Understanding the property homeowners’ mindsets
Instructions are worth their weight in gold to agents. You could say they are the Holy Grail, Golden Ticket and winning lottery numbers all rolled into one. Without instructions it is impossible for an estate or lettings agent to prosper. That is why understanding the homeowner is a crucial part of the process of winning instructions.
Estate agent egos don’t cut it anymore
Attaining the instruction is, obviously, the hard part, with many agencies putting a lot of time and resources into direct mail campaigns, social media and adverts to increase their chances of landing vendors and landlords. However, the marketing material often trotted out is rather generic and doesn’t give as much valuable insight as they may think. Homeowners don’t want to hear about how prestigious an agency is, or when their last instruction was. They will be much happier having useful information relating to the local market. After all, that’s where their property is based.
So where is a good place to start? That’s quite simple, really: their home. By talking about their home (that’s not just saying how lovely the interiors are, although it won’t do any harm), agents are showing they know exactly how the vendor or landlords’ property fits into the local market. The best way to do this is to use data and figures relating to the area. For example: what percentage of two-bedroom properties sold that year? Is there the demand for one-bedroom apartments, or do people prefer two bedrooms? This kind of information is what potential clients want to hear.
Agents who know the area like they know the back of their hand and can demonstrate that knowledge will ultimately be the ones who win the instruction.
They look for professionals, not just the easiest option
People want the best person available for a job no matter what profession or walk of life it is in. Residential property owners are no different – they want the best, and the best is likely to be someone able to offer the most insight into the local market. As they say, knowledge is power.
Let’s not forget that fees and value play an important role too. But homeowners don’t just instruct agents offering the lowest fees or highest value. They will go with someone they believe can actually achieve the valuation; someone who proves they live and breathe the local market and therefore knows the real value of the property because of their knowledge of the area.
Homeowners are always looking for the best person or agency to represent their property. Although some of that persuasion is done by the way you have conducted yourself with past vendors, it is also about how you conduct yourself overall.
Homeowners want to see a difference in estate agents
Any agent invited to give a free valuation will want to make the best impression possible. So bringing a marketing pack with the latest figures and statistics relating to the local area will have a far greater chance of winning clients over than a stale sales pitch telling them why the agency is so great, prestigious, caring or any of the other usual spiel. There are so many agents out there all saying the same things while vying for the same business, the ones who can differentiate themselves will have a greater chance of standing out in an oversaturated market.
Refine the experience for the homeowner
Have a think about the homeowner and how the overall experience plays out. Find the pain points that really make the difference and refine the finer details.
For example, if the homeowner works in the daytime, show them you can offer an evening or weekend meeting. This makes them feel special and shows that you are willing to go out of your way for. Other pain points might be:
- They are unable to make calls at work but can text
- They are delaying the instruction decision because they are going away with work
- The homeowner is thinking about decorating before choosing an estate agent
- They wanted to find out about local planning for new homes before choosing an estate agent
- Several properties are on the market with different estate agents in the area
- The homeowner is without a car for a few days and is unable make the meeting until next week when they are meeting the other agents
These problems, and many more like this, can easily be overcome with simple solutions. Log each new issue that arises so you are better equipped to deal with it the next time it crops up. You can even start marketing towards these points within your content marketing strategy.
Ultimately it is the little things that matter; the finer details. Agents need to spend less time talking about themselves and more time proving they have a top quality service and are the authoritative voice in the local market.
Remember, an agent that knows their ‘patch’ won’t have to sell their agency, they will just have to sell or let the home they have been instructed on.