its-broke-lets-fix-it

How the reputation of the estate agency industry is broken and needs fixing, from the inside out.

I was recently hosting a mastermind event for my yearly coaching clients. We were talking about the perception of the industry by consumers. I asked them to come up with a list of all the negative words consumers might use to describe estate agents, and here’s what they came up with:

Dishonest

Disingenuous

Lazy

Two-faced

Self-serving

Sneaky

Untrustworthy

Misleading

Greedy

Arrogant

Egotistical

You get the idea….

But when I challenged them on whether they accepted any of these descriptors as fact, they were all quite adamant in their response: NO.

I agreed with them, certainly not any of my clients display these undesirable characteristics; the opposite, in fact. I would say the antonym of each of these attributes was much closer to the truth, not just for my current clients, but for almost every agent I’ve ever met. Especially company owners. I would describe them as:

Honest

Genuine

Hard-working (extremely)

Straight-talking

Caring

Open

Trustworthy

Frank

Sincere

Generous

Modest

Unselfish

Of course, not all estate agents have these positive attributes. There are some who do, in fact, let the industry down; who are unscrupulous and devious, and who only have their own nefarious ends in mind in all their dealings.

At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

Because I’ve never met one.

I often find myself defending agents; in conversations, on social media, to journalists. I tell them that estate agents are hard-working, likeable folk who are just trying to help people and make a living at the same time. Because it’s true. The agents I know are genuinely warm, kind people and I’m lucky enough to call many of you my friends. Isn’t it about time you started believing that of yourselves?

So where does this negative perception originate from?

After many years of working with estate agents just like you, I’ve realised that the strongest held beliefs that the industry is not a good and kind place, comes from….. the industry itself. Take another look at the first list: can you think of a local agent who matches any of those descriptions? I suspect you can.

But clearly you don’t see yourself in those negative terms, and chances are, your competitor doesn’t, either.

You can’t both be right.

I have a little challenge for you: make a list of all the positive things about your local competitor, or competitors. What do they do well? What could you learn from them? Where are they strong, and you weak?

It’s not an easy task, looking for the positive in a competitor, particularly an aggressive one. But it’s sometimes surprising what you can learn from them.

And while you’re making lists, create another one for yourself. What are your strengths, your positive attributes, your skills and talents? Why do your clients choose you over another agent? Try to answer without ego, just compassion and truthfulness.

Then give yourself a big pat on the back for being a really great agent and a very nice person too.

Because you are.

its-broke-lets-fix-it

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