Glenn Twiddle

Real Estate Secret Shop Final Results

While I will continue, with my teams of clients around the country, to keep tabs on things, I am done with my year long exercise ‘secret shopping’ agents open houses because the results are in, and clearly, there is a winner….

And the winner is….

ANY AGENT WHO WANTS TO GET OFF THEIR BUTT AND DO THE WORK !!!

Yup, here are the final results. Over 14 months, and after visiting 102 Open Houses, we have the results of how the agents out there treat the properties entrusted to them by property owners.

We were looking for certain criteria. Now not all of the criteria we were looking for is necessarily the right and wrong way, they were just indicators that I was curious about, and of course some of them are absolutely critical to both the agents’ success in terms of their ability to get their sellers the highest price (their legal obligation to do), and in turn, their success in their own career. One cannot exist without the other.

So the critical ones, I believe, are these

- Follow up process – did the agent make one or several attempts to follow up with guests at the open? Did they use multiple media ie phone calls, sms, cards, emails to do so without being too annoying?

- Qualifying – Did they simply give a guided tour? Did they not even do that, did they meet at the door, tell you to have a look around and call me if you like it? Or did they ask you some, not too many too quick, but some probing questions to find out if you may be interested in buying the property, taking a second look, goodness, even flat out did they ask ‘You Want To Buy It???’

- Be Nice - We wanted to know how many of the agents were simply nice people in their character, rapport building etc. Some great customer service advice I got recently that I think many businesses have forgotten. BE NICE !!!

We measured other things into 3 CATEGORIES….

- Presentation of marketing and take home materials below average, average/ok and ‘Very Good or better’

- Presentation of the Open itself  including the agent’s presentation, signage, street appeal, extras, etc.

- Did the agent promote other properties other than the seller’s property before ascertaining that 100% this WASN’T the property for the buyer.

- Were there two people there from the agency? Were the buyers escorted or left to their own devices?

- What contact details were collected? Asked for?

 

So, after visting 102 open homes primarily in S.E. Qld but a few in Perth and Sydney, the results were these.

The secret shoppers were instructed to say ‘We own a house in the neighbourhood, and we’re just checking out prices.’

They were also instructed to give the agents whatever contact details they requested.

Some interesting (I am politely removing the word appalling here) statistics

• 72 made no follow up in any way shape or form

Goodness people. What are you doing to get new business? Even if you go by the this idea, ‘If the buyers want it they’ll call me.’ Ok, wrong idea, not in your sellers best interest so change the idea, but even if you do, what the hell are you doing to get a new client? Are you ignoring the people in ‘Real Estate mode’ and going back to your office on Monday and saying ‘boy it’s  a bit quiet today?’

Or even worse, are you ignoring these people and then going and being an ‘annoying pest’ making cold calls to people who AREN’T interested, while simultaneious ignoring those people who, in some way shape or form, ARE interested.

• 2 followed up on the day of the Open
So you have a chance to be in the top 2 agents to be considered out of 100 choices in your area, if you simply follow up on Saturday. (and you say the market is slow? NO, THE AGENTS ARE SLOW !! – not speaking to you if you are ticking all these boxes I’m describing, see my closing paragraph asd it may be ‘life changing’, or at least, ‘career changing’)

• 4 agents were complete no shows
Unacceptable. Goodness guys, it’s in the paper, it’s on RealEstate.com.au. I don’t care what has to happen, ‘SHOW UP!!!’ If you can’t, get somebody else to show up, but don’t leave me, and several groups of buyers standing on the footpath.

(It’s funny, I did have one Sales Manager call me up after this exercise about a year ago and thanked me for doing him a favour by drawing attention to the study so they could improve. Great attitude !! Initially I was also met with a lawsuit threat. It turns out this was a Principal defending his salesperson, and you know. I get that. What’s really interesting is the defended salesperson has since contacted me, initially a bit p____ off, understandably, but we had a good chat not long ago, and I tell you, while this stuy was not meant to reflect individuals one way or the other, nor to point the finger at any single agents, it did have the benefit of having one of the agents improve out of sight and continue to do so. Hats off to this individual.)

