Saturday, 3 August 2013

Dialogue - addressing arguably the biggest issue facing estate agents today

This post was prompted by a recent discussion in the Estate Agents UK Networking Group in LinkedIn entitled 'Google "estate agents are"'. So we did...


(If you are upset by this - just google "bankers are")

But there is a serious message here: up until now agents have addressed the 'professionalism' question in many ways:
  • Professional qualifications - RICS/NFoPP etc.
  • Membership of professional bodies - RICS/NAEA/ARLA etc.
  • Membership of marketing bodies - e.g. the Guild of Professional Estate Agents
  • Industry awards
But do your potential clients understand any of the above? The issue facing estate agents is that the average consumer (your potential client) has their opinion formed by a never-ending stream of negative comment, and everyone gets tarred by it. So much so that some agents are even calling for mandatory government regulation.

We don't think this is needed (and if the experience of the financial services industry is anything to go by, it should be avoided at all costs). 

So what is needed?

Let's first remind ourselves of the profession as a whole's perceived failings:
  1. Greedy (just want the commission) - never a mention of the hours spent on fruitless non-completes
  2. Lazy (get paid lots for little work) - little? early mornings? late nights? weekends?
  3. Dirty tricks - valuation, acting for the seller/working for the buyer
  4. The criminal minority - hardly a month goes by without an agent appearing in court - it's never "insurance broker convicted of..." is it?
  5. Misleading marketing claims - the ASA weekly sanctions report almost always include an estate agency
And above all - the business model, which invariably means that you can't win in the eyes of cynical commentators (or clients): If the house sells (or lets) straight away there's resentment at the fees relative to the hours of work you put in, if it takes a long time you overvalued/didn't work hard enough; you all know the story. 

All of which conspires to make people wary that you may be working in your best interests, not theirs.

So: who is best placed to convince clients that your agency is professional?

You are!

How?

By using Dialogue to allow your own clients to tell their (and your) story to the world.

Have a look at this client's website, and then ask yourself what impression it creates in the mind of the potential client.



For an example of a multi-branch agency client click here.

Spend a minute reading the individual reviews; how valuable do you think they are in attracting enquiries and then converting business?



 And now read what David Simpson of Shepherds has to say:




Get HelpHound's Dialogue to enable your clients to help you stand apart from the negative noise.

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