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Hero, Villain and Guide.


"The Home-Seller is the Hero" headlined a Facebook post by the Sage of Grantham, aka my good friend Christopher Watkin.Enter heading here...

The basis of which is that estate agency marketing possibly fails because it makes the agency, and not the homeowner, the Hero of the piece.

"Look what I have sold, look at my market share" is given as an example of bad marketing - and it is. The evidence, though, doesn't support the conclusion.

"It's like you are the hero, yet the best marketing makes your vendor the hero; you instead are their guide." says Christopher.

Of course, as one might imagine, I have a fundamentally different point of view - we all need Super-Heroes, we don't necessarily want to become one.

Advice follows that originates from the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. The Hero's Journey was the standard structure in Hollywood for storytelling. It examines the stages of the Hero who goes on an adventure, faces a crisis and wins, then returns home victorious. It's about challenge, conflict, growth and personal belief.

But, it's an out-dated concept that is now over seventy years old and has been replaced by a more balanced and creative narrative that fits better with contemporary society.

Worse, it has little relevance to estate agency best-practice.

Each section in the article positions the homeowner as the 'Hero' and the agent as the 'Guide'.

Aspirations, Challenges, Vision, Plan, Conflict, Success - standard Marketing Appraisal fare.

It fits in well with previous arguments from Christopher. " People don't care about you, or your agency."

To which I responded, Then Make Them Care!

There's this under-lying tone of agents not being good enough. Not interesting enough. Simply servile, boot-licking operatives with no personality and no desire to inspire. Flattering the potential client into believing themselves to be the Hero is perfidious - especially amongst the more self-serving estate agents. More worrying, agents that have to rely on competence and perceived integrity to convince and convert. Sharing 'information', available anywhere should a homeowner care to look, in the attempt to position the agent as a 'local property expert'.

If that's all they've got, they are in the wrong business. Times change, people change. We no longer need a butler and housemaid.

What's wrong with the agent becoming the Hero?

Nothing, it is the best thing that could happen - for a homeowner to see someone that protects them from the door-knocking, cold-calling, hustling 'villains' that exist in this industry. From the deliberate over-valuation, from the less than inspiring negotiation and from the Never Take No For An Answer brigade.

A Super-Hero that defends the principle of right vs. wrong.

Those agents exist - I know they do.

Most, though, aren't good at standing in the spotlight. Making themselves the 'Hero'.

It's not because they aren't good enough. It's probably because of all the 'training' tbehroughout the past few decades that has been ingrained into them that 'brand' matters most and that for the 'brand' to succeed, it needs to attract the most people, not the right people, as customers. Don't upset anyone.

As much as The Hero's Journey is out-dated, so too is 'brand. People don't trust brands and surveys reveal that 70% of us wouldn't miss any major brand if, tomorrow, it disappeared.

Woolworth, Top Shop, Dixons, Dewhurst, MFI, Comet, Phones4U, BHS, ToysRUs, Staples and Borders - do we miss any of them, now they are gone?

Personal Brand has a bad rap - simply because of a lack of understanding.

It's not high visibility, it's high transparency. Do the visibility bit later, if you're prepared to be transparent.

But if it's simply visibility with little foundation, like all the 'brands', you're simply chasing attention.

Instead of attracting it.

Be the Super-Hero, or be the Guide.

One isn't right and the other wrong. It's simply a preference.

One has the courage to stand out - the other prefers to fit in to the stereotype, to hide away.

But of one thing I'm certain, homeowners aren't looking for a "guide" - even though they are 'lost'.

Courtesy: Jon Tyson on Unsplash

What if the "guide" doesn't know the way, or if there are several that do?

Homeowners are looking for something new - the world is filled with 'experts' who are broke, people with advice and opinions to whom no-one listens.

Homeowners are waiting for you to find your 'voice', to share ideas and to become that Super-Hero.

Not simply another tour-guide.

They are interested in WHO you are, but if you don't tell them, they won't ask and they will simply guess.

"Heroes are made by the path they choose, not the powers they are graced with." - Iron Man. 

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Comments 1

Dee_meekan on Saturday, 15 October 2022 13:01

You had me going for a minute!

You had me going for a minute!:D
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Friday, 19 April 2024