Saturday 27 September 2014

How will I dress? How will I project myself?


have a question

What voice to use when dealing with customers?

Now I know this may seem like an odd question, but bear with me because I think it's an important consideration. I have met many, many estate agents and I think I know part of the problems that the industry faces in terms of image. We haven't found our voices yet.

It's a problem that not only estate agents face, it's a problem that occurs in many industries. There are so many estate agents that want, need, desire to be seen as estate agents. There are certain characteristics-

The suit
The tie
The language
The 'professionalism'

And all of these make estate agents seem similar, without distinction, just the same.

After reading a book called The Cluetrain Manifesto, I can see where these similarities come from. Corporate estate agents require a certain standard of dress, they impose a certain way if talking about the market, they want you to have the same customer experience if you buy from them in Aberdeen or in Brighton. It's like the McDonalds of the estate agency world.

As individual people, I need to find my individual voice at work. As an independent estate agent I will be able choose what I wear to work, yet I've been thinking about wearing a suit and tie. Is it what the customer expects? But the customer expects me to sell their house. The customer expects nothing else. Everything else is window dressing.

What you say is even more important than what you wear, but I still hear agent after agent speaking in bland, industry-expected language - most of which will make you sound like the next agent, a lot of which won't mean anything to your customers, some of which your customer won't understand. So why do we do it? 

"It's what the customer expects."

I've made a conscious decision to be smart, but not necessarily a suit, and if a suit then not necessarily a tie. A smart pair of trousers, a pressed shirt and a smart quality jumper will do some days. I will be speaking as myself, rather than trying to project an image of what I think the customer expects an estate agent to be. Oh and I'll try to cut out the jargon.
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