Tom Panos – Commissions Are In the Community, Not In the Office

“‘HI. HOW’S THE SALE OF your place going?’ One of three things will happen when you say this. People are going to say to you, ‘We’ve already sold.’ Some people will say to you, ‘We don’t have a property to sell.’ Some people will say to you, ‘It’s not on the market yet.’ Bingo.” This is one of the classic scripts super coach Tom Panos shared in his Momentum keynotes across Australia. In this wrap-up, Elite Agent’s Samantha McLean covers Tom’s best tips for new agents to secure listings, what prospecting really means, and why you need to focus on the things you can control.

“One of the things I want you to focus on,” says Panos, “is the way that you look at the real estate market.

“To me, the real estate market is composed of two things. You’ve got what I call the outer market. It’s what Steve was talking about so beautifully, what’s going to happen in the years to come. So, when we look at the outer market, what do we think of? Disruption. Interest rates. The economy. Hybrid models, like Purplebricks, FSBO, ratemyagent. Competitors.

“You have no control over that marketplace, yet most people participate in that marketplace. They spend their energy in that marketplace. You want to talk about disruption? Disrupt yourself, which is the inner market. The inner market is pretty much the story you tell yourself every day, every week that you are alive on this planet.”

“Everyone wants to speak to someone today and get a commission today, and feel like prospecting works. Prospecting doesn’t work. Prospecting gets contacts that work one day,” says Panos.

“Right now, if you don’t have a listing, you know what your problem is? Your problem is seven months ago, not now. Everyone wants to play the short game.

“Number one: move from ‘always be closing’ to this, ‘Always be educating’. Always be educating the client about the marketplace.

“How do you do that? Really simple. If I have a property that is sold in my farm area today at three o’clock, by four o’clock my team and I are ringing our database saying, ‘Hi, it’s Tom Panos here. I’m letting you know that number 56 Forbes Street Newtown has just been sold. Would you like to know the new value of your home?’ By the way, you don’t have to just ring around your own sales; you can ring around your competitors, because what you want to do is to become the ‘Google’ of the marketplace. Be the source of information.”

If you are completely new you need to demonstrate energy because your clients “will get that”, says Panos. “What they’re buying is your energy and your ability to work hard.”

If you have been in real estate for less than a year, work on your rapport-building skills first, and demonstrate your ability to listen and react to clients’ needs. Then, says Panos, you say this: “Mr and Mrs Vendor, I want to let you know that I have only been in the marketplace for less than a year, but my office has been here for 25 years and collectively we have 115 years’ experience. When you use me, you’re using my whole team. Mr and Mrs Vendor, right now I only have two listings on my board that I’m spending my time and energy on.

“The minute you appoint me, all my energy then starts focusing on you as well. If you go with a competitor you’ll probably find that they’ve got 10 or 15 properties that they’re working on. What it means, Mr and Mrs Vendor, is when you hire me, I’m working 24/7 for you.

“The other thing I want to let you know, Mr and Mrs Vendor, is this. I do not have a conflict of interest trying to work out which of the 15 properties I need to be spending more time on. The reality is, I can handle three properties and treat them as if they’re my own properties and I was selling my own home. Mr and Mrs Vendor, whilst I’m relatively new, if I’m given the opportunity to represent you it will be a privilege. Some other agency in Penrith, they will feel like it’s their right. I’m going to let you know I’m going to work harder than any other agent in Penrith. When can I get to work for you?”

The marketplace does not want sales people who look a million dollars without having any substance, says Panos; your clients want people to add value. What you need to do is move from being a commodity to a value-added provider.

“Ask yourself: when was the last time that you read through a whole contract and you actually knew what the terms were?

What ‘covenant’ meant? When was the last time you were able to sit in front of a vendor and say, “Mr and Mrs Vendor, I want to let you know that the three best designers in our marketplace are these’?

“What I’m saying is be the product knowledge person. When was the last time you sat in front of a vendor and said, ‘By the way, Mr and Mrs Vendor, your home is on the market in competition, not in isolation, and these are the homes that you’re in competition against. Let me run through them. By the way, my team and I have inspected every one of them, and we know the weaknesses of all these homes. The minute you appoint us, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to educate the buyers that yours is better for the following reasons. When you appoint us, you’re appointing people that know their marketplace inside out.’

“When I talk about product knowledge, I’m not talking about knowing where the church is and where the schools are, and whether it’s in the catchment area. That’s basic stuff. I’m talking about being able to go to a vendor and say, ‘This house that’s on the market with another agent has got dog smells in it because they’ve allowed pets in there. Your home is going to beat that home.’ We’re talking about having super product knowledge, which is critical.”

“What we know now is real estate is all about you, working your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses.” Panos goes on to advise the crowd on much more: the need to build an incredible brand, how to structure your days and how to execute. “One hour of prospecting a day is going to change your real estate life. Two hours of prospecting a day is going to change your whole life.”

Momentum is a series of free events for real estate agents presented by realestate. com.au and News Limited. Momentum will continue across various regional areas in the second half of the year; check the website agent.realestate.com.au for the next event in your local area.

If you are a NSW agent and were at Momentum Sydney and need CPD points, visit eliteagent.academy. Certificate and Assessment fee applies. CPD points via RTO 41529.

Show More

Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.