Even though you help buy and sell real estate, Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn doesn’t want you to think of being a real estate agent as a sales job.
“That’s done a huge disservice to our industry,” she said. “Both how we’re perceived and how we perceive ourselves.”
For Jennifer, the conflict originates from the start. Agents are considered just as qualified to serve buyers and sellers on day one as they are after year one — and even year ten.
“I had a friend contact me in tears,” described Jennifer. “She told me she got her license, but she wasn’t being taught anything.” It’s a plight we’ve heard before — newly minted agents going from the frying pan into the fire with little to no support.
That friend begged Jennifer to help not just her, but all new agents. And that’s when Jennifer decided to write what she called, “That Book.” A few years later, and even more experience with the dearth of real estate agent training, she had it.
“When I wrote Sell With Soul, it was for new agents. I’ve written seven books since and they’re aimed at all agents,” Jennifer said.
With competence comes confidence for real estate agents
On the cover of Sell with Soul, you’ll see four rocks. For Jennifer, they represent respect, competence, enthusiasm, and confidence. These are the foundations for a real estate agent who isn’t looking to just sell but is looking to provide great service.
And great service starts before the contract is even signed and ends… well, it doesn’t really end.
This is not a message that has been warmly received by all agents who hear it. In fact, there has been some resistance to her approach, and today Jennifer doesn’t do any more public speaking. Naturally an introvert, it wasn’t her favorite format, and she didn’t want to have to fight the battles with different schools of thought — “Burn ‘em and churn ‘em agents,” as she called them.
But watching top agents land clients and then hand them off to part-time assistants burned Jennifer up in turn. “How can we say we are worth thousands of dollars, and then say what we do can be done in twenty percent of our time by a ten dollar an hour assistant?”
Real estate, when done right, is hard, complicated and work. So agents need to know how to do it the right way — right away.
The key to staying in touch with your sphere? Don’t be forgettable.
Sphere of influence, or SOI, is a hot topic among real estate agents for good reason: per NAR, up to 66% of an agent’s business comes from people she already knows. The report also says 88% of buyers say they’d work with their agent, but only 24% actually do. That drop off is staggering. And the reasons vary.
Not staying in touch is one such reason. On average, folks know anywhere from three to eight real estate agents. So how can you be the one they think of when they are ready to buy or sell?
Adwerx ads for your sphere help automate part of that process by staying in front of people on a list with digital ads. But they aren’t a stand-alone solution. They need to be part of a larger strategy that combines offline and online tactics.
For Jennifer, there’s no point ‘touching’ your client 33 times a day, much less 33 times a year, if you didn’t provide quality service to begin with. “For every single person who hires you, your priority needs to be providing an exceptional experience. Business won’t come just because they know you.”
The hardest person to be is someone else. So why do agents try?
In a world of coaches, scripts and seminars, real estate agents face a convoluted and confusing array of options to help them be ‘better’ at their job. And often it involves doing things they wouldn’t normally do.
“Real estate agents are pressured to change who they are,” Jennifer said. “They’re pressured to become someone they aren’t because we think agents need to be outgoing, pushy, or scripty — all these things.”
Being yourself can be a hard choice to make — but is ultimate the best option for any professional, especially a real estate agent, that is looking to build relationships more so than log transactions. This relational vs transactional thinking may seem like a soft position, but you can put some numbers to it with a tool like the Adwerx Lifetime Value Calculator.
But in the meantime, Jennifer wants the only script you read from to be your own.
“You can be true to yourself. You may not set the world on fire by doing it, but you’ll do better than you will by trying to be someone else.”