Why are most Valuers rubbish at their job?

I see it all the time in estate agency (and in lettings). The Valuer (or Lister or Senior Valuer or Appraiser or Estate Agency Partner or Valuation Manager or whatever fancy title HR have come up with this week to keep you happy) think their job is to sell themselves, sell their firm, sell their services to get the listing ….. at any cost.

Sorry guys, I think you are wrong.

Estate and lettings agency is NOT about all you. Instead of trying to sell yourself (and all the other stuff), here is a novel idea, how about focusing on how YOU could help your potential vendor or potential landlord with what THEY want, what THEY need, with what THEY desire.

You are wasting your time talking about your agency’s features and benefits. Instead, even if you aren’t a landlord yourself or even a home owner, you are in an ideal position to learn from your existing clients, your existing circle of friends and associates who are landlords and vendors. How the hell can you understand the worries, fears, opportunities, the things that excites landlords/vendors? The things that keep them up at 3am in the morning? You need to understand, really understand what it is like to be a landlord, what it is like to be a homeowner, even if you aren’t one yourself.

Stop talking about you and your company and start listening to your landlord or potential vendor talk about their property, their home, their aspirations, their goals and their wants and needs. You have one mouth and two ears .. use them in those proportions. At a market appraisal, the landlord / vendor should be talking at least 67% of the time, you talk no more than 33% of the time. Also, this is very important, you should wait four (yes four seconds) after they have done speaking before you say a word . . . Yes, it will make you feel uncomfortable and I know that’s a long time …………. but it works.

Don’t even try to close vendors and landlords with a quick and easy trial close. Sorry, you need to put the leg work in, finding out the real story. By brushing by the discovery work you won’t be able to help your potential landlord / vendor discover why they need to change and why you are the only person who can help them. Stop pressing play on the tape recorder of your 45 min free val/appraisal presentation.

If your free val is carbon copy of the one before and the one before that, then you aren’t allowing the vendor /landlord to build a case in THEIR mind that YOU are better than the opposition. Your job, Mr/s Valuer is to help your client develop the compelling case for using you and your agency .. You can’t do it for them ..

…why do you discount or match your competitor’s fees? Nothing says ‘crap agent’ like discounting or matching fees. By dropping your fees everytime at the first sign of an objection, you are giving in to the lowest bidder and your potential landlord/vendor will believe you are no different to all the other agents. …and by dropping your fee, you are just confirming that belief. If you are going to be better, and you believe you get what you pay for in this world, how on Earth are you supposed to be cheaper?

Stop selling yourself on the altar of cheap fees and start helping your clients make the investment in paying you a fee that your deserve for what you are going to do for them, so you can do the things necessary to produce the results they need ( because only small time Valuers avoid the conversations about fee. Bottom line is this .. better outcomes cost more money. You get what you pay for in this world but you have to justify the worth.

I will stop my ranting and go crawl back under my stone


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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