Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Parrots, dogs, monkeys and sheep... could these all be part of the real estate circus???

With market challenges decimating the real estate industry, selecting the right agent to sell your property takes on a whole new meaning. There have been droves of agents recently finding the real estate industry just too tough…and getting out. On 7th March, 2012 in "InDaily", REISA President quoted "just in agencies alone, we have lost around 20 per cent of the 2000 licenced agents, let alone support staff."

I think part of the problem is the consumer not accepting a new breed of robotic agents who seem focused on scripts and dialogues rather than on knowledge and experiential practices. I feel so strongly that industry training would be better focused on active listening, negotiation skills, marketing skills and strategies and genuine interest in delivering high levels of customer service connecting the right people with the right houses "for them"! There has been a new wave of training material that has sprung up to cash in on the pain and suffering of the floundering sales industry with quick fix answers to the new and difficult market conditions. Have you ever pulled up alongside a well dressed, suited person at the traffic lights and seen them talking to 
themselves, yet they're not on the phone? 

They are most likely to be in real estate sales, listening to CD's or iPods and rehearsing over and over like a parrot - reciting the latest scripts and dialogues from the week's latest real estate training guru. These current training trends are creating an industry of parrots, dogs, monkeys and sheep:  parrots - have no idea what they are talking about... "if the vendor says this, you say that…" ; dogs - people trained to do real estate tricks without question; monkeys - they look like they know what they are doing, but some clients get caught engaging monkeys because they are only prepared to pay peanuts, and finally the sheep - the followers, because every one else is doing it, it must be right. Good people, yet poorly trained, are now exiting the profession in droves because they are financially no longer able to survive it, offering so little value to clients that they have been working for peanuts. Well I feel strongly that our profession needs a wake up call. 

Let me explain. 

To excel in this industry, I believe we need to be the most informed about the market and the law for our clients. We need to have the best market intelligence, know who the buyers and sellers are, where they are looking and what they want in order to make their purchase decision. 

Rather than parrot training, I believe property sales people need knowledge training, life skills training, communication and engagement training, and negotiation skills. As a profession, our focus needs to be on smart and passionate individuals who genuinely want to help people through one of the largest decisions of their entire life.

Real estate is a tough and demanding business that few people have the combined knowledge, talent and commitment for. Skill, knowledge, compassion, life experience and passion are all essential ingredients. 

If I continue with the animal analogy, a quality agent would include the innovation, compassion and intelligence of a dolphin; the pride, style and independence of a horse; the memory and sustainability of an elephant, and the speed and finely tuned senses of a tiger. 

So, when interacting with your next real estate agent, paint a mental picture of who you are really dealing with. This may help you to make an improved and informed decision as to who is best to represent your interests. 

Who do you want to deal with in the future? A parrot, dog, monkey or sheep...or a dolphin, horse, elephant and tiger? Mmmm. 

I passionately believe now is the time to reinvent ourselves. This is the time for innovation and to rethink what we want to be in 2020, when the world of real estate will be so very different.

Anthony Toop

Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop or call 0418 824 188

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