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Adding Value? Not This Way!

Adding Value? Not This Way!

A video on LinkedIn from ex-estate agency trainer, John Murray on how agents might add value to their services . With a view to increasing their fee.

Everything that's wrong with the training offered to this industry, neatly encapsulated in this short video.  Demonstrating that thinking hasn't moved on from decades ago and that fee is still a sensitive subject for many estate agents.

Of course fee is an issue - if you allow it to be. But, rationalising with people only weakens your argument. 

"Adding value" is from the prehistoric sales playbook.

If you want to argue your point, it can be done with logic, as in this case. With emotion, or with character.

But people don't decide logically. They first decide emotionally and then justify that decision.

Making a vendor feel something is far more productive than blinding them with theoretical questions:

"If fees represent marketing budget, would it be reasonable to suggest that the more you spend on marketing, the more you spend on training for staff, the more you pay your staff, that those agents will get a better sales price than the bargain-basement, low-fee agents?"

Short answer, not so sweet - No, it would not be reasonable, or logical to suggest that.

How much an agency spends on marketing, how much it spends on training staff and how much it pays those staff is of no concern, whatsoever, to a vendor. Especially if the training is as out-dated as this example.  If the agency really is under the impression that "better marketing attracts a wider audience."

Let me spell it out - better marketing attracts the right audience.

The author explains to fellow agents that the "best price is not the best price."

That low fee agents can achieve a certain figure. That average fee agents, another higher figure. And that the higher fee agents can achieve the highest figure.

Absolute garbage. To conflate the ability of a sales person to achieve the highest price with their ability to command a higher fee is nonsense. What matters is their ability to persuade, regardless of the fee.

" When I take your house on the market, I can drive the price up so that the 'emotional buyer' will pay more - they are able to pay more. We create lots of viewings, lots of offers, that drive up the price."

If that's the case, why do the majority of homes that are sold, not achieve the asking price?

Why are these super-agents, that can "drive up the price", not financially involved in the process?

If I achieve the asking price, my fee is £10,500 (1.5% of the asking price)  If I achieve more,  I achieve a proportionately higher fee. If I achieve less, my argument fails and a vendor pays nothing, or at least a substantially reduced fee. They have staked their reputation on achieving a higher price.

Words are cheap. Put your money where your mouth is. Simply promising a vendor that your agency will achieve  the 'best price' because of how they do what they do is manipulation.  The vendor doesn't know what you know.

Once the instruction is secured, it matters not, to this type of agent, what price is achieved as long as the property sells.  They have their cake and now they are eating it.

Adding value?

Said differently in the USA, "stacking the kool."

"Not only will you be getting this, but I'm also adding this and this and this."

The stereotypical estate agent in a cheap suit, with over-whitened teeth and a BMW that calculates relationships as R.O.I.

All brought about by those two intimidating words - competition and comparison.

That's the genesis of all estate agency training since time began.

Compete, Win, Crush, Better, Stronger, Smarter.

They know no other way.

Agents, at least those with a modicum of integrity, have value enough in just being themselves.

Let that show. In the writing, videos and communication.  Be different - that delivers value enough.

Which brings me to another 'discussion' I had with John Murray on a Christopher Watkin LinkedIn post a while back.

"Christopher Watkin, it is rubbish. Complete and utter rubbish. It is about time yourself and Chris Arnold were called out for writing rubbish on a business website where people  depend on their results for their livelihood. Utter drivel....

What people who are s.m.e's on here want is not to be sold but to have proven solutions presented to them with factual evidence and results and how spending £x will give on average £y. Otherwise, people will pay for unproven content that leaks their money away."

I had been encouraged to respond "with love", so here goes.

This risk-averse strategy is for agents whose reference point is what someone else is doing. Starting with the past simply means that you are burdened with legacy thinking and confirmation bias. Not for them creating the future they want to design. They think they can out-compete others. Their reference point is other agencies. Other agents. Someone else's ideas. Someone else's point of view. Cranking out work by the hour.  10 X 'ing their productivity.

The scarce resource that is a committed vendor doesn't want agents competing over their instruction. They don't want to hear about incremental improvements. They want an agency they can trust. No amount of words, no "adding of value" will engender that trust.

That trust comes from the other two arguments - emotion and character.

Of that, most estate agency trainers have little concept.  You can't compete on emotion, or on character.

You can only choose.

I have been accused of ungraciously referring to agency trainers as "dinosaurs."

For the simple reason that if they keep peddling this competition nonsense, they and their clients will simply disappear.

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

Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk.

"Proven solutions, factual evidence, spending £x will achieve £Y" didn't matter to them.

It's no good trying to fix what is broken within estate agency with incremental improvements. It requires a radically different proposition. Something that trainers have been unable, or unwilling, to provide.

That's as much "love" as I can muster for one day.

Thanks, as always for reading.

If you have an opinion, of course I'd love to hear it.

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The post Adding Value? Not This Way! appeared first on And so the story began.

Original author: chrisadmn
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Monday, 27 May 2024