Loved catching up with Carl Quested from Agent Mail to chat about the real estate industry and the need for Agents to embrace the online world or face becoming redundant…
Let me know if you agree or disagree!
Loved catching up with Carl Quested from Agent Mail to chat about the real estate industry and the need for Agents to embrace the online world or face becoming redundant…
Let me know if you agree or disagree!
Seriously. Who in their right minds leaves the sunshine, beaches, relaxation and the iconic tastes of a beautiful Australian summer, to endure 22 hours of sitting with your knees up around your nose, sitting on a flying silver bullet, travelling to the ice and snow of a freezing American winter, to drink crappy beer in noisy bars, and at midnight head off to devour 50 Chicken nuggets for $9.99 whilst standing in the falling snow in Times Square.
If you’re smart this coming January, it’ll be You!
Inman Connect has become one of my absolute ‘must attend’ conferences for around 7 years now. Every August in San Francisco, and every January in New York, the real estate industries elite thought leaders gather with the worlds smartest marketers, the sharpest innovators, and 3,000 – 4,000 of the brightest and friendliest real estate brokers and agents that you could ever want to share a noisy bar, or 50 Chicken nuggets with.
I get asked regularly why, every 6 months, I’m happy to endure the 22 hours of ‘knees up around my nose’ air travel to the USA to be at Inman Connect, and why I’m such a vocal supporter of Inman Connect.
The answer is pretty simple for me. Inman fills a void not offered by any real estate event in the southern hemisphere. It has a very clear focus on where the industry is (and sometimes isn’t) going. It showcases and heavily scrutinizes ‘the next big thing’ in real estate using the BS meter of 3,000-4,000 pretty tech savvy real estate people, and it encourages the industry to drive the agenda and content, under the ever watchful eye of the incredibly talented conference founder, Brad Inman.
Brad Inman is one very sharp guy. He’s an amazing thinker, he loves to innovate, and he pulls no punches when it comes to challenging the ‘top end of town’. I’ve said more than once that I get the cost of attending back, just from watching Brad’s opening remarks. The ensuing 2.5 days of learning is a bonus for me.
Brad Inman makes me think.
There are bucket loads of conferences here in OZ and NZ. Why go all the way to the USA?
The world of real estate is rapidly changing and I’m personally watching thousands of Agents/Agencies in Australia and NZ getting slowly (and in some cases, quickly) being left behind by new entrants to our industry.
Yep, I know its really frustrating for some in our business to try keep up to date with all this new ‘cool stuff’, whilst also trying to keep doing the ‘old’. But suburb by suburb across Australia, NZ and even inside the USA, I’m witnessing businesses losing market share to the ‘new kids on the block and innovation’.
Simply put. If you want to remain relevant to today’s consumer, they expect for you to be relevant to today’s marketing best practices.
Are you and your team absolutely up to date?
Are you really?…. I don’t believe that level of learning is available in Oz/NZ
Inman is a chance to learn. Be it, learning how to adopt video, how to cost effectively use Facebook ads, how to choose and implement the right database for your business, how to mobilize your team using tech, or most importantly, how to be the Agency of first choice for the new Agent or Salesperson entering the industry, Inman Connect is a MUST for you.
Is the cost of attending an issue?
What’s stopping you from attending Inman Connect in New York this January?
If it’s the cost, Id suggest you weigh the cost against the benefit, and also consider the tax benefits of spending a week or more learning from the best in the business, in the Big Apple. Plus if you use the code ‘peter’ in your registration, Brad Inman has promised me that he’ll discount the event rego by $100USD for we Aussies and Kiwis.
Worried that you won’t know anyone?
If you’re worried that you’ll be a conference ‘newbie’ and won’t know anyone, The REIQ have got that bit covered. I’ll be there as a representative of The REIQ with a host of like-minded real estate, tech, and marketing people, some from OZ, some from NZ, and you’re very welcome to join us for a drink at the bar on Tuesday night, or if you tack on to our Aussie/Kiwi Study Tour, for an added $300.00 AUD, you can join us for a great dinner on Wednesday night, maybe score an invite to join us for a tour of the New York Times, to a bustling NYC Real Estate Office, and to some great parties with some pretty cool American friends at some of NYC’s best venues.
