I want to use your agency, but I want you to lower your fee.

…. because the other agency will do it for 0.5% (sales fee) or 5% (managed fee). What do you do at this point Mr Estate Agent or Mrs Letting Agent? I am sorry to say it, but obviously you haven’t proved why you are worth it on your free val / appraisal .. truth hurts but you know it is the case.

Let us all be honest, it is easier to lower your fee than it is to make the alterations and modifications in your free val / market appraisal pitch than improve your performance. If you don’t prove you are worth it prospective vendors and landlords can only judge you on your fee.

But before I start banging on about improving your fee, lets turn the tables Mr/s Letting / Estate Agent .. in most aspects of your life, it is always easier to find a seller of a product or service based on price alone. You don’t have to think because by finding the cheapest, it’s a tick box ‘no brainer’ exercise, just like you go to the cheapest on Amazon or ebay or a hotel booking site .. and why, because they are commodities?

Are you selling a commodity Mr/s letting / estate agent? No of course not you will reply, but when the property industry is continually promising to deliver better, faster and cheaper – you could fool me that we are selling a commodity.

Real change requires that you first believe that a lower fee doesn’t deliver better results and the real issue is something else. From the landlord’s or potential vendors point of view, finding a lower fee is easier than investing time and effort in muddled and complicated conversations in their head to prove its worth paying the extra. It’s easier for a landlord or potential vendor to not to have to justify the greater expense with your higher fee. It gets even harder when you only speak to one part of a couple having to make a decision about which agent to go with. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a wife, trying to explain to her husband why you are charging 2% selling fee / 12% management when everyone else is charging half that. The wife (in this scenario) is taking the risk by recommending they deal with you, the expensive agent .. and if it goes wrong, who is to blame? Exactly …. that is why cheaper is easier.

It is easier to charge a lower fee than it is to change the way you do business Mr/s Estate/Letting Agent. It is a damn sight easier not to change any of the procedures that make up ‘that is the way we have always done it around here’. Just because you have done something for as long as you have is proof positive that what you’re doing isn’t broken. It’s easier to believe that someone or something else needs to change. A new listing or landlord with a lower fee isn’t change.

A lower fee is easy. Better fees are difficult. You, Mr/s Letting/Estate Agent are defined by which of these you choose to sell… you need to up your game, you need to choose to improve, choose to change the way you work, so you can charge what you are worth, not what the lowest common dominator agent charges down the road.

… but before you buy some self help books, read stuff like this on the tinterweb, watch YouTube videos on charging more even go on a courses designed to improve your fees, run by such excellent estate agency trainers as Julian O’Dell, Richard Rawlings, Stephen Brown or Sam Ashdown, let me say one thing before you do. If you are not going to take action nor apply those ideas that you read or see or get trained in, then there is no reason to spend your time reading , training or surfing the web, because you aren’t learning, you are just reading and watching. If you never act on those ideas, then you may as well have done nothing…. or done something better with your time.

Charging more is hard work, before you can charge more, you need change more .. are you prepared for the hardwork?

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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