How many times have you heard ‘fake it until you make it’?
While there may have been an argument for this in the past, the human need for authenticity has grown.
Many of us know what being authentic means and want to be seen that way, but how exactly do you do it?
It’s simple – stop faking it.
Agents must embrace authenticity and make the shift from being a salesperson to an advisor.
Your clients will trust you, and your business will reap the rewards. Steps to stop faking it:
1. Know your product
I experienced a lack of product knowledge when I was in the market buying property.
When I asked simple questions like land size, building materials and the year the property was built, the agent faked knowing the answer in most cases.
If you want to be seen as a real advisor, get this right.
There will be times when you are challenged about some detail, and you must be honest and simply say, ‘Great question, that’s not something I’ve encountered yet’.
Tell the buyer you don’t have an immediate answer, but you will get back to them right away.
Faking the answer will be noticed immediately and you will lose their trust.
2. Listing with influence
Listing is about listening.
How can you possibly provide a solution to what a customer or client wants and needs when you don’t take the time to find out?
Listing presentations belong in the last decade.
It’s time to focus on what is in your client’s head and heart.
I have seen many agents ask the vendors what is important to them and then write down the ‘agenda’ for the meeting.
The disturbing thing is, often the agent then reverts to their own pre-planned and practised agenda or formula.
For the client, it feels dismissive at best and completely disingenuous and fake at worst.
Start going deeper with your questioning and give your clients space to ask questions and share their concerns.
3. Earn the title of ‘area expert’
Many agents market themselves as being the local expert, area expert or area specialist.
If you do this, then make sure you are.
To genuinely be the area expert, there are fundamental things that you should be aware of at all times:
• the number of properties on the market
• details of current listings
• recent sales
• highest sale price
• average sale price
• boundaries for school catchment areas.
Also, visit your competitors’ open homes, get involved in the community, and comment on local issues in a blog or article.
Once you know about your core area and share the information regularly, you will become known as the expert.
4. Get legal
I am astounded by how many agents fake their knowledge of the legal requirements of the industry.
It is your responsibility to know the ins and outs of a property contract, know general strata law, and understand specific strata by-laws for the buildings you list in.
Even basic cooling-off stipulations are often misrepresented, and you need to know the difference between Company title, Torrens title and Community title.
Educate yourself so you can educate others and be respected and trusted for it.
5. Be comfortable being you
This is crucial. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘persona’ of an agent.
It’s not about having a smooth answer to everything.
The moment you are caught trying to be someone you are not, you instantly lose credibility.
Imitation will never replace your genuine qualities. It’s what makes you interesting and approachable. Be prepared to be open and a little vulnerable.
Embrace who you are and let it shine through.
Before 2021 wraps up, focus on being an authentic, genuine and trustworthy professional.
Stop thinking of yourself as a sales agent and approach every interaction from a place of service and care about others.