Scared you’re not a nerd and won’t ‘get’ all this stuff?
If your worry is that it might be ‘too tech’ for you, I’d defer to my wonderful Mate from San Francisco, Jim Walberg. Jim is one of the USA’s real estate veterans, and on the verge of celebrating his 21st birthday for the 3rd or more times, Jim still attends Inman Connect and is one of the most prolific note takers and implementers i’ve met.
I reckon if you think its ‘too tech’ for you this time, its only going to be ‘too tech + 6 months’ if you let this event pass you by til next time.
Don’t get left even further behind..
Will all this ‘new stuff’ ever stop? ‘Its just too hard to keep up!’
Look, I get it. It’d be really nice if the crazy pace of the world and the seemingly endless changes would just stop for a minute, so we could all just take a breath.
Well, Inman Connect allows you to do that. It allows you to cast a critical eye on what’s working, and what’s not. It allows you to chat to fellow real estate professionals from around the globe about the same challenges they face as you, and how they implement.
Is it information overload? Will someone try and sell me something I don’t want/need?
I view Inman Connect as my filter. Its 3 days of intense learning and sharing from the industries finest in what seems like an endless array of main stage and breakout sessions that you can tailor to suit YOU. There is no holding back. There is no-one on stage selling their ‘next big thing’ for just 100 easy payments of $39.95 a month. Its 3 days of digesting some of the finest information you’ll get access to, and ultimately YOU get to decide what will float for your business and what won’t. But by attending, you’ll be making decisions from a position of knowledge, and we all know that ‘knowledge is power’.
New York in January or San Francisco in August? Which is better?
I’m often asked which of the NYC or SFO events is better. My answer is: ‘do them both’. You’ll love them both. But don’t make an excuse to defer til San Francisco in August. You’ll just be 6 months further behind the future.
Can’t eat 50 Chicken Nuggets?
So, are you joining me? The good news is that you don’t have to eat 50 Chicken Nuggets standing in the snow in Times Square at midnight. (But its great fun trying to! – Hey Al?)
Still not sure?
Not sure yet?… Don’t trust me?… No problems! Reach out and ask Jason Rose Real Estate Legend in Australia, Steve Hodgson from McGrath at Springfield, Alastair Lias from Professionals, or Peter Kakos from Marshall White in melbourne. Maybe you know Kylie Davis from CoreLogic or Lara Scott from LJHooker? I’m sure they’ll share their honest thoughts on their Inman Connect experience.
Sign me up!
You ready to enlist now? Its simple from here.
Step 1. Go to the Inman Connect Website. Its here. Register and use the code ‘peter’ to save $100 USD.
Step 2. Let me know that you’ve got your confirmation from Inman and that you want to join the Aussie/NZ Study Tour shenanigans. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you more info about what we’ve got planned and an invoice for your $300.00 AUD
Step 3. Book your air travel on your preferred airline and your accom here, or at any accom that suits your own budget. Just be close to Times Square and be in NYC from the 17th to 20th January, and be in the bar at the Marquis Marriot in Times Square at 5.00pm on January 17.
Step 4. Pack lots of warm cloths and an open mind, and be ready to network and learn from some of the best brains in our business.
I hope we get to share some learning (and a few beers) in New York.
Thank you for joining us in Launceston for our presentation on the future of real estate session.
We hope you found the session informing and challenging.
Below is a link to the slides we shared. It’s a 14 megabyte file so it may take a minute to load to your screen. You may be wiser to right click to download the full presentation to your desktop.
Please contact me if you’d like links to the videos we shared.
If you feel you’d benefit from some further 1-1 follow up training on any part of our presentation, please contact me on email@example.com or call us on 0417630962 to discuss the options. We work with Clients across the world using the wonders of modern technology!
