(This is an elaboration of ‘How To Rule The (Real Estate) World in 10 Easy Steps”)
Truth: If you do your job well, your competitors will dislike you . . . at least at first. This is especially true at Help-U-Sell because we have a business model and consumer offering based on consumer savings. Our mere existence represents a threat to the status quo, the old fashioned way of doing business, the one-size-fits-all percentage based commission way of doing business. Every listing you take, every sale you make is one that your traditional counterparts won’t get. Of course they’re going to dislike you!
In fact, I’ve said many times that if they don’t dislike you (at least a little), you’re probably not doing it right!
But, if the experience of our members over time is any indicator, you can be less feared, less despised and more respected if you work at being the easiest company in town to work with. Here’s how to do that:
Don’t withdraw. Take the rotten tomatoes your competitors throw at you in stride. It’s not personal. They’re just responding out of fear and uncertainty. Be sympathetic. They’re just doing what people do when a game changer is inserted into their arena. Most of us tend to retreat into our own little universe when faced with a bucket load of bad gossip about us. Don’t do that. Keep your head up, keep your smile in place, and keep interacting with your fellow brokers.
Don’t go changin’ to try to please them (Billy Joel, sorta). At the same time, stay true to what and who you are. You are different. You have a different business model and a different consumer offering. The pressure to relax in key areas and to become more like everyone else will be strong, but you must resist! Of all the magical powers you possess (you superhero, you), none is more powerful than the fact that you are different. Embrace that difference. Be true to it. Vive La Différence!
Get active. Don’t just join the board and the MLS: attend the meetings, volunteer for committees, help make the local industry better for everyone. In a word: become a leader.
Know your stuff. Study contracts and finance. Know how to put together any kind of deal. That co-op agent bringing you an offer probably doesn’t know nearly what you know. If they leave the transaction having learned from you, a wary competitor will probably turn friendly.
Take over. We all have our roles in our transactions and the tendency is to get tunnel vision on our own duties, not to worry about what the other person is supposed to be doing. Rather than becoming positive and helpful when the other side drops the ball, we’re supposed to become incensed and self-righteous. It reminds me of a favorite photo I found some years ago:
That transaction is everyone’s job. You should be willing to do whatever it takes to bring the sale to closing. That means to do your job impeccably and to step in when anyone else’s job bogs down. Instead of, ‘Why haven’t you done this and that?’ ask, ‘What can I do to move this forward?’ You know: there’s never been a real estate transaction without a problem. So many things can go wrong between contract and closing and the ball an be dropped in any number of players’ courts. Be ready willing and cheerfully able to step in and solve the problem even if it’s in someone else’s lap.
Treat your competitors as if they were clients. Court them. Nurture them. Remember that anyone you share a transaction with may become a member of your team some day. Do whatever you can to make their job easier and to demonstrate the power of your own program.
And . . . don’t take any @#$^. I don’t really need to elaborate this one but if they cross the line, respond quickly, forcefully and professionally.
What happens when you become the easiest company in town to work with? Traditional agents refer clients they can’t help to you. Traditional agents sometimes even list their own property with you! (really: I’ve seen it a number of times). You get elected President of your Board. You are awarded REALTOR of the year. But best of all, you stay in control of your transactions, in control of your business and on top of the world.
And here is Step 9!