Last week, on an exclusive Property Academy members webinar, Ian Preston discussed how he has restructured leading agency Preston Baker to set the business up for profitable growth in the next normal.
Inspired by the many webinars we’ve put on for our members, (which have all had at their core the new 4.0 level of expected customer experience), Ian has applied most of the ideas our team of world class business thinkers have provided but there was one thing in particular that Ian described as the “Lightbulb Moment”.
Estate agency can be broadly divided into two facets – winning the business and servicing it. In simple terms, you need hunters to win the business. These are people that are target driven, often money motivated, very reactive and opportunistic. Quite often, they are extroverts, great communicators and thrive on winning the instruction.
Farmers service the business. They tend to be more team players, have better attention to detail, typically are more patient and considerate. They empathise with people, truly share the pain of deals breaking down and are good relationship builders.
Ian described a third type of estate agent. Those that are both hunters and farmers but to quote him directly, “and after 12 years of running my own business I’ve realised they don’t exist, they’re unicorns!”
Neither Ian nor I are saying that a hunter can’t be a farmer or vice versa, but they won’t be the best at the other role. I know that I was a hunter and the farming aspect of the allrounder role, which I was employed to do, I didn’t enjoy as much and therefore wasn’t the best at it. Similarly, there are lots of farmers who are targeted to do prospecting, canvassing, etc and hate it so much that they’d rather find almost anything else to do than pick up the phone for a 45 minute call out session to the database.
I’m convinced that estate agency roles need to be restructured to create teams of hunters and farmers and these need to be supported by outstanding tech and outsourcing rather than by adding more and more people to the payroll who are neither outstanding hunters or farmers (and definitