I believe part of the reason for so many disruptors in our markets is that we aren’t doing enough to promote the value that our services provide. To quote Judy LaDeur, real estate recruiting expert: “In the absence of value, money becomes the substitute.” In other words, if we can’t communicate value, then consumers will simply base their decisions on price.
I applaud the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for this year’s “That’s Who We R” campaign. In their explanation about the campaign, they say, “In this digital age, hyper-connected consumers often think they can do anything and everything with a click of the button, including buying a home. The current real estate landscape gives consumers false hope that the process is as simple as seeing your dream house online, selecting it and moving in. This is an idealized fantasy perpetuated by house hunting shows, easy apps and a DIY mentality.”
They’re right. This misperception is costing agents not only commissions, but also credibility. So, what can we do to change that?
- Make skill-building a priority. If you’re a leader of an organization, bring on the training. For the last few years, most organizations have made technology their training focus. I get it. The world and technology change at intense speeds, and they must keep up. However, just like many of us worry about the social and communication skills of teens buried in their phones, upgrading these skills for agents in the age of disruption is no longer a back-burner concern. Want to increase an agent’s success rate and reputation—and yours? Move communication training to the top of your to-do list in the next six months.
- Service over sales. I know the CFOs will cringe at that, but when we help agents make the shift from a sales mindset, where they’re constantly put into prospecting win/lose scenarios, to a service mindset, which allows them to build long- and short-term relationships and communicate value while making the prospecting process easier and more effective, everyone wins.
- Communication with connectivity. When I teach communication skills to audiences, I share the importance of using stories, metaphors and analogies when they’re phone-to-phone or face-to-face with sellers and buyers. Why? Because no one has to memorize a script or sound like a canned recording. That’s important because the more agents sound rehearsed and focused on a script, the less present they are with people, which decreases their perceived value. Using tools like metaphors and analogies increases relatability and shared experiences, keeping agents focused on the person in front of them. That increases both results and our value as service professionals.
Real estate agents can and do make a difference in the lives and best interests of consumers. As leaders in this industry, it’s our job to help them communicate that difference on the next level, for their sakes, and the sake of their customers.
Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.