Why Don’t Home-Owners Swap Estate Agents?

Getting a vendor/ house-seller who is currently on the market with your competitors, to switch to your estate agency is hard work

I have always wondered why people don’t swap agents as readily as you would think they should…

..and when they do swap agents .. they don’t tend to swap to the other estate agents they originally asked out

So, I went away and I had a think about it.

I wanted to find out why this happened. Watch this 1 min video .. then read on below ..

… and I might have the answer?

You see, in life (and in estate/lettings agency).. everyone hates to admit they were wrong.

Nobody wants to be a seen a prat .. its awkward .. its embarrassing

The vendor/ house-seller is not keen to say, let alone admit, “I put my heart and soul with this first agent, but I now understood that there’s a better choice, I was wrong

Changing agent means they are admitting to themselves that their original choice of agent was wrong .. and then they feel stupid … so if you think they are going to admit that to you .. the agent they originally turned down to choose your crappy competitior .. you have another thing coming.

… and then something even weirder happens.

Have you noticed the longer a property stays with an agency (out of its initial sole agency period) .. the less likely they will indeed swap agents?  Talk about weird?

Well that comes down to the fact that many of the male of species are intransigent and pig headed

You see, I have researched this, and the longer someone stays on a particular path, even though they know that path is wrong … the more intransigent and pig headed they become to being open to new ideas or (or paths?) ie swap agents to you

These men (although I have seen it very rarely in females),  who have been on the market for months and months and months start to engage in a game of cerebral conflict with their original agent

(cerebral conflict- the vendor begins to hate their original estate agent after many months of being on the market-  blaming the agent for everything .. but the more they hate and blame the agent– and the longer they stay on the market with that very same agent –WHY?  because of all emotion they have invested into that relationship ie worry, hate, hassle, angst etc .. so they believe (although quite stupidly), they believe will be seen as a prat if they move agent) .. its like a black hole sucking them in and their ever inward looking thoughts are not letting them open their eyes .. because they will feel embarrassed and stupid

This is especially true if the matter was measurable (ie you suggested an asking price of £500k and they went on at £550k but it didn’t sell …. They will feel stupid coming back to you … .. because they will be admitting that you were right and they were wrong  .. and that is very hard for a human .. and they certainly aren’t going to give you the satisfaction of admitting that to you.

How do we deal with this then as estate agents?

How do we get the property on the second time round, so the house seller / vendor feels its OK to come back to you?

Well, it all depends if you went to the property in the first place (when you lost it the originally).

Lost it first time round

When you do loose the property, I would initially (when you know you have lost it) ring up the house seller  / vendor and  congratulate them on the choice of agent (even if you hate the guts of that agent to lost the new instruction to) … tell them they are a brilliant agent and they should be able to sell their property really well… and here is the bit that stick in your throat .. you have to mean it …because humans can tell when they are being bull$hitted to.

Then, because most people are moving, so why not personally drop brochures of properties they are looking for.. irrespective of which agent is selling it every couple of weeks. (if you did your own properties – they would feel like you were trying to sell them something)

When dropping the brochure .. don’t use Royal mail, knock on the door and use Phrases like,

“I was in the area and remember you lived here”

“I thought I would save myself a postage stamp as I was round the corner”

“Its was on my way home, so I thought I would drop them by”

Never mention their house, or their agent .. never .. because you are helping them with their move (and so not selling anything)

98% of listers/valuers reading this won’t do this .. that’s up to you.

I would ask how much you want to succeed?

How much you want it?

But the handful of valuers /listers that will, will reap the rewards .. not now, but in 3 months, 4 months, 5 months time .. it all depends how much patience you have

For those properties you didn’t go to initially…

Your leaflets of, “our agency is really really good because we do this , this and this” is simply nowhere near good enough.

Your pitch of, “you need our agency” makes no sense, because the house seller / vendor already has an agent. .. so giving them a list of bullet points on what makes your agency so wonderful wont cut the mustard

Instead, you must spend the time, the effort and the money to teach them new information that allows them to make a new decision.

Not that they were wrong choosing their current agent, quite the opposite… more that the house-seller / vendor was under-informed.

Maybe try the frozen pea method to get new instructions … yes – its called the frozen pea method … 10 min training video here

You see in life, as humans, we invent a status quo in our minds every time we resolve on something, because we would rather tell ourselves that we made a good decision than live with the feeling that we didn’t.

Start to think like a human

Kind regards

Christopher Watkin

Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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