When I began my real estate selling career, I, like most agents, believed that the best agent was the successful agent that won the listing over the competition.
I remember fondly the feeling of winning a particular listing over three of my fiercest competitors. I was ecstatic to receive the phone call from the vendor to say that I had been their agent of choice. I immediately drove to the vendor's home, got the signature on the authority and had that ‘oh what a feeling’ drive back to the office.
Of course, as my selling career progressed and reached a volume of 120 sales annually, competing for listings dramatically decreased. More often than not, we won listings unopposed.
Sellers we’re selecting to engage with us based on recommendations and referrals, past clients, (sellers & buyers) and the nurturing of relationships over a protracted period of time. We were winning a significant volume of business that the competition didn’t even get the opportunity to pitch for.
It was a light bulb moment.
The best agent is not the agent who has the best listing presentation over another. It’s the agent who doesn’t need to compete.
Besides the ease of winning, the additional benefit is the protection of fees. That is, when you win business unopposed, the ‘will you discount your fee’ conversation rarely comes into play. In essence, clients will happily pay your appropriate fee as they have made a predetermined decision to select you. You are not there to be compared.
As one would expect, there is a strategic approach to ensure that you are not in competition and winning business unopposed. The first of which is mindset.
Mindset is everything. You must believe in your value proposition and the value you bring to the table. When you think you are there to compete, you allow for one of two outcomes. You will either win or lose to a competitor. When taking the approach that ‘you are here to win’ you eliminate all self-doubt and as a result, confidence and actions reflect that ‘winning’ approach.
The next is building and reinforcing existing relationships. Agents must take the approach that they are connected to clients as if they are the clients' accountant, solicitor, or medical doctor. Agents should aspire to become the clients sole real estate professional and trusted advisor.
The final strategy is to ensure you become an attraction agent. An individual that is seen by the market as an active and successful selling agent. One who has a distinct style and or is self-branded. The more differentiation that an agent is able to display, whether it be by brand colors, a creative marketing edge or promotion of being the ‘Director’ of their own business, the more chances of winning without the need to compete.
Taking the approach that you are not here to compete, but rather to win outright should be the level you aspire to reach. It will force you to improve your delivery of service, amplify your ability to maintain long-term relationships and place you in the top five percent of agents in the industry.
Wishing you every success in your real estate career and a special happy Father's Day to those celebrating.
Manos Findikakis is CEO & co-founder of the Eview Group