How to get people to like you
And make the most of every opportunity in front of you.
The phones are ringing again.
Last week we talked about how the market is starting to turn. It’s better out there than it was just a couple of months ago, but it’s not yet easy.
A funny thing happens when the market starts to turn, people start to think there’s an opportunity. Whether they’re upgrading, moving towns, downsizing or getting into the market for the first time, if the market is perceived as ‘bad’, these people hold off. They wait and they watch. If the market is “booming”, people are fearful about overpaying as well.
But right now, when the market is buoyant and activity (rather than prices) is starting to return, everyone (even you!) senses opportunity.
So, what happens now?
The phone rings.
Chances are 70% of the valuations or buyers you’ll be registering between now and April will be from people you don’t already know.
It’s these people, right now, that will make or break the next two years of your business.
So how do you win them over?
Before we get into it, there’s a key point we want to make and it’s one that we’ve learnt from talking to thousands of agents throughout the country and, if you keep in the forefront of your mind, will help you stay self-aware enough not to fall into easy bad-habits.
It’s this. Nobody is ever truly excited about calling an estate agent.
You’re always excited to talk to and see them. Them to you? Not so much. This enthusiasm imbalance is what causes so many people to use your competition as it shows a real lack of empathy and understanding.
So, what can you do? Here’s what we’d do.
Ask a question
People are desperate to tell their story. It’s just that most of the time in our industry, it’s the agents who tell theirs and often the clients don’t get a word in.
The circumstances behind a potential house move are often stressful. These people are desperate to get this stress out and they’ll feel relieved once they have.
Most people will vomit their stories if asked the right question.
On the phone, in person, over email when you’re writing it (try it). It doesn’t matter. Smiling when you're communicating is crucial.
Chances are when you meet someone, you wonder if they like you. Think about it. It makes sense because you think to yourself about whether you like them, they’re doing the same to you.
We're willing to bet one of the reasons you're reading this blog is because of the image up top. A genuine smile is the best way to let them know you like them, especially before you open your mouth.
If someone says, “we thought we’d be really happy living here. But now we just want to get out”, mirror them (a tip we’ve learned from Never Split the Difference - Chris Voss).
“You thought you’d be really happy living here?” is the perfect response. Let them open up, remember the earlier point, people will vomit their stories if given the chance.
Every time someone says anything, it’s more than likely 20% of the truth. Dig until you find the rest.
Note that this doesn’t say “wear a suit”.
Think about it this way next time you’re wondering what to wear (or what to buy).
You’re walking down the street and two people ask you for directions.
The first person has dirty jeans, a ripped shirt, oversized shoes and unkempt hair.
The second is wearing a simple white button down shirt, clean trainers and chinos.
You’re probably a kind human being and would stop and give directions to both. But think of it this way, who would you be more comfortable having that conversation with. Who would you take your phone out in front of and double check you weren’t sending them the wrong way?
Remember everyone has it hard
People talk to estate agents when they’re under more stress than usual.
You’re there to make it easy. Think about their situation rather than yours.
Just because you need an instruction before the end of the week to hit target doesn’t mean it’s the right time to get their home on the market.
People want to feel two things when they’re picking their estate agent.
They want to know they’re not crazy, and they want to know they’re not alone.
Relate their stories back to the others you’ve heard along the way and tick both these boxes.
Maybe you’re thinking this is a strange one, but let’s role play it out.
You’re in an instruction presentation, you’ve probably been in hundreds of them, and you’ve got an hour to win these people over. An hour to make or lose potentially thousands of pounds.
It might be the only time you will EVER get to talk to them.
Maybe they’ve talked about what they will and won’t share with the agents they’re seeing. Maybe they’ve seen four already and their answers become almost canned, a bit like a politician at the end of a long campaign.
You have to interrupt.
Make it easy.
Ask them in advance, “I’m sorry but if I get insanely curious about something you say, may I interrupt?”
No one says no.
Bringing it all together…
We wanted to continue the theme of making the most of the next 100 days in your agency.
Imagine it like a ticking clock. No one wants to work when it’s hard. So winning is easy.
Every agent doesn’t have to work hard when it’s easy. So winning is hard.
The key is to offer advice and service now, to the leads that are cold, while everyone else is just going to offer a price and portal listing.
Smile, ask questions, listen, share, relate and interrupt. That’s how to get people to like you instantly.