• 31 of the agents made our ladies either ‘feel unwelcome,’ neglected or they described the agent as completely arrogant
There are 10,969 bboks on Amazon on the subject of ‘Customer Service.’ Did we really need over one    million  pages (all of these books are well over 100 pages), at an average of 300 words per page. I mean do we need 300,000,000 wprds to say two……

BE NICE!!


• 83 of the agents made no attempts to move towards a close in any way
Kevin Turner, from Radio 4BC’s Real Estate Talk and RE Uncut, the show for Real Estate Agents, was most appalled by this statistic. In a market where many agents are struggling, to not investigate this is, in Kevin’s opinion, the worst stat of this exercise. I may think the follow up, or lack thereof is worse, but this one’s up there.

• 2 Followed up with an SMS the day of the Open
A good, cheap and impressive strategy, takes 10 seconds using a template or 20 seconds to compose one from scratch, and 2 out of 102 employed it.Don’t get all sexy with you ipads and your facebook pages or any new media until you effectively use the one you already have.

• 2 Followed up on more than one occasion

They say most sales happen, with a prospective client, on a contact between 5 and 19 contacts into a relationship (in this case I’m talking about a listing ‘sale’ because in my opinion, an agent doesn’t ‘sell’ a house, they market it, present it, follow up and negotiate on behalf of the owners, and of course, if a buyer ‘buys’ it, they may do so on the first contact. In this case I’m talking about listings.)

So if that’s the case, all of 2 out of 100 have half a hope in hell of being any better than ‘being tortured to death’ in this industry. There is NO WAY to be successful in any marketplace with this level of follow up systems and procedures.

• 1 Got more details than just a mobile

In this age, people have so many other ways to be contacted, so not to even ask for any other contact details at all, well, it’s a wasted opportunity. I have agents that ask for (AND GET) mobile, email, mailing address (by asking for a license for security condition of entry), and whether or not they are on Facebook.


• 1 had promo material better than a colour photocopied flyer, or booklet.
‘So you’re selling a home and you have promotional material no better than what you’d have to sell your fridge on Ebay for $500. Do you think I am going to entrust my $500,000 ASSET I have worked my whole life for to you, Mr ‘Black and White Photocopied flyer Real Estate Agent?’

That’s what your sellers are thinking. And I know what you’re thinking too…’Oh Glenn I can’t afford to get that fancy printing done, those booklets, CD’s, Video tours, DVD’s…..’

How close was I? Well you can and must, and get the seller to invest in these materials as well. Yes there are some that the office might do for you, or your business might supply, but if you haven’t got the skill to show a seller why they need some of these tools to get the highest price possible, then either get the skill or get out of the industry!! Harsh, but your job is that of a MARKETER and if you can’t MARKET, then when the market is tougher, you’ll be gone, and you’ll blame the market….NO, the reason you left is looking at you in the mirror when you wake up and shave for that Government job you had to go get.
Yeah, this article is getting harsh, well I quote Jim Rohn, ‘Don’t Wish It Was Easier, Wish You Were Better.’


So, if you’re a Real Estate agent….

you’ve probably thrown something at the PC screen, sent me a nasty email saying ‘How dare you Twiddle?’, swore at me under your breath, swore at your brand for not better equipping you (no, it’s not even the brand’s fault), maybe had a cry or at the very least, got upset and frustrated,  and thought of all the reasons why I’m wrong and this article was a waste of your time.

The bit about getting upset though….GOOD…if you got upset, then you deserve it, because believe me, the guys of my training who are kicking butt, would have read this article with the biggest grin on their faces in history. They know that by doing these things, and telling their appraisals to ‘secret shop’ before deciding on an agent, they KNOW they are in the top 1% of the industry if they consistently do this year in year out.

So if you are upset….GOOD….You should feel remorseful !! No one gets into this industry saying ‘I don’t want to be successful.’ EVERYONE WANTS to be successful. But very few people’s ACTIONS reflect this.

So go ahead, feel bad, go and look in the mirror, and believe me this will be hard, arguably the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life, and say, this market, and my results, THIS IS ALL MY FAULT.’

In fact, until you feel bad, there’s a very high chance that NOTHING will change. So enough of the positive thinking, go and buy Larry Winget’s book, Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life or People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! take responsibility for your career and get better.

