There has been a lot of conjecture recently from more experienced segments of the industry that have been rather hasty in their judgement of the predicted challenges for newer salespeople who are yet to face an indifferent market.
Admittedly there are plenty of adjustments lots of agents need to make, but let’s actually break this down with a degree of sensibility and challenge a couple of common themes.
Experienced agents, are you sure you’ve seen this market before?!?
Not only has COVID shaken the industry, but there’s also an unprecedented number of market stimulation measures that the government has taken, as well as a set of natural disasters; a general election, rising interest rates, an impending immigration boom, floods and a war — it doesn’t exactly fit the mould of previous years.
Vendors are acutely aware of what’s going on because of the sheer volume of media attention, and there are just as many buyers who are desperately keen to make a move due to their lives being inexplicably put on hold.
Does experience count? Of course, it does, but to suggest that only more “experienced” agents will succeed in this new landscape is a fast way to fail. And remember, good markets breed flabby agents, so make sure you get back on the treadmill.
Fresh agents – stay humble, stay hungry, and learn to stay level
The trap to fall into if you’re not careful is assuming that because you’ve “sold every listing you’ve had” over the last few months, you start to believe you’re infallible. So here are a few tips and truths that will help you stay grounded, keep growing, and maintain that momentum.
1) A commission pays for your holiday, but your reputation pays for your life!
If you have started to hit a rough patch, the temptation to take “any” chance to make a commission increases exponentially. When you’re making decisions around taking opportunities, check in with your internal compass and your external business plan to make sure you’re still going in the right direction.
2) The only daft question is the one you DON’T ask
Chances are that you’ve only needed “Plan A” to get your properties under offer; however, now is the time to become familiar with the full range of options and tools at your disposal. Even if you don’t use all of them, the level of confidence in your advice will increase exponentially because you will be able to explain the pros and cons more pragmatically and not feel hamstrung by your own lack of knowledge around a process or marketing strategy.
Ask questions from industry leaders, hit up social media groups and tackle any inhibitions by finding out the solutions from those who have found success. The faster you tackle the holes in your knowledge, the faster you’ll grow in confidence.
3) Schedule times towards the START of the day for your “rip the Band-Aid” conversations
The longer you wait to have the big chats with clients, the more painful and distracting they become. So, if you have tricky chats, get them sorted early in the day so that you’re not building anxiety by putting them off. But also realise...
4) Your emotions have NOTHING to do with it!
Agents get “worried” or “embarrassed” about delivering what they label as bad news to sellers, and you may also feel some anxiety if the initial price that you’re after isn’t coming to fruition. Remember this — there is an absolute need to show a level of collaborative empathy with your vendors but understand that they are hiring you for your professionalism.
I.e. the information that you’re delivering is just that for you — it’s information that impacts the client’s life, not yours, and they are paying you to provide the best solution out of their high-stress situation, so stop taking the market’s feedback personally because ultimately, it’s not your life being affected.
5) Create short-term targets to achieve long-term goals
If you have a challenging month, your goals will feel MILES away if you can’t see any tangible progress. This is where knowing your numbers is important, because if you can break down your goals into the number of actions that you need to take to get there, then you can focus on taking smaller, easier steps to achieve whatever you deem as success.
6) If you don’t win, you LEARN
Don’t go blaming commission, or price, or advertising fees if you don’t win a listing; they are cop-outs. Look at it objectively from the client’s point of view. If they can’t see any extra discernible value between you at 2.5 per cent and Joe competitor at 1.5 per cent, then why would they go with you?
If you don’t achieve your desired result, be it a listing presentation or a negotiation, get into a habit of reviewing what you could have done differently to improve the probability of getting a better outcome.
And finally, there are almost 8 billion people on the planet, and we’ve not got a textbook for each one, so don’t worry, we’re all a work in progress when we’re working in a human-focused industry!
Andy Reid is an auctioneer, mental health advocate, mentor and speaker, as well as the founder and director of Sold By Group.