How to deal with underhand competitor agents.

Some letting and estate agents you compete against will act immorally, whist some will take actions that are against the law, all to make a few pound notes. Hell, some of your competition will lie to land a deal. The agent will say whatever they believe their prospective landlord or vendor wants to hear, knowing it is not the genuine or even true. You may be perturbed and thoroughly narked off knowing that they are lying and the worst part … winning.

Some agents will tell their prospective landlords and potential vendors what they want to hear in order to suck up to that prospective landlord and potential vendor. They would rather have their business than tell them what they really need to hear.A few of your competitor estate and letting agents will speak ill of you and your agency to win an instruction. I wouldn’t blame you if you became frustrated and annoyed to learn that ‘those swine’s down the road’ are trying to make themselves look better by calling you all the names under the sun.

Forget you are an agent for second .. in life, none of these strategies are effective long term, so why would they work in lettings and estate agency? In fact, over time these strategies back fire on the ones who use them. An agent may effectively lie to win an instruction or sale, but over time that lie will be exposed, and the agent who lied will no longer be credible. People and agencies that try to win by using strategies that are immoral or illegal get a different kind of press when these ‘dodgy dealings’ are exposed. Ultimately, you Mr or Mrs Estate and Letting Agent are going to judged by who you are, not what your competitor estate and letting agents say about you.

Let’s face it, you can not control the underhand or dodgy tactics that other agents use to pursue and win new instructions or sales. The only thing that you can control is who you are and who you are going to be. If you decide to do the right thing, be someone and something different, to rise above playground tactics, to rise above it all, you will, eventually, be known for being those things, even if it takes a hell of long time for this to be known. … but if you are in this game of lettings and estate agency for the long game .. What’s the issue?

Moral fibre is the long game. Mr/s Letting and Estate Agent, who you are going to be has nothing to do with the choices that other nasty agents make about who they are going to be. Your moral fibre is your business – and no one else’s.

If you are going to be an estate or letting agent for the next 20, 30 even 40 years, then you are in this game for a long time. A bad reputation sticks yet but a good one will eventually take you far. What do you want other people to think of you in future, see almost as your living legacy, because no matter hard nosed or indifferent you are, everyone craves the esteem of their colleagues, friends and peers. The point is, the difference that you are going to make is solely up to you Mr or Mrs Estate and Letting Agent, and it has nothing at all to do with the fact that other agents aren’t considering their legacy. Your legacy is your business.

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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