We have clients regularly asking us for content and competition ideas that might assist them to grow their Facebook audience and their engagement level. We save our really cool gem ideas for our private coaching Clients, but Digital genius Jeff Bullas recently shared some great ideas on Facebook Contests you may consider. You’ll find his ideas here and the link to the complete article here.
If however you’d like to hear some of our absolute ripper real estate marketing ideas we’d be happy to chat about your coaching and marketing needs to see where we can help you as a Valued Client. Give Peter a call on 0417630962 anytime!
Indulge me in this scenario if you will:
You, your vegan sister and your bottomless-pit-of-a-stomach brother walk into a McDonald’s.
Your sister orders the garden salad, no dressing, with a bottle of water.
You order a Big Mac with cheese and a medium Coke, no fries.
Your now-ravenous brother orders the complete right-hand side of the menu and a Triple Quarter Pounder, extra-large fries, a bucket of Coke, a chocolate sundae and an express sausage Egg McMuffin just to take the edge of his appetite while he’s waiting for the rest.
You’re all going dutch, so you ask your cashier to total it up per person.
Your friendly McDonald’s cashier taps a few buttons, and instead of saying, “Would you like more fries with that?” says, “That’ll be $9.99 per person.”
How do you all feel?
I’d guess your sister is feeling pretty ripped. 9.99 for a green salad?
You might be thinking, “Mine’s a little high, but it’s an OK price and I’m hungry.”
And your starving brother has a foot-wide smile that says all his Christmas Days have come at once.
Your sister asks, “How can that be? How can they all be the same?”
The McDonald’s cashier answers, same smile pasted on her face, “That’s always been the McDonald’s way, and the McDonald’s price. One size fits all…” and continues on with her mantra, “Would you like fries with that?”
Of course we know that would never happen at Maccas, so what’s my point?
For an industry where people are paid to be creative, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything more boring, unimaginative and vanilla, generally speaking, as the bulk of the real estate industry’s efforts on creativity around their pricing model.
Now, I know that simple statement will bristle some. But let me state my case before you launch a SCUD missile in my direction!
For more years than Colonel Sanders has been frying chicken, most real estate agents in Queensland, Australia were quoting a ‘one size fits all’ model for their commission – 5% of the first $18,000 and 2.5% of the balance. (In fairness, up until Dec 2014, that was the maximum fee that could be charged in a residential real estate transaction.
The limitations of that statutory maximum fee chargeable changed on December 1, 2014. After years of discussion, lobbying and industry consultation, the QLD Government finally deregulated residential real estate agents fees, allowing them the opportunity to essentially charge whatever they could negotiate with a Seller. No more set maximum!
More of what happened as a result of that market deregulation another day, but suffice to say, the reinvention of fee models and creativity that’s occurred by other than a handful of high-performing Agents since deregulation has been about as exciting as watching paint dry with an interlude of watching grass grow.
Now, I know I’m trampling all over potentially sacred ground by even raising the topic of real estate agent commissions. It’s a topic that brings out the best and worst in people in our business. But alas, I’m putting it on the table again to raise some additional awareness and to maybe shape some more creative thinking in our industry.
It’s not just a touchy subject here in Oz, but also in the USA. Even raising the topic of why USA Agents charge 6% and the slightly remote possibility that someone new might introduce a fee model offering something different to the widely-charged 6% will see mature-age Women Realtors throwing their handbags at you in disgust and cause mature-age Men with walking sticks threatening to break into fisticuffs with the offer to, ‘Take this outside and whip your ass, Sonny Jim!’
