One of the reasons people wish to sell a house through an estate agent is because they have the knowledge. We know about their product, the market and in their eyes we are the experts. It’s just like if you were buying an expensive car, you wouldn’t just buy from anyone, you would want to trust the person selling it to you. This trust is built through knowledge.
But as estate agents we can often be reluctant to share our knowledge. We sometimes fail to make the efforts needed to ensure our knowledge is up to date. Firstly lets look at an appraisal. This is your first meeting with a potential vendor, this is a great opportunity for you to share your expertise and knowledge, but are you prepared?
Vendors are more property savvy now than they have ever been, yes there are the numerous number of TV programmes, but both Rightmove and Zoopla have tools to help the public get a better understanding of the market and where their home stands within it. Your knowledge is more in-depth you work in the market everyday, but to gain their trust you need to prove it. There’s no point telling the vendor your reasoning for a marketing price, as we know trust is something you have to earn. What documentation do you take with to back up your knowledge on an appraisal? You need to show them documentation of similar houses sold, stats and charts etc. Don’t baffle them with jargon, but accurately and professionally tell them the truth.
A friend of mine once told me that when he decided to put his house on the market he asked a number of agents round for a valuation. After showing them the property he waited for their expert opinion instead 3 of the agents, asked him ‘What do you want for it?’ Those six words turned this potential client off the agents in an instance. Why would he list a property with someone who couldn’t demonstrate or voice their opinion. Yes we all know some Sellers have a rose blinkered version of their property, but if you have the evidence and are able to present it in a way that doesn’t offend, you will win over the vendor.
When undertaking a viewing, have you taken the time to get to know the property? When you are conducting the market appraisal, you need to spend time with the vendor to agree a viewing plan including the questions that you would want to be asked if you were a buyer. Taking the time to agree this plan together will make the vendor feel more involved and in turn establish a base for trust. If you show a house you have no knowledge of can not only hinder the possibility of the sale but you could also damage your reputation. Yes discovering the ins and outs of the property you are showing takes time, but its time well spent. The fact is by engaging the potential vendor; being able to counteract their negatives with positives this takes knowledge and skill. Remember a potential buyer maybe also a potential vendor.
Our knowledge is one of our most powerful tools as estate agents and it is sadly often one of the most underused. Lets take industry knowledge for example. I have previously written about my experiences when visiting agents and my surprise at their teams’ lack of industry knowledge. You may keep up to date with what is happening outside your branch or town, but do your team?
There have been some big changes over the last few months such as On the Market, budget announcements and who knows what the election will bring. As well as team meetings, make copies of industry publications freely accessible in the office. Also make sure your team subscribe to Property Industry Eye, Estate Agent Today, Letting Agent Today, and Mortgage Introducer, Google alerts for your area, Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market alerts and Estate Agent UK Networking. Share any news articles and fascinating blog posts with all your team members. You’re increasing your knowledge you need to give this opportunity to your teams also.
Knowledge can be powerful, if you share it, you will quickly see the benefits to your business.