Estate Agents sell homes, or do they? It may sound like a trick question but it is a valid one.
The industry is peppered with estate agencies claims of selling homes and it is understandable why most agents believe that they do in fact literally sell homes. However, this belief is misguided. Let me explain why:
A vendor is the seller, they may not necessarily be the owner but an agent is definitely not the ‘vendor’. An agent acts on behalf of the vendor to market a property and facilitate its eventual sale (agents may also act on behalf of a purchaser to purchase a property, but they are not the purchaser!) The distinction may seem like splitting hairs but it is an important one and it can have a profound effect.
Think for a moment of your own thoughts and reaction when you hear that a salesperson wants to speak to you on the telephone or wants to arrange an appointment to visit – are your thoughts positive and excited, warm and welcoming? Or are they more along the lines of nervous, uneasy, possibly scared with a sense of dread? Do you think they are going to help you or be helping themselves?
Now, imagine your own thoughts and reaction when you hear the phrase ‘advisor’ – do thoughts of being ‘helped’ spring to mind, are your thoughts less fearful and more open? I am guessing that they are, so wouldn’t they be the same for your prospective clients too? – after all, you don’t suggest your client see the ‘mortgage salesperson’ do you?
Whether a buyer or a seller they will form a psychological link between selling and salesperson, placing you, the agent in the’ scary role’ regardless of what job title is printed on your business card!
How can you as an agent make sure you are seen as a trusted advisor rather than salesperson?
Firstly, stop thinking and acting in terms of You selling their home and instead, think and act towards you helping them sell their home. You are the prime facilitator of selling their home; that is your role; thinking in those terms will shape and soften your words and speech reflecting a new emphasis. The more you position yourself to ‘help’ the more helpful you are perceived to be, the greater the level of trust is felt by your client and eventually you are seen as a ‘trusted’ advisor.
Secondly, check your company sales literature and website copy and change phrases such as ‘we will sell your home’ to ‘we will help you sell your home’. The difference may be subtle but the effects may be profound, how you see yourself changes how others see You.
How do you want to see yourself? Sales Person or Trusted Advisor, the choice is yours – who clients prefer is clear!