Thank goodness they have sensible gun laws to protect each other in the USA… <<sarcasm>>
In the USA, Agents will try and tell you there is absolutely no collusion on commissions, and they’ll even go to the lengths of protesting that the very whisper of 2 Agents discussing a commission or fee breaches their ‘Anti-Trust’ law. Really? It seems funny to me that over 90% of Agents in the USA all charge the same 6%. What an amazing coincidence that 1.1 Million of them charge exactly the same fee! *cough cough*
Look, I get it. Money is a topic that many people get passionate about. But we’re damn boring when it comes to fee models. Why does the bulk of our business only offer a one-siz-fits-all fee of 1%, 2%, 3% or the USA 6%?
So, here’s my thing. Where’s the same passion that brings people to the point of threatening to draw pistols at dawn about protecting their fee being transposed to actually being creative and inventive when it comes to their fees for service?
Does one size really fit all? Should one size really fit all?
I recently asked one Agent why he charged his 2% fee, and his answer was mind-numbingly inventive, “It makes it easy to calculate on the back of my card” was the reply.
Now, let me be absolutely crystal clear on this. In NO way am I advocating for lower fees! Not one bit! This business is a hard gig sometimes. Bloody hard! In fact, I actually think we deserve more for our service in some cases. So don’t quickly package me up as the guy who is trying to drive fees down. Nada.
What I am advocating for is some creativity and originality to come from an industry that’s retained by its Clients to be great marketers, skilled and creative negotiators, and out-of-the-box, deal-making thinkers!
Sadly, though, that’s not the reality I see or experience in real life as a client of many real estate agents in many places.
So, I’m passing the porcupine back to you, Thought Leaders. What does our industry need to do to reshape its fee model? Because I believe it’s outdated, inequitable, archaic and under an increasing scrutiny by today’s wiser Consumer.
Is there an opportunity to build a fee model based around a Client retained hourly rate?
$800 an hour while you’re negotiating?
$120.00 an hour while you’re running Open Homes? $55.00 an hour for Admin work? Maybe like a Barrister, Lawyer, Valuer or Accountant does?
I know plenty of Agents who would love to implement this model based on the amount of ‘free advice’ they give each day now. Could that work?
What about a ‘fee for success’ model?
In my dark old days as a relatively successful Agent, I quite often charged top-end properties a fee based on a minimum of 2% to a max of what was effectively 2.75% if the Client was absolutely delighted in my service and result. That fee gave me security around my base, gave the client surety around cost, and gave both of us a mutually beneficial incentive and reward for me over-delivering service.
Does anyone run these incentivized commission programs with any success these days? Could you? What would stop you?
Would a ‘menu of services’ that Sellers could tick and flick based on their needs be attractive to some Sellers? (Not unlike the Maccas “Build Your Own Burger” experience being rolled out very successfully in Australia…)
Does every seller want a face-to-face meeting and written progress report twice per week? Does every Seller want your fancy-pants marketing program? Would some Sellers be deliriously happy to only hear your voice when you have a written offer as long as you SMS’d them a quick 3-line note, or 30-second video after every Open Home?
You might be thinking that I’m putting it out there to ruffle your feathers but…Maybe I am?… But is it an option?
Let me share a story of a ‘friend’ who wants to remain nameless.
In their recent research to decide on an Agent to sell their 1.5 Million dollar home, they asked 3 Agents to nominate their selling fee. To begin with, only 2 actually responded…
They were quoted 2.5% (about 30k) plus $6,500 marketing. My friend dutifully and fairly asked what they would get for 30K. Both Agents’ response was, ‘ For 30K, you’ll get my absolute best attention and focus on achieving you the best result I can using my best knowledge and skills to sell your 1.5 million dollar home.’
So, for almost $40,000 (30k +gst +$6,500 marketing) my ‘friend’ was going to get the promised, expected service rhetoric from either Agent who, by the way, had ‘no suitable buyers’ on their books and no historical database of any suitable prospects.
Inquisitively, my friend then asked the same Agents what, hypothetically, the selling fee might be if their property was a $300,000 home instead of a classy $1.5m property.
The Agents again quoted “2.5%” (about 7.5k) plus $3,500 marketing. Again, my friend dutifully and fairly asked what they would get for 7.5k. The Agents’ response, ‘For 30K, you’ll get my absolute best attention and focus on achieving you the best result I can using my best knowledge and skills to sell your $300,000 dollar home.’
