We have a problem in the UK.
You may be suffering from it right now.
I know I did, and still do sometimes. But not that often thankfully.
See over here in the currently rather dis-United Kingdom we’re not very good at saying how good / great we are.
And estate agents for all the public’s misconceptions about you being ‘flash Harrys or Harriets’ share this problem to.
Over here it’s frowned upon to have a high opinion of yourself, and for the purposes of this article – your agency.
You get funny looks for blowing your own trumpet, or scolded with ‘who does she / he think they are?’ for displaying self confidence.
And if you can claim to be special you bloody hell better be.
But here’s the thing, how many of you know what makes your agency special?
It’s a competitive world out there folks as you all understand better than me.
Your prospective vendors are looking for something special before they give you the oxygen of their instruction.
In the old days, circa 2012, the special box was our USP – Unique Selling Point. The thing you had or did that none of your rivals could hold a candle to.
Nowadays that’s morphed to becoming your Category of One – The one thing you do which stands out head and shoulders above your rivals.
Here’s my example.
I write content and provide PR and marketing services for independent estate agents so I did some research into my rivals.
I was looking for the space where only I sat. The thing I had or did that made me, and my offering to agents special.
It didn’t take long to find it.
My Category of One is…….’The UK’s only multi-award winning journalist and editor who specialises in writing content for independent estate agencies.’*
None of my rivals can make a similar claim. Sure, there might be someone lurking in the shadows with a similar CV but if there is they’re keeping a profile lower than a US secret agent in North Korea.
And don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic copywriters and ghost writers out there. Such as Chris Watkin and Andrea Morgan. No doubt they have their own point of dazzling difference (and they are nice people).
For estate agencies I think you really need to look at what makes you special and why can you confidently claim that Category of One space on your patch?
You and your team will be best placed to work that out but some examples include.
(Having the cheapest fees is a pretty lame claim by the way.)
“We are the only estate agent in Trumpton specialising in selling retirement flats.”
“The highest Google Reviews rated agency in Toytown.”
“We are the only agency in Puffin Rock that gives 10 per cent of its fees back to the local community.”
Once you’ve found a genuine Category of One – and something that makes you special – don’t be shy.
Make it a key part of your marketing. Ensure it gets mentioned on valuations and anywhere else the public sees your agency.
It can be the little difference that makes a big difference when it comes to winning an instruction.
I will leave you with this from my hero Muhammad Ali
“It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.”
Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.
PS: You may have noticed a * next to My Category of One. Well that applies to my awards. In July 2005 I won the Best Coverage of Asylum Seeking Issues category from the then London Mayor Ken Livingstone at the inaugural London Press awards.
Then, this makes me multi by the way, In October 2013 when I was the owner and editor of a magazine called Your Pinner News I won the Best New Magazine category at the Independent Magazine Publishers’ Awards.
PPS: The point in me listing the above is more of a point for you guys and your Category of One – Remember what Ali said. Back it up.
PPPS: People on my email list have first dabs on my not yet released complimentary (posh freebie) guide – 58 Ways to get your Agency Some Vendor Love. Just ping me an email, subject line ‘Where is the love?’