The Indispensable Agent: “A dose of strategy, a dash of inspo, & a few tall tales.”
So, About This Agent…
We have all been there. Anyone who has been to a class or a conference or just out to drinks with some fellow agents has been there. It almost seems inevitable that someone is going to say something negative about a fellow agent or competitor and that will unleash an hour of ceaseless bickering and complaining about how “unprofessional”, “lazy”, or “cheap” other agents are. Of course they are blessed to never have these problems. Ha. I have always found it both ironic and a bit sad that agents are so sensitive to any criticism online (or in writing) and constantly hide behind the Code of Ethics as a shield to any open criticism, yet, when you get them behind closed doors they will absolutely tear other agents to shreds for hours on end.
Brokerages and brokerage owners are no different. I go to seminars and mastermind sessions around the country and watch as sessions that are supposed to be positive evolutions and progressive conversations about how we can improve almost inevitably devolve into a bunch of people sitting around talking shit about their competitors. Hypocrisy aside, here is the problem… they miss it. All of it. They miss the lessons about what not to do in their own business, they miss the opportunities to improve, and I think most importantly they miss the opportunity to learn from their competition.
Your Competitors are doing something you are not
The simple but often overlooked reality is that your competitors are doing something better than you or something that you are not doing at all or perhaps they are simply appealing to consumers in a way that you do not. Shouldn’t this be obvious? If they were not doing something better or different than you, they wouldn’t be “competitors” in the first place. In fact, you likely wouldn’t know who they were and you certainly wouldn’t be talking about them or being frustrated by them. So why don’t you start asking a better question, “what are my competitors doing that I can learn from and emulate?” Do they have a better website or social media presence? Have they invested more money and time into their brand and the exposure of their business? Do they have more support behind them in the form of admin? A better listing presentation or value proposition to sellers that has beat you out multiple times?
Stop letting your ego get in the way of improving your business and stepping up your game. It is much easier to rip them than it is to consider what they might be doing right and what you might be doing wrong. This is at the core of the problem. Nobody wants to consider that they may need to change how they operate, they just want to tear other agents/brokerages apart and keep walking. Nobody wants to take ownership of their problems. There is one little problem with that approach…
Adapt or Die
I have been in the business long enough to watch agents and brokerages fall apart in what appears to be a relatively short amount of time. It seems like one day they are competitive and thriving and the next day they have dropped out of the production rankings and market entirely. The reality is that this is not as quick of a process as it appears to be. The degeneration comes quick at the end, but the reality is that this is usually on the heels of years of tearing down competitors instead of learning from them. One brokerage I am thinking about, in particular, has gone from being a perennial market leader to completely irrelevant in just a few years. For a long, long time that company ignored the trends in the market, continued to do things the same way they always had, tore apart agents who left the company (which was quite a few) as being cheap or unprofessional or misguided, and generally refused to learn from their competitors or take ownership of their situation. They are now living with the results of their ego and refusal to adapt. Sticking your head in the sand is not a strategy.
Lead Generation – Client Appreciation
Anyone who does not do some kind of client appreciation events is really missing the bus. This is one of the most impactful ways you can continue to foster relationships with your sphere of influence and former clients as well as get referrals and introductions to people you do not know. Here is a specific strategy. Every month start hosting a cocktail hour or lunch for every one of your clients and former clients who has a birthday that month. Tell them to feel free to invite a friend or plus one. Do this for a year and see what happens.
A Quote to Ponder
“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” -Albert Einstein