The blueprint for successful instruction appointments
We talk a lot about what makes an amazing estate agent.
It’s a hard thing to be. But if you’re there, you know that’s what makes it all so worth it.
Being a top agent is an ongoing process and one which requires continuous work — even when you already are a household name in your target market!
The last few weeks we’ve spoken about the qualities that define a great agent, and how living at the edge of uncertainty is something you need to be really comfortable with to succeed in our industry.
This week we want to get really practical and talk winning instructions.
“You have to list to live” is what I was told on my first day on the job and it’s something that rings true to me now still.
If you’re not bringing stock on, you’ve got no stock to sell or let. If you’re not winning instructions on a regular basis, the rest of your life is going to get very difficult.
We just put a poll up on our Homesearch Community (join us, if you’d like) about what the agents we know get the most enjoyment out of, either winning an instruction or selling/letting the property. At the time of writing, it’s close between the two.
For me, winning instructions was what got me out of bed every day. I loved selling them too, believe me. But there’s a thrill in being able to communicate why you are the best person to represent a potential client in an over-crowded, hyper competitive market.
Your instruction appointments are not the place to walk in, pat the dog, comment on the family photos, slap your binder of sales on the kitchen table, and tell your clients how good you are because you’re number one on Rightmove.
It is the time to ask lots of questions, to have the courage to be honest from the outset, and to sincerely listen to the needs of the people you’re sitting in front of.
Regardless of if it’s a soft market, or if it’s booming, your clients want to deal with someone who’s experienced and well versed in the business, not someone who’s arrogant and a know-it-all.
So many of your competition are taking their market position for granted because at one stage in their careers they’ve tasted success. Don’t do that. Always remind yourself that complacency can be the biggest enemy of any estate agent.
Show them you’re grounded and a team player (especially if you’re a business owner). You’re going to need to team up with these people to sell their own home, so highlight how your team, which they’ll be joining, is critical to your success
When a market softens, every single potential client you meet is going to expect more from whoever they choose as their agent. It’s now not just about promising to achieve the highest price, but what you’re going to individually devote to them in terms of marketing, process, time (review meetings, daily communication, written reports), how you’ll work with buyers and take real, beneficial feedback (not just “It wasn’t for them”). These factors are not being addressed by the majority of agents in this market, and they are missing opportunity after opportunity because of it.
Nothing about the current market is new. There should be nothing that you see as a massive concern. Buyers aren’t offereing as rigorously as they have over the past few years and sellers need more education now than perhaps in the last 8-9 years, but there is still such an amount of saleable stock out there for the agents who are doing the right thing
Three tips and a few questions to finish this off...
Don’t just build rapport around the weather or the dog.
Get to know these people for as long as they’re prepared to talk about things other than estate agency. Let them be comfortable with you before you move into the business talk. The more they like you, the more they’ll lean in and listen to you.
Don’t talk too much.
Especially at the start. Ask more questions than you answer in the first 20 minutes than your competition will in their whole appointment. Download our service survey to help guide this conversation. You want your clients talking as much as possible. It’s amazing how much people will tell you about what they want and need if you let them.
When you do talk, context is key.
Articulate WHY you’re giving the advice you’re giving. And WHY you’re asking the questions you’re asking and WHY you’re the best agent to represent these people in selling their family home. You’re a specialist. ANYONE can sell a property, just take 20% off the asking price and watch it sell. Your job as their estate agent is about house price maximisation. And you have a proven strategy to do just that.
Talking of the family homes, when you’re closing an appointment, use the words that matter to your clients most. Try closing with something like... “After everything we’ve spoken about today, would you trust us to sell your family home?” A question like that goes a lot further than... “Have I done enough to earn your business?”
Finish kind, not strong.
First impressions matter but the last impression is the lasting impression.
Always leave the appointment on a positive note. If they’re not ready to commit right then, don’t push. Respect the gravity of the decision at hand, but be professional enough to educate these people that you’ll be following up the next day. Show them how much you want to work with them without being pushy.
When you win any instruction, ask why you got the opportunity over your competitors and similarly when you lose, ask why you lost the opportunity. These are potentially the two most critical conversations you can have in business.
Instructions in a soft market mean everything. You have to list to live!
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be doing some more work around presentations, follow up and strategies to make sure you’re winning as much business as you can take on - keep an eye out!