They’ve had their bust, now they’re having their boom.
Desperate housewives, bitter divorcees and rampant rodents may sound like the cast of a saucy Channel 4 drama series, but they’re all characters in the real life soap opera of estate agency, and one you will need to find out in order to get the bottom drawer deals in this market.
Telling people to ‘go out and do it – you know how to talk to estate agents,’ wasn’t enough for investors who wanted to know the ‘how-to’ deal with agents.
So I interviewed lots of estate agents. To find out their secrets. Some I published on our blog. Some in secret. I interviewed agency managers, area managers, wheeler dealers/divas (men and women), the younger hungrier ones and the softer more relationship based ‘Aunt Mary’ types.
It was really eye opening. One 22 yr old woman we’d got a couple of really cheap deals from said experience did NOT matter to her as long as the buyer/investor is organised, polite and does exactly what they say they will do, when they say it. To her she’d give one of her best deals to this type of person over someone more experienced.
She didn’t like selling to women. You had to let her be in control. So what if you’ve done 100 deals?!
To another ‘Aunt Mary’ Mark got 7-8 good deals from, but she needed to be made to feel important. Flowers worked a treat. Publicly. The 22 yr old would have seen straight through it. But the 22 yr old loved Mulberry. The ‘Aunt Mary’ had to be left alone to negotiate herself. Gently, softly, slowly. But the (many) 25 yr old wheeler dealers we’ve got deals from want to learn how to do what you do.
They want a piece of the action. They want to be driven in your cars. Buy them Champagne when they’re out in the local bars.
But the area manager or ‘Godfather’ will have none of that. Be humble, talk business. Cut a long term business deal to become part of their investor club. But, a word of warning: they get the best deals, not you. You can talk the young guys into calling you before the manager/owner sees the deal, but the Aunt Mary won’t do that.
You need to talk their individual language, and they’re all different. Different hot buttons, drivers, pains and desires. If you talk in ‘your’ language, only those you’re like and have natural synergy with, will give you the deals. Learn to talk the individual languages of each one, then they all give you the best deals.
How will they remember you above anyone else, when that bargain deal gets listed by the lister and the negotiator gets the very first call, days before it goes in the window, or even through the manager? How do you stay or get in their heads right at the point when they get that deal, even if you’re not the top dog. Even if you’ve not bought the last deal from them? Can you strategically engineer this? Yes.
Can your brand or mindspace leapfrog others in the pecking order? Yes. Does it matter what day you go and see the agents? Yes. Tue – Thu 10am onwards is best. Saturday is often skeleton staff. Friday is completions day. Monday is meetings day and tying up weekend stuff. It all makes a difference that will make the difference.
Some of the agents will protect deals for you, so your ‘cheap deal’ doesn’t get gazumped. But if you ask them to they won’t. They’ll make out they can’t. If you ask them to ‘lose’ the keys, most of them won’t. But they do. It has everything to do with how you ask them, and how much you know about them, and the (genuine) engineered relationship you have with each different type. The wheeler dealer will love the game, the Aunt Mary will not play it at all.
How you word the offer makes all the difference. How do you make a low offer without upsetting the agent? You use this is ‘Not an Offer, Offer’ technique, which is an advanced offering technique that allows you unconscious permission to offer a VERY low offer without offending or upsetting any agents or vendors, AND have your offer taken seriously or put forward (sometimes unconsciously).
The below video shows how to word the “This is Not an Offer, Offer”:
When is the best time to make the offer? How do you know if what you have done hasn’t worked (they won’t tell you, and you’ll never even see the deals passed to someone else).
We’ve hired around 6 ex estate agents now and they’re all different. For us, despite the amount of deals we had done, the bigger lessons came from the feedback they gave us.
Who wouldn’t deal with us and why. What they really thought of us. What other investors we’re getting the deals, and as a result what we needed to do and change to get more of those deals our way
Remember, not to waste your time meddling with individual deals. You’ll win-some-lose-some individual deals, but solid, long term agent relations will give you a highly leveraged, low time input stream of the best deals.
And a few key things to remember about ‘rejection’:
1. The person is never rejected, only the offer. Don’t take it personally, keep goingv
2. To buy properties you must have between 6 and 20 times the rejection vs. acceptance, so the more rejection you experience, the more successful you’ll be
3. Each point of rejection is one step closer to success, and each time you break through it it blocks other people so you have less competition