So, this time for around $11,750 dollars (7.5k +gst +$3,500 marketing), my ‘friend’ was again going to get an Agent who had ‘no buyers’ on their books and no database of prospects.
In other words, exactly the same service for a whopping $28,000 less!
My ‘friend’ cheekily proposed to both Agents that given the service promise was exactly the same, but $28,000 cheaper in the second scenario, the Agents just pretend that theirs was a $300K home…
What would you do based on the same scenario as a Seller?
What would your response have been as the Agent?
Today’s consumer is getting wiser and much more inquisitive around the fees our industry charges. They’re starting to ask you to justify your fees more than ever. And, it’s not going to go away.
Today’s consumer is also becoming much more cynical about your service delivery, with a report suggesting that 41% of email enquiry to the industry is going un-responded to.
I experience cynicism-laced feedback from Consumers almost weekly about our industry from meetings and surveys our business conducts.
Here’s a challenge…
Go and ask the average man in the street how they feel about our industry’s fees, and stay tuned for a potentially sobering response. That dangerous old mantra of, ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it around here’ that too many businesses rely on won’t cut it in the future.
What’s working for you?
What’s working for your Clients?
What would you like to try in a fee model?
What prevents you from going above the industry average?
I’d like fries with mine…
I’ve often joked with close friends….
“If by some horrible chance I pass away in my sleep tonight, can one of you please delete my Google search history?”..
Now, without passing any judgement I think we’re all potentially guilty at some stage of innocently entering a Google search, that, if discovered, without the benefit of context, could see some of us very embarrassed, or even in some cases, on the FBI or ASIO Watch-List.
I for one don’t think I could never really plausibly explain to a Judge why my search history contained dubious results from entering the search terms: ‘Cheap Old Boxes’, ‘Spicy Spit Roasts Images’ or ‘Saddle Chaffing Relief’…
But I digress...
The common practice of using various privacy settings, filters and Incognito browsers to keep our Search or online browsing habits private is something that many rely on for professional, and sometimes personal reasons, that frankly are none of my business…
But in the modern day dictionary that now includes meta, beta, cache, pixels, physing attacks, cyber criminals and data-doctors, many people are incorrectly relying on an assumption that our online habits are safely hidden from all eyes, other than our own.
Couple that misconception with the myriad of devices that we use in our professional day and then privately at home after hours, along with most browsers now ‘handing off’ from Mobile to Desktop and vice-versa, our online world is much more complex, far less private, and with some lines that to many, are much more blurred than ever before. And its those changes in technology that are biting many people on the buttocks much harder than you might ever have expected several years ago..
Let me explain..
I’ve been following a recent court case from the USA with great interest. I won’t go into deep detail on the case other than sharing some of the events which sees one Senior Business Exec who has moved from his former employer to join the employment of a fiercely rival company.
With the authority of the Courts the former Employer is now deeply, almost forensically, exploring their former Employees online behaviour, using his company provided devices, including sites visited through to exact dates and times that USB devices have been accessed, files deleted, copied and moved, even through to details of deleted text messages.
The depth of technical knowledge available to the now apparently aggrieved Employer through these forensic examinations now sees that Exec in what would be for many of us, a position where embarrassing and compromising facts are being unveiled in the witness box for the world to see, salivate on, and to share. I’m not even going to contemplate the online reputation damage that’s being done to the Execs name in SEO terms for his future reputation..
Savitt: Before running the Cipher and cleanup.bat programs did you think you should talk to your attorneys?
Savitt: Did you?
Savitt: Why not?
Beardlsey: “Because i did not want to discuss the pornography issues with anybody, including my attorneys.”
Savitt: When you ran the programs did you believe you were tampering with evidence?
Beardsley: “No, I did not believe there was anything in those computers at all related to the case.”
