“Comparison is the primary sin of modern life” - Michael Ray
I came across this quote over the Christmas break, whilst listening to Tim Ferris interview Jim Collins. There were so many good takeaways but this quote from Michael Ray, one of Jim Collins's mentors - really resonated.
In Estate Agency, we are often caught up in comparisons. Towards the end of 2020 I saw countless posts on social media about the amount of deals done, the value of those deals, market share and even the number of viewings undertaken in a certain time period. I couldn’t help but wonder whose engagement these posts were seeking.
I think that the most important story it told was that despite the most turbulent year in my living memory, that the property market was actually pretty buoyant, and very competitive too. Which is great if you’re an agent, or you’re selling your home, but perhaps not so much if you’re a disappointed buyer.
I imagine that a fair few people saw their dream homes disappear from view in 2020, which as anyone who has ever been gazumped can attest to, is a horrible experience. However I don’t think I saw anyone writing about how the legal process of how property is bought and sold needs to be reformed to better protect all parties.
I also saw very few (if any) Estate Agents talking about how they improved people’s lives in 2020. Which is a shame because it does happen sometimes, I promise.
There were a lot of buyers out there who found their ideal homes, ones to raise families in, ones to retire in, ones to leave London for. Homes that provided them with certain feelings. Of comfort, of wellbeing, of finally having achieved a longstanding objective.
The corollary of this is that there are Estate Agents out there who helped people achieve these goals. Yet, no one is shouting ‘I helped someone’ or even better ‘I helped lots of people’!
For me, that’s a comparison worth talking about. Not how many deals you did, the value of those deals, but how many people you helped. How you provided people with a service worth telling their friends about.
In my opinion it’s something that Estate Agency desperately needs more of. People willing to show up, do the work, be generous with their time, provide customers with the benefit of their experience and most of all, prove themselves to be of value. Because our customers are crying out for better.
My goal for 2021 is pretty simple. To seek out the people who are looking for better, and hopefully provide them with it. Simple, but not easy. In the meantime you won’t see me shouting from the rooftops about anything apart from delivering excellent customer service. Promise.