, and 3) a list of why you enjoy working here.  Which of the three do you think your prospects really need to hear?

As I mentioned in last weeks RAT, it’s not about what you DO, but who you ARE that counts. So often agents overlook the most compelling reasons as to why they should be offered the instruction – and they are usually personal! The enthusiastic agent who clearly loves their job and is proud of their company is probably the most attractive agent around, and would get my business every time – even if they are more expensive!

Do give me a buzz if you’d like me to be involved in your training too.