Beardlsey: “I had accessed via browser pornographic websites and viewed pornographic material and wanted to not have that come out. I wanted to hide that.”
Savitt: Why were you concerned?
Beardsley: “I am ashamed of it and did not want anybody to see it.”
Savitt: “Were you ashamed that you had used it on your Move computer?” Beardsley: “Yes.”
Savitt: What did you think people would look at you and see if they found out?
Beardsley: [starts tearing up] “Someone who was not the person I wanted to be.”
Savitt: Was it a lot of pornography or a little?
Beardsley: “Probably a lot.”
Beardsley: “Over time, it’s generally when I’m under stress, so it ebbs and flows.”
Savitt: “Did you visit sites like playboy.com or sites with graphic sex?”
Beardsley: “Sites with graphic sex.”
Savitt: “How are you feeling right now, Mr. Beardsley?”
Singer: “Objection: relevance.”
Judge O’Donnell: “Over-ruled.”
Savitt: “Is this precisely what you were trying to avoid?”
Now. In anyone’s terms I reckon the above Courtroom exchange would rate fairly low on the things you’d like your Partner, Kids and future employers to be reading. No matter how innocent the searches and browsing may have been.
My point?.. Its simply this. Every keystroke that you make is potentially being recorded by someone somewhere these days. With social networks and mobile search and browsing dominating most days, the clarity around the lines of what is business, and what is private have become very blurred for many.
Our friends at Google recently shared at the Inman conference in NYC that a majority of us are now checking our Mobile devices up to a whopping 160 times per day. In fact they shared that up to 90% of life decisions are now being made via our Mobile devices.
In light of these stats and this rapidly moving world, here’s a few thoughts to ponder while you’re sitting under your desk rocking back and forth today.
If you’re an employer.
-Does your written signed company policy clearly define your expectations and have absolute clarity around ownership and acceptable use of devices?
-Do you have a written signed policy to deal with such things?
If you’re an employee.
-Do you know exactly what you can and can’t do with company owned devices and on company time?
Give it some thought.
If you think you might need some help to get some clarity you might want to seek some professional help.
I’m here to help you navigate the maze. Give me a call on +61417630962 or drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to download my sample Local Area Business Directory – Smith and Jones Real Estate
You may find this brief explanatory video helpful.
Cheers and Good Luck!
Let me know if I can assist you further! Please feel free to explore my website for other helpful ideas.
Peter Brewer – 0417630962
I’ve lost a few of my heroes lately. The loss of Glenn Frey from the Eagles in just the last few weeks, and this morning the announcement of the passing of Aussie Rock, TV and theatre legend, Jon English, has hit me really hard.
Both Glenn and Jon have been wonderful inspirations to me in life and I’m sure they’ll continue to give me inspiration in my own remaining days.
Glenn and Jon knew how to make people smile. They knew they could inspire happiness through their music and their message. Without doubt they’ve helped me to pursue a happy and optimistic view through my life.
The result of that is that those who know me understand i’m a big believer in having fun and sharing a smile when I can. Even when the days are dark. And for me sharing a smile or a laugh or some self deprecating humour isn’t just confined to the after hours and weekends.
I reckon that unless you’re a heart or brain surgeon or maybe an Undertaker there’s gotta be an opportunity to share a smile during every day.
I figure that if you’ve gotta be at work today, then you may as well make it fun!
I ran into this awesome guy at the Sunday morning Eagle Farm Markets in Brisbane recently. I reckon if he can have this much fun selling an avocado and some veges then there are absolutely no limits for you in your business day.
Whether you’re a rock star like Glenn and Jon or a guy selling fruit at a market, get out there and make someone smile today. You mightn’t wake up tomorrow. #ripjonenglish #ripglennfrey #ltfu
I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Jon in concert with Peter Cupples on a #Besties date with my old Mate Kathlyn Owen recently. This video i captured will always make me smile. Fast forward to 1.24 for a smile.
Rest in peace Jon.
