The experience to listen


There is a real difference between ‘getting a sale’ and ‘negotiating a sale’.


Last week I met a couple in their late twenties who were planning for the next exciting period in their life. Before I talked about their own property I listened patiently, answering when needed and finding out all about their plans and how their next move needed to fit around timescales and exacting requirements. A day later I heard from them that they wanted us to market their home because we were the only company that they had out to value who they felt genuinely listened to what they wanted to buy and what type of purchaser they wanted themselves.


I’ve spoken recently in the Plymouth Property News about the difference between estate agents who list and those who actually want to move people. Yesterday I read a quote which typified why on this occasion I believe I was successful.


‘Most people think selling is the same as talking. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.’


The main objective of an estate agent is a simple one – you have to achieve the best price for your vendor. This is ONLY done by; 1) thoroughly testing the market. This means all avenues are covered through extensive marketing and 2) An understanding that you need a high level of SKILL in order to negotiate the best value for your client, and not just ‘make a sale’.


Often the most important people in an estate agency are not the ‘Directors’, ‘Managers’ or ‘Valuers’ but the people who create opportunities – the ‘Sales Negotiators’. When this position is not suitably filled with an experienced member of staff, I witness ‘negotiators’ who cannot negotiate, deals that cannot be made and most importantly the vendor and buyer not being listened to.


Speaking from my own viewpoint, I’ve witnessed many opportunities being created by our own ‘Negotiators’ out on viewings and in the office, simply by having the experience to listen, ask the right questions and build trust.

Coupled with giving the right marketing advice to the vendors from the outset, listening and understanding sellers and buyers needs in particular, are so important and key to achieving the best result and sale price.

So far this year we have seen real success with ‘old fashioned estate agency’. Simply having enough staff to get on the phone, to actually talk to people about vendors property (often before it is even advertised) and listen to buyer’s needs. It has enabled companies like Mansbridge Balment Plymouth to get the right price from the right buyers, time and time again.


Unfortunately as an industry, both locally and nationally, there are more and more people leaving the Estate Agency world. This is a by-product of the amount of properties selling falling year on year nationally, and salary levels made substantially from commission not being achievable for many agents. With this in mind, experience at the important introductory level of ‘Negotiator’ is lost and often filled with people with little or no experience of the industry and the art of negotiation itself.


There is a real difference between ‘getting a sale’ and ‘negotiating a sale’ – make sure you choose the experienced estate agent who listens enough to know what the difference is.


Author: Chris Mervyn MNAEA

Chris is a Marketing Professional with over 13 years of industry experience. Having Sold property across SE Cornwall, North and Central areas of Plymouth, he is a fully licensed member of the National Association of Estate Agents. Chris is married with 2 young sons and outside of work coaches rugby at junior level across the region as well as running with local club Tamar Trotters in Saltash, Cornwall.

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