Snowflake? Me? Are Your Serious?
"You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake." - Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The disparaging term, as of now, refers to young adults being more prone to taking offence compared to previous generations. Suggesting that, like snowflakes, these people are delicate individuals, with an overblown sense of entitlement. A slight increase in temperature will see them melt, often resulting in a high emotional response.
It's a term rarely found, of course, in estate agency.
Not taking offence is part of their daily routine.
Delicate? I've yet to come across one.
Overblown sense of entitlement? The jury's out.
But a beautiful and unique snowflake is precisely what you are.
It's in your DNA. The small variants that make each and every one of us.
Isn't that enough for you?
Well, it ought.
Because that's the ultimate differentiation.
Better at what you do, or even how you do it, unfortunately for you, is not a differentiation.
It might get you some silverware. A 15 minute, if you're lucky, moment of fame.
Some attention. But little in the way of vendor enrolment.
A vendor that 'sees' you. But doesn't really 'get' what you have to offer them.
And yet, I would hazard that 99% of estate agents desire to be 'better'.
Better than their competitors.
More leads, more instructions, more exchanges.
More fortune. (I knew that's why you're in this business. Tell me I'm wrong!).
Better, though, doesn't cut it.
It doesn't last because...
It never moves the hearts and minds of those you seek to serve.
Because there will always be someone hungrier and cheaper than you.
Someone better than you & your agency.
If not today, then tomorrow.
Don't believe me?
The powerhouse agency that was Foxtons. Under Jon Hunt.
Now a shadow of its former self.
No agency lasts. And the more it competes, the shorter its survival.
"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata - Words for Life, 1927
But there's a whole industry built on trying to make you 'better.'
Instead of narrowing a vendors gaze.
From the wide vista that is a 'better' estate agent.
To the distance between their eyes.
Allowing a vendor to see who it is standing before them.
This beautiful and unique snowflake.
The industry founded on making you a 'better' estate agent?
The one that promises you 'the world'?
It's a template for commodity work. Easily replicated by any agent with a credit card.
And it's sucking the personality and character out of this industry.
Turning every estate agent into a scripted, polished and perfected selling android.
The Tony Robbins' of this world?
Dig a little deeper and they can't even follow their own advice.
Sculpting a unique, seemingly fragile and needy human being into yet another 'success' story.
If you have the basic skills to be an estate agent. If you can market a property and negotiate the offers. If you can progress the agreed offer to completion.
You don't need to be better. You need to be different.
Different from every other agent that can follow that same well-trodden path.
That unique snowflake.
Let me spell it out for you.
The only way to be different is to be who you are.
Transparent. Truthful. Vulnerable.
You might be rejected.
But there's only one alternative.
To be like every other agent.
Caught in a purgatory of endless comparison.
Oft times feeling inadequate.
And paying for that privilege.
Your personal brand, though, is like that snowflake. Changing over time, but incredibly beautiful.
That's when you move the hearts and minds of those you seek to serve.
So enough of the comparable data. Drop the marketing plan until after you have the instruction.
A relationship. Not a transaction.
Start with a story.
How you got to where you are now.
And your hopes and aspirations for the future.
There are vendors that will want to go along for the ride.
Vendors that will find interesting, what you have to say.
That resonance is one of the building blocks of a relationship.
Vendors that will appreciate the beauty of your character.
Vendors that will see you as more than just another estate agent.
That see you as this unique and beautiful snowflake.
Drift a heap of snow together and from a distance it can look quite appealing.
Narrow the gaze to one solitary snowflake.
Then, it's beauty is in the stunning complexity of its design.
Not some accumulation of frozen raindrops, in an industry that might well melt away.
Thanks as always for reading.
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