I’m part-way through the long and arduous, but totally worthwhile, process of updating my Client contact records. It’s an important thing for every business to do regularly. But, after reviewing about 20-30 Real Estate Agent business cards today, I’ve had to pause the process for a good chuckle and a sanity check.
Now I accept that most of us need to have a ‘Title’ accurately describing the role we play in our own business or in that of our employers. For our Clients, a good Title usually makes it easy for them to understand who we are, what we actually do, and lets them know they’re communicating with the right person.
But it seems to me we sometimes seriously lose the plot these days with some of our self-adorned Titles.
Now, from the outset, I’ll confess that from time to time, I’ve strayed down the path of boasting a mildly exaggerated business Title myself. In fact, as a young child, I was in awe of Thurston Howell, III. (Though some people say it’s scary to imagine ONE Peter Brewer, let alone 3 generations of them!)
In fact, my awe of those magical Roman numerals in Thurston Howell III’s moniker, and the potential power associated with that illuminatingly impressive Title, recently seduced me to chance my luck when booking a room at the New York City Marriott. With mild trepidation and a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek mirth, I took the opportunity to glamorise my Marriott online registration to read…wait for it… Dr. Peter Brewer, III. (It seemed a fitting title, given that I’d recently successfully diagnosed my own in-grown toenail with the help of WebMD.com.)
Sadly, the New York Marriott were less-than-impressed with my diagnostic skills and my self-appointed Title, and apparently even less so with my third-generation heritage.
So much for that futile exercise.
The end result of my mildly-exaggerated Title saw me bunkered in a standard room with no minibar, overlooking the carpark. But damn, the feeling of self-importance as I completed the rego form and breasted the Hotel Checkin counter was off the Richter. (Fortunately, at no stage during my stay at the Marriott, was there a call of, ‘Is there a Doctor in the house?’!)
But I digress…
What is it about Titles that seduces so many?
Is it the desire for power that comes from being a Colonel, a Major or a General?
Is it the lust for recognition that some crave by adding credentials of Prime Minister, Councillor or Lord Mayor to their lot in life?
Could it be failed academia that drives so many to want to add ‘Professor’ or a ‘MBA’ to their birth names?
And why is this epidemic so prevalent in Real Estate? Sometimes we let our crazy egos or industry jargon consume what was originally a way to help people understand what we actually do and how we can help them.
From first-hand experience, I absolutely know how deeply some people’s primal needs are to boast superiority over their colleagues by being anointed as the ‘Senior’ Salesperson, or ‘Senior’ Property Manager, simply adding the word ‘Senior’ to their business cards. It’s an amazing ‘status’ to many.
It’s time to put yourself in the shoes of your clients.
Is a ‘Senior’ Property Manager a person of respected authority, or a really old Property Manager who hasn’t yet crumbled under the intense pressure of a really tough job?
Does your Mum or Dad client really know what a ‘Lead Agent’ is or does? Do they trade in Lead? Do they appreciate being called Lead?
Would your Dad or Daughter know what duties a ‘Co-Agent’ carries out? Does the ‘Co-Agent’ own the company, or just help out on really busy weekends?
And what is it with the designations that are so big in the USA? Do any normal people honestly know what it means when a Realtor has a string of ‘GRI, ABR, CRS, MRP, ALC, CIPS, SRS, SERS, AHWD, C-RETS, PSA’ and even ‘RSPS’ letters after their name on a business card? Do they know what they mean or even care? I wonder if, in fact, some clients want to treat those things we claim to have with an ointment!
What’s my point?
It’s pretty simple.
Does your business Title really serve to impress you and your Mates, or does it actually honestly serve to assist your Clients by explaining your role and ability to help them?
In 1990, I heard someone referred to as the “Director of First Impressions’ for the first time. And, 26 years later, I’m still OK with that as an inward-facing title. It provides a laser focus for that employee about the core function of their role. But I reckon what’s happened across the rest of our industry in that time probably needs to be put under the spotlight for a relevance and reality check.
