What affects the decision of a seller to instruct you as an agent? We felt that if we could achieve a technological symbiosis with this question then we could naturally demonstrate an ability to gain more listings.
To this end we undertook research with some of our key client accounts to crystallise the factors taken into account by sellers when making the decision on which agent to instruct.
We broadly have two categories.
The first centers around the “how” and the second around the “why”. Interestingly the question of “what” an agent does was either perceived incorrectly, misunderstood or in any event not hugely impactful on the choice of agent.
The five factors effecting the “how” were:
- Is this agent experienced in selling my type of property and will I get an accurate valuation?
- Do they have access to the maximum number of buyers to ensure I get the best price? (Strangely at odds with multi agency contracts where the seller is only likely to get the quickest sale not the best price at all)
- Is this agent going to be able to fight my corner in negotiating the best possible deal for my property? (conducting viewings may have been part of the thinking on this, but was not specified).
- How quickly can I get sold? There’s multiple reasons for wanting a quick completion.
- How much will it cost?
The “why” factors were more ethereal:
- Do I know or do I have a personal recommendation for this agent?
- Does this agent have positive reviews online?
- Have I seen positive local publicity and do I recognize the brand?
- Does the agency have longevity?
- How was I treated when I contacted or visited the agency and what was the first impression, in branch and walking by?
The really interesting thing is that when we apply recognised psychological process to this we understand that the second group of factors are the buying drivers, rather than the first five factors.
In the same way that you may have loved all of the aspects of something you intended to buy but then turn round and say “It just doesn’t ‘feel’ right”, vendors will in the final analysis and having established that most of the “how’s” are equal, base their choice on the “why”.
A huge part of our work with our clients’ is establishing with all of the staff, what the “why” of the agency is. It could be interesting for you to conduct the exercise at your next team meeting and ask:
- What do we as an agency do? You should get 100% answering this.
- How do we achieve that? At this point you may be reduced to Managers and mumbles.
- Why? On this last one make sure you have the answer because I would bet no one else in the business will have it.