Andy Reid: 5 things to avoid to maintain your commission level

One of, if not the, most common challenge agents I work with, is maintaining commission levels.

I’ve already gone on record saying that if you lose the business based on commission, then you didn’t show the vendor enough discernible value beyond your competitor, in a language that the client understands.

It’s not the seller’s fault, they just want to get their place sold, and you can’t get sour grapes over what your competitor’s doing because that’s their business, not yours!

And you can have all of the flashy pre-list webpages, swanky brochures and AI-fuelled flexes you want, but unless you work on yourself as well as your kit, you’re only shrinking your profit margin on shiny toys that make you feel good!

Here’s the good news – there are a lot of common little things you do that hurt your chances of maintaining the credibility in your suggested commission.

Why is it ‘good news’? They are really easy to fix once you’re made aware of them!

So let’s identify five of the more common concerns that will give you a shot in the arm if you clean them out of your day-to-day practices.

Quit saying, ‘Just touching base’!

Fact: A lot of common language instantly devalues your services, both to your customers and within yourselves.

It’s not just an irritating little phrase.

So many scripts and dialogues in the industry are supposedly designed to put consumers at ease, but the trade-off is a lack of seriousness shown towards your credibility.

For example, by reaching out to a potential vendor and starting a conversation by saying ‘‘I’m just touching base to…’, it immediately implies that you have no real purpose for interrupting their day, other than to remind them that you exist, of course!

How is that demonstrating any discernible value to anyone?

Here’s the other thing – how does that phrase make you feel when you say it?

Do you feel authoritative, in command of your world and ready to help the customer in theirs? I doubt it.

So have a think about the various scripts and lines you use most commonly, and challenge whether they help you to promote a sense of authority, or leave you, and likely your customer, with a feeling of apathy when it comes to your value.

Hint: Anytime you say the word ‘just’ in front of anything you say may need to be reviewed…!

It’s not your opinion on price that counts

When the seller asks you about price, do you say words like, ‘I think’, ‘I believe’ or ‘We can get’?

If so, then what you are doing is pitting yourself against the very person you’re trying win over.

In a critical error that is made all too often, it’s difficult for sellers to agree to pay someone if they are made to feel like the enemy, which is what this mistake immediately does.

The language around price is easy to get right, as long as you position it as the logic of the market versus the estimate/target of the seller.

By articulating the two sides as such, you position yourself as the facilitator as opposed to the opposition.

Try not to catch a bout of verbal diarrhoea

It’s very easy to get into a rhythm when you’re presenting, but don’t forget that this is a conversation, not a dictation!

It’s totally understandable that you may be nervous, or bored if you’ve been around for a while, but you need to make sure that you ask plenty of questions to make the seller feel like you’re involving them in the process.

Remember it like this – if a tour guide doesn’t stop to check that everyone is at the same point, then the group will be one or two people light at the end of the tour!

Don’t be vague about the most important thing – time

If you don’t set time frame or deadlines for steps throughout the process, you will rapidly fall back to the pack with the rest of your competitors.

‘Touching base’ next month or calling ‘at the start of next week’ doesn’t count either!

These time frames imply that you have a distinct lack of specificity to your processes and actions, and attention to detail akin to a toddler with a box of crayons.

It’s either that or you’re a bit too laid back to drive for the highest price available in the market.

Either way you don’t exactly look like Captain Value!

So set specific days and times (or one to two-hour time windows at least) so your actions resemble the added value you’re trying to validate.

You should try to remove unnecessary anxiety here too, so calling a client at a specific time, as opposed to catching them off-guard with a call out of the blue, will make them associate memories of you with much more positive and confident emotions.

Stop making your media about you

‘Hi guys, I’m just jumping on today to talk to you about the market. We had a great weekend, with three properties under offer and some great prices being achieved. If you’re thinking of selling, then now is a great time, we have lots of buyers ready to buy, so give us a call.’

This is an example of a video that is seen and done far too many times.

Question: Where in this video is any value being demonstrated to potential owners? Or is it to let them know that you’re doing your job, maybe…?!

The main reason consumers fail to see value in what you put out via your media channels is because you’re too busy saying ‘pick me,’ instead of ‘this is why you need me.’

So before you put out more clips, ask yourself the simple question, ‘Is this me tooting my own horn, or am I playing a tune that my potential clients want to listen to?’

Are you providing value to your audience?

For example, with the message above, instead of telling people that you did your job, why not explain a key challenge that you faced on the weekend, how that could have adversely affected the selling process and what you did to overcome it.

The probability of potential vendors gaining confidence and recognising value in your actions by being sent this in video form is way higher than simply telling people that you’re doing your job!

If you recognise any of these in your behaviours and actions, then that’s great news because it’s easy to make some improvements.

Give yourself a moment to process how you could do things differently and make conscious changes that you focus on until they become habitual.

They’ll not be too hard to change, providing you’re consciously aware of what you’re doing.

If you can nail these five small changes, the chances are that you’ll have less resistance when you ask for the fee you feel your service is worth.

Want to measure progress?

One of my most important barometers for success was my average commission percentage, so mark where it is now and check back in the next quarter after you’ve implemented these five strategies.

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