Now, I realise that there’s a marketing component to our titles.
I get it.
Some feel a need to impress, and I know it can be super-competitive in some markets. I understand that. But maybe we need to take a deep breath and ask our Clients what they really think, and, in fact, if they really actually care about our fancy titles.
What would happen if Real Estate Agents worked in different professions? Could you imagine their cards then?
So, lets get back to some reality with our titles so they actually say what we do and help our Clients out.
My recipe? 99% that’s a description of what we do, and 1% dedicated to strokes for our often-brittle egos.
For example, I’m a massive fan of Gahlord Dewald’s. I first met the ‘G-Man’ in 2009, and for as long as I can recall, he’s held the apt descriptor of President/Janitor. I can’t think of a better way to keep yourself grounded and to let your Clients know who you are.
These days I often use a title of ‘Cool Stuff Doer’ as my stage intro.
Is it self adulating? I don’t think so. (OK, yeah it is!)
Does it start conversations? Yes, often.
Does it describe what I do? Kinda.
But I’d argue it’s a damn sight better than the ‘Social Media Guru’ mantle claimed by many of my contemporaries.
(Hey, I should use President Peter Brewer instead! I hear there’s a looming vacancy that almost any dummy can try out for at the moment…)
What is your title? Does it tell your story? Does it communicate a real value to your Clients or does it just give you a ‘warm feeling when you’re sitting in a cold pool’?
What about other titles in business? What other titles have you seen that hit the spot well?
Let me know in the comments below…
This morning, I was fascinated watching the depth of part of an induction program for new workers at Hoppy’s Car Wash Cafe in Brisbane.
Now you’d think the process of washing a car would be pretty simple, wouldn’t you? It shouldn’t need too much training, should it?
While I was at Hoppy’s sipping my cappuccino, I noticed three young girls were being taught the process of cleaning the interior of a car’s windscreen. I was kinda confused at the highly granular detail that went into something you’d think is as simple as wiping a clean cloth across some glass.
I watched inquisitively as the one of Hoppy’s Team Members instructed and then supervised and critiqued each of the three young ladies as they took turns on their ‘training car,’ paying attention to details such as: the type of cloth, the direction of the cloth (top to bottom, middle to outside) and triple-checking for cleanliness or streaks before handing the car over to the next team members in Hoppy’s production line-like process of washing a car.
Many in business would scratch their head at this level of detail.
Now I guess there are dozens of different ways to clean the inside of a car’s windscreen. But at Hoppy’s, they want things done their way. Clearly, for Hoppy’s, there is only ‘One Best Way’ of doing things – the Hoppy’s Way.
That simple little process of watching Hoppy’s induction process today got me pondering just how many in the real estate industry induct new people into their individual business’ processes.
Does your business have a ‘One Best Way’?
Historically, many in our industry have enrolled their new staff members into what I call ‘The Magic 3′ induction program.
The Magic 3’s key components are:
1. A desk,
2. A phone, and
3. A month.
Simplified, new staff members are given a desk to sit at, a phone and a copy of the White Pages, and a month to make a sale, get a listing, or potentially face the lonely one-way walk to the car park, never to return (like the dozens who preceded them). And then, after that being the extent of the induction provided to new people, those same business owners complain and wonder why people often fail in real estate.
Many in our industry need to do better. A whole lot better!
Merely adopting ‘The Magic 3 induction program’ as the induction program to any business is simply a recipe for disaster.
I reckon the Hoppy’s induction program should be an inspiration to many in our industry…
How well does your business induct your new people into your ‘One Best Way’? Does your business even have a ‘One Best Way’?
I’d love to read your thoughts below in the comments.
Peter Brewer is a veteran of the real estate industry and helps real estate businesses across Australia, New Zealand and the USA to maximise their people and technology. If you’d like to explore how Peter can assist your business you’ll find him here and you’ll find what other clients have said about Peter here.
‘Peter Brewer is one of the few specialists that can think outside of his generation’. – Andrew Knight