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5 minutes reading time (1015 words)

Oh Dear, I’ve Been Censored.

Oh Dear,I've Been Censored.

Not for the first time, admittedly, but such is the risk when challenging received 'wisdom'.

A harmless post on Facebook of a quote from Aussie estate agency trainer, Josh Phegan.

"I don't sell a house.

I maximize the price.

I reduce the risk.

I make it easy.

I give peace of mind.

I provide expert advice.

I create competitive environments.

I progress my clients plans.

I help the future happen.

I give my clients the greatest luxury of all, time!"

I think I have less issue with these banal and elementary platitudes than I do with the gushing over-reaction of some UK estate agents.

"Can I steal this quote" seemed most prevalent.  Not from some wet-behind-the-ears agent, but from an agent that has recently been voted "Best UK Estate Agency" and from others that have a similar wealth of experience.

My response to the quote was typical of me, I'm afraid.

" Any estate agency can make that claim. I maximize the price. Over here, I also maximize the price. Me too, I maximize the price."

Shades of 'I am Spartacus' from the epic Stanley Kubrick movie of that name.


"Zero differentiation if all estate agents use those phrases."

"You're looking at it wrong, mate." said one agent.

"Differently, not wrong" I responded.

" Differently and wrong" ended that little discussion.

Things moved swiftly on when others chimed in with how negative were my comments and how Josh and that other leg-end, Tom Panos, were creating a future for agents.  I blamed those two, along with Tom Ferry and others, of being responsible for creating the negative reputation industry that exists. A consequence of their unflinching reliance on competition and competence bringing success.

I'm ashamed to say (not really) that my response was "I've yet to hear a sensible thing come out of the mouth of Tom Panos."

Tom is an Aussie estate agency trainer that puts out, for free, his mediocre content to lure agents.  Then offers 'gated' access to supposedly his 'best' content for a price.

"How do you market your small agency against the big ones? Here's the answer. The Real Estate  Gym"- Tom Panos.  For only a few bucks per day!

Contrast that with Gary Vaynerchuk who is "putting out (for free) my best content and it's better than anyone else's."

I have posted previously about my distaste for how estate agency trainers cannot think past incremental improvements to what is, essentially, a broken model. They follow blindly, even if..

I'm not arguing against their ideology, I'm arguing for them to change.

To focus on relationships, rather than on transactions. To promote transparency rather than ambiguity. To encourage 'different from' instead of 'better than.'

I have zero inclination to become an estate agency trainer, but I reserve the right to comment freely on what I consider their very obvious shortcomings.

So, a short, but polite, Messenger notification from the Facebook author to say that he had deleted my comments as he considered them "negative".

Censorship takes many forms. It may, however, lead to lack of information and subsequent development of apathy, ignorance, conformism and general stagnation.  Particularly the latter.

This sorry little tale does, however, re-enforce one belief that is central to my thinking.

Estate agents/realtors should own the media on which their message is shared. 

Facebook exerts editorial control. Authors, too, have the ability to delete anything that is contrary to their limited way of thinking. Any intelligent debate appears off-limits especially if it is deemed "negative".

Slip your jammies on, my friends, and let me read you a bedtime story.  You will learn nothing that hasn't been read a thousand times before.

Everything is the way it is because someone changed the way it was.

The problem that no estate agency trainer can solve is that of how to fix a damaged reputation.

Good agencies that are so mistrusted because, by association, they are joined to the very worst of their profession.

"Be the best" is the ubiquitous call to action.

"Differentiate your agency by becoming known for excellence."

Except that it doesn't work that way.

The goal for any agency should not be perceived excellence., but radical difference.

Standing out from the messy middle that is a commodity.

If agency trainers can't, or more probably don't wish to lead this industry down a different path, then there's little hope of it ever recovering, both in terms of reputation and in profitability. If their crystal clear vision for any estate agency is to substitute, as in this example, features for benefits, it's not advice that will move us forward at any real pace.

I can handle the censorship. There's history with agents throwing their toys out of the pram when I've had the audacity to make serious comment. With estate agency trainers, too.

"Shun the non-believers" is a Seth Godin quote that always brings comfort.

As does one from Ayn Rand, "Throughout the centuries, there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision."

My vision is for an industry where agents are known for Who they are - a persona that attracts rather than a stereotype that interrupts without permission. That requires transparency, vulnerability and the courage to be less than perfect. Something alien to many agents that prefer to hustle, confuse, to swagger and to trainers that inculcate their pupils and enrich themselves with backward -looking ideas.

Where's the original thought? Where's the radical difference that might just change this industry for the better?

Not in those words from one of Australia's leading coaches, that's for sure.

I do love these weekends when I can amuse myself on "the social media merry-go-round that goes faster and faster, yet goes nowhere." Another quote from Seth.

Thanks for reading, as always.

If you'd like to comment, I can promise zero censorship.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



The post Oh Dear, I’ve Been Censored. appeared first on And so the story began.

Original author: chrisadmn
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Friday, 19 April 2024