PERTH: Agencies that lack an emotional appeal for consumers and staff – referred to as the “intangibles” – will never be more than just atypical and average, a prominent West Australian principal has said.
“The real ability to differentiate yourself in the marketplace is now in the intangibles, and that is the hardest thing to address, but it is the place that's the most powerful," John Percudani, director at WA-based group Realmark, told a group of principals in Perth earlier this week.
Speaking at an event organised by Macquarie Bank, rent.com.au and Realestimations, Mr Percudani said his own firm went from being an ‘atypical’ company turning over $1.5 million each year to doing the same sales figure each month based largely on building the intangibles in his business, things that helped his company - which he jointly runs with his wife, Anita - stand out from the real estate agency crowd.
“What is the emotional product, the emotional promise, that we are delivering? What is it that Realmark is trying to sell to its clients?,” were the questions he asked of his company five years ago. Marketing your company as the most professional isn't enough, he said - that's just expected by today's consumers.
In Realmark’s case, the primary emotions they decided they were selling were “trust and hope”, Mr Percudani said.
“If we can go to a client and we can communicate to a client that, with us, they've got a better hope of getting a better result than [his competition], then we really get a connection with the client.
“If we can now add to that a real trust factor - that they can trust us that we will not undersell their property, that we will deliver on what we say, that we will be with them through the process - the combination of these two emotions - trust and hope - is a very beautiful product sell to a client.
“We don't sell real estate, we don't sell 'selling', we don't sell management. We at Realmark sell trust and hope.”
In addition to this, he said, companies need the right attitude and culture.
He said attitude must start at the top, although agencies should avoid a ‘command and control’ model of management. Humility and appreciation are absolutely paramount, he added.
“At the end of the day, we do not make Realmark about us [the owners John and Anita Percudani]. Realmark is about them [the staff].”
“It's the cultural side that's really the powerful stuff.”
Additionally, leaders must be fearless.
“As leaders, our belief is we have to create discomfort in our business,” he said. “People don't like change, real estate agents don't like change...but we know we have to take people out of their comfort zone, and we have to drive them with fearless determination until it reaches the tipping point, has traction, then has a life of its own.
“That’s our job. The reality is, when we get that traction, they never go back to the things they said they didn't want to change because it is better for them.”