You might also, at the bottom of your email to me after you’ve finished swearing at me, with a tear in your eye, ask me for a copy of my open home training, although after reading this article, you probably don’t need more training, but get in touch if you need to.

 

Glenn Twiddle
(yup still brave enough to sign my name to this)

About the author

‘I teach agents a step by step, 1-2-3, fill in the blanks system for becoming the number one agent in your area,
how to become a six, or even seven figure earner, in 3 years or less no matter where you are right now.

It’s worked for me, for my teams over the years, and now is working for many of my clients.
And if you learn the system, and apply it in the manner it’s described, there’s a good chance it will work for you too.

For a free copy of my best real estate training tip (other than this article),
which is my number one listing tip I’ve ever trained, go to….

www.RealEstateFreeGift.com

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6 Responses to “Real Estate Secret Shop Final Results”

  • Whoa! That’s appalling Glenn. I know that agents can get inundated with loads of enquiries but there is absolutely no excuses for this pathetic level of service in this day and age.

    It also highlights that there is a great opportunity to be seen as a stand out agent in your area, by providing some simple customer service and follow-up systems.

  • Agreed Greg. This exercise wasn’t started with any of this controversy in mind. We simply wanted to know what my clients were up against, but boy oh boy it held a mirror up to the inductry’s ‘skill’ and ‘work ethic’ and many people did not like what they saw in that mirror, but like I said, the best ones, even if this report upset them at first, are glad we did it.

    I’ve heard it attributed to several but I think Werner Erhard is probably the one who said it…

    ‘The Truth Will Set You Free…But First It Will Piss You Off.’

  • Stephen McCann says:

    I am glad that you have helped me get better at my opens. I treat every open home nowadays like I was getting secret shopped. Not to be on the safe side, just to be better than everyone else.

  • Not making any excuses Glenn. While the market was flying along agents were flooded with buyer enquiry at the OFI’s and some may be forgiven due to some degree of short-term overwhelm but surely they either recruit helpers or install communication systems to deal with it, otherwise they just have a river of business flowing past them when they should be throwing a net across.

    Glenn, I saw this review of an agent posted on the web a few days ago…

    “…agency had advertised an apartment on realestate.com.au and I also called them and they confirmed the inspection time on the phone. After driving 40 kilometers to {Suburb} to inspect the apartment, I waited 45 minutes along with 10 other people and finally the agent showed up after calling them and being kept on hold several times. The agent tried to open the door but she got the wrong keys and finally took everybody’s details to call back without apology. Next day I went to their office to ask for a decent explanation but the manager even didn’t bother to attend and send a junior to tell the only thing that they can do is getting the details to call back. I didn’t hear even a word of apology during this experience and when I complained about it, the secretary said I am sorry! rude and unprofessional that’s all!”

    I’ve left the agent name & suburb out, and yes wrong keys or keys that don’t work can be a real issue, but no apology is just plain rude and unacceptable. I’m not sure where these sort of agents are getting their training from? For God’s Sake we are in the service industry! Woeful!

  • I sometimes feel bad hollering these results at agents as a message to improve. But you know, sometimes one has to wonder.

    Every penny an agent is EVER going to earn, is right now in the hands of someone else, a buyer or a seller. It’s such a shame Greg, but mate, I stopped trying to save the entire world some time ago.

    I thikn the quote is something like this in that Kevin Costner movie with the Ashton Kutcher (I know I know, better movie than I expected gotta say)

    ‘Save the ones you can. The rest, you’ve got to let go’ – The sea is taking a few right now. Check out ‘Sold’ magazine July issue. I interviewed Larry Winget and he said, ‘Good, get rid of them. Only the Strong Survive.’

    Harsh but fair, in light of your example !!

  • Glenn, there’s some that are open to embracing change and then there are others who will be left with no choice but to change.

    What does Kurek Ashley say, “you are either evolving or you are dissolving.”

    Recently, I’ve been busy conducting FREE Online Marketing Assessments for agents (looking at their profile the way that today’s clients will) and every agent without exception has been blown away by what has been revealed to them. The total amount of business that these agents have been missing out on would be in the hundreds of thousands of $$$.

    I must congratulate these agents on taking the first step.

    http://www.xfactoragents.com.au/agent-mentoring-club/

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