Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Interesting and Interested – How to Choose an Estate Agent

May 4, 2010

An estate agent can take up to 7.5% commission on the gross purchase price of my house. That is a lot of money. So how did I choose which estate agent to use?

Last year, a very pleasant estate agent came to my house to give me a free valuation for my late husband Stuart’s estate. I was surprised to find out that she was the owner of the company, yet still came personally, even though it was not a paying job. I liked her right away and made a mental note to use her, should I ever decide to sell my house.

Two weeks ago, I picked up the phone to call her. At the exact same time, my cell phone rang. I took the incoming call. It was a friend who recommended a specialist estate agent. My house, being a 120 year old wood and iron Victorian heritage building, falls into the category of specialist. So I took this as a sign and decided to go with my friend’s recommendation. I called her estate agent right away and found her to be very short on the phone and uninterested in anything I had to say about my house. She cut me off explaining that she was going away for a week and promised to diarise to call me on the 28th April when she returned. She never called.

Today, I phoned my initial choice of estate agent and the same delightful owner answered the phone. I found her to be friendly and interested in my story. We talked for 30 minutes and made an appointment. Stuart always said that people should be interesting and interested. Having just one of those qualities wasn’t enough. This estate agent listened and agreed as I spoke of my beautiful house and how I hoped the right person would come along. We talked about my move to a little village in the Western Cape and I found out that her daughter owns a property near there. Her grandchildren are the same age as my children. I made my choice. She is my estate agent.

Was it a difficult choice? No. As Seth Godin (marketing author) suggests, authentic marketing is about sharing stories, building relationships and the privilege of a offering a service. As Stuart said, it’s about being interested and interesting. I think he was right.