What’s One Thing No One Tells You About Estate Agents?

Enhanced Transcribe:

Hello it’s Dr Ro I hope you are well. I am recording this in a hotel room I’m about to spend the weekend teaching people on real estate on property investing.

And I was just thinking about some of the questions that people ask me when I’m on these events and one fascinating question that comes up a lot, and I do understand it is what no one tells you about estate agents. 

Now if you’re watching this and you’re from overseas it might be that you are referring to as a realtor, an estate agent, these are the people that are on the high street typically that will sell properties to you and I, and to the general public. 

So what do people not tell you, what don’t you know about estate agents?

I would say the one thing that most people when you’re walking into an estate agency that you may not be aware of is that the most junior people are at the front. So when you go into an estate agency one really great tip is to be aware that if you want to talk to the most experienced person, if you want to build credibility quickly, if you want to get into a situation where they sit up, they listen to you, they respect you. Because remember they get a lot of people coming in on a daily basis and you’re going to get a combination of just normal household consumers. People are coming in they want to buy themselves a house, a home for themselves. They are Mr and Mrs Jones. They are first time buyers’ singles, couples, whatever, and they’re just there to buy themselves a home that’s it.

But then you have the investors and the investors come in different levels. You’ve got your basic brand-new fresh out of the pot, “I’ve never really bought property before, but I’m coming through the door, I want to talk to the estate agent and I want to be a property investor.” And if you’re one of those people just know this, they will see you coming a mile away.

And then you’ve got your seasoned investors. People like myself that have been around for a while. You go into the estate agent, we have a certain way of talking to them, and pretty quickly they can tell this is not someone that’s bullshitting me, you can tell by somebody’s posture, mannerisms, their communication. The words they use, the sentences, the way they position themselves. If you’re with a person like that they’re going to go, okay they know what they’re talking about. 

That’s the way you’ve got to walk into an estate agents, that’s the way you’ve got to grab their attention quickly. I can remember the first time I ever went into an estate agent and I was literally like this, I went in and asked some really stupid questions. Like have you got any good properties? That’s not the kind of question you want to ask an estate agent. 

So what people don’t know about estate agents is this kind of a hierarchical structure in there. So when you walk in the front door of the estate agency. The front of the main section of the office there will have junior people. So you’ll walk in, you will sit down and for the average amateur they’ll start to have a conversation with somebody at the beginning, right at the front of the room and just chat away. And they may end up only ever dealing with the most junior person there.

Ideally you want to get in there and you want to speak to the most senior person. Well, what most people don’t realise is they are right back. They’re not going to be front line;  they don’t want to deal with everybody coming in. They want to be tucked away somewhere back there where you can’t get to them. Well they don’t think you can get to them. You have to find a way to get in there.

So that’s the first really major thing that people aren’t aware of is, that if you can get into the estate agent what you’ve got to do is position yourself with the junior person, or while you’re talking to them, you’re kind of sussing out the room. You’re looking around getting a sense of who is in there and who are the movers and shakers. And one of the great questions you can ask the person that’s actually sat in that front row is, are you the most senior person here in this office, and you and I know they’re not going to be.

And they often will look at you and they’ll go, “Oh no I’m actually know I’m relatively new here.” I go okay it’s nice to meet you, what’s your name? And they go, “Sarah, John”, whatever is. So who is the most senior person here? And they go, “that would be Michael back there” or “Samantha”. And then they look back and your skill here is to get Samantha or Michael’s attention and the way you do that is you call out their name really loudly.

Now when I’m teaching people about communication there are some great tips I give people about engagement, about getting people to instantly listen to you and to want to engage with you. This is a slightly different approach. This is where you would say their name quite loudly, you can have some fun with this and try it next time you are in any office. If you know somebody across a room just be having a conversation like this and just shout their name out and carry on talking. And what you’ll find is that person instinctively looks up.

So one of the quick way to identify who that person is, is to say their name out loud in the office space. Other people will probably look as well, but that particular person will always because it’s their name. If you ever see yourself in a photograph and there is about 10 people in the photograph, the first thing you do is look at your face first. Think about that for a minute. Next time you look at a group photo you’ll oh there I am.

Well it is the same thing when you’re listening and you hear somebody say your name, you go like that and you can actually grab their attention. And then you’ve got to have a certain approach. There are some skilful tools you can use to work your way to get to the back there and even have that person at the front actually lead you to talk to them.

Now once you’re there, you need a script. In fact, the best thing to do is have the script to start with when you’re talking to that person in front of you, who is the junior person. And you say hi my name is Rohan and then you go into your script and make it a script that is quite skilfully worded in such a way they go, woah, woah, woah. And that includes you being a professional property investor looking to expand your portfolio, that type of thing. And then you go, are you the most senior person? They go “no that wouldn’t be me, that would be Michael back there, or Sarah back there. Whoever it is and you go okay would it be possible for Sarah, hi Sarah would it be possible for you to introduce me to Sarah and actually will you be able to explain to Sarah exactly what I just said for you word for word. And most of the time they go, “what was it you said, how about I go and explain to Sarah.” And at that point you start moving to the back there, because I want to get down face-to-face with Sarah. Once I’m with Sarah I go through my script again, which is short 30 to 45, maybe a minute script connecting with them, building rapport quickly and at the same time showing them I want to do business with them.

And I want to get into position where I ask them, would it be possible to have five minutes with you so I can describe a little bit about my strategy, because I am looking to do a large number of properties in this area. If I can get that person there, whoever it is male or female, younger, older, whatever. If they are the most senior person there I want to get into their head because they will have a bigger list of people they know. They will know contractors they will possibly know investors in the area, maybe people looking to sell properties. They will also be able to get access to potentially deals that the junior person could get access to, but this senior person will go, “this will be really good for Dr Ro.”

So that will be my main tip here and there’s lots of other things I can talk about, but right now most people don’t and aren’t aware of that. So understand the dynamics, just notice it when you go into an estate agent in the future. If you’re really looking to build rapport and build a long-term relationship in the office, you really do need to be talking to most senior person. 

Now it might be that during some of the viewings you actually go out with the more junior person but in terms of your long-term dialogue, building that rapport, showing your credibility go to the top. Because if you get the respect there they will talk to the people within their group, within the office and within their network and say you really need to listen to this person, because I trust them and I know that they’re going to do business with us. Or they have done business with us in the past.

So that’s my tip about estate agents.

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