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Avoid “The Better Than” Trap.

Avoid The "Better Than" Trap.

Realtors/Estate Agencies routinely fall into this trap.

In fact, they are encouraged from all sides to jump right in - the water's warm.

By goo-roos that offer to turn your passion for real estate into an award-winning successful business. By bosses that offer incentives for achieving incremental improvement.

There's a whole category built on "Best Agency" philosophy.  Dishing out perspex "awards" to any agency that stumps up the requisite cash for a seat at the table.

Just one problem.

Not only the agency, but the coaches and bosses are soon out of their depth.

Out of their depth because "better than" forces a comparison with other agencies.  Out of their depth because competition doesn't always improve standards - it often results in a race to the bottom in terms of service and fee level.

A "competitive advantage" is the gist of what is on offer.  To anyone and everyone. Just think about that for a second.

"Competition is for losers."   - Peter Thiel.

"Better than" simply anchors what you're doing to what others are doing - other agency's ideas, other agency's best-practice.  Best practice that is turned into commodity work, if adopted by all.  There is no advantage in being competitive. Much less so when the reality is that every vendor/landlord thinks you're the same.

How then to avoid "The Better Than" trap?


That's the mutually exclusive choice facing agencies. Better than, or different. One or the other, but not both.

Different doesn't invite a comparison. It forces a choice from the vendor.

Do I prefer a Chinese meal tonight, or an Indian meal? One isn't better than the other. They're different and so should be your estate agency business.

How different?

This different -













Different pricing structures, different colors for the For Sale Boards, different technology, different C.R.M systems, different service levels and different lead gen. techniques are all easily replicated.

Different, but not different enough.

You're not perceived as the only one who does what you do.

Radically different is necessary - so that your agency stands out. rather than fitting in to the common.

Just to remind you - "better than" doesn't make you stand out.

Is Knight Frank better than Savills?  Is Corcoran better than Douglas Elliman ?

Even though all four agencies are at the top of their game, there's no immediate differentiation.

They all lead with competence, instead of character.

There's a spot on their respective websites for information about their agents.  I'm a huge fan of their agent community videos, but they don't take centre stage.  As a result, they are different, but still not different enough.  Vendors will compare Corcoran to Douglas Elliman. Rather than choosing, for example, Holly Parker because they like what they read about her and find affinity. Done well, no other agency is invited.

Of course, it takes courage to put faith in those that work in the business.

Far, far easier instead, to have faith in what it does.

But people are first interested in people.

It's how intuitively we make sense of the world.

A world where the assets that matter are Trust, Permission, Remarkability and Humanity.

Those assets involve people. Not services.

And it matters little whether those people are "better than". We are interested in whether we find affinity.

The "best realtor, by far" is simply someone else's opinion.

But someone that I can trust - implicitly.  That's the realtor that picks apart the "best realtor".

Connection between people is always the result of emotional labor, never physical labor.

That's where your difference is to be found.

Not in what you do, or how well you do it, but in Who you are.

"If you're in sales, you're always competing."  - Tom Ferry.

Jump right in, the water's still warm.

It's vital that Tom and other goo-roos like him would have you subscribe to their belief in competition. It's how they make their living.

Promising everyone that they can be "better than."

Offering a competitive advantage with dubious incremental improvements.

Offering to fix the very thing that they, themselves, broke in the first place.

The truth is that estate agents aren't broken.  They don't need fixing.

They just need to be themselves.

The agents that enjoy aggressive, pushy behavior will  find affinity and an audience with like-minded vendors.

Yes, they do exist.

The problem starts when those same agents try to be everything to everybody and both sides get caught in the trap.

The trap of being "better than."  Of overcoming objections. Of hustling their worth. Of being a pest. Of simply being a "better than" realtor.

"Don't take it personally when the vendor rejects your pitch" is a common phrase from the goo-roos.

You should, though, take it personally. Let's be clear. The vendors didn't reject you because the information/data you supplied was at fault. Or, because you didn't overcome their objections. Or because the fee was too high. Or because you weren't good enough.

Let's not hesitate - they didn't like you enough.

Instead of trying to overcome their objections, as many stone-age goo-roos will have you do, how about you go away and find a different audience.

As the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Try different.

It might just save your business.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

My advice is always free. Happy to help your agency move from "better than" to different from.

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The post Avoid “The Better Than” Trap. appeared first on And so the story began.

Original author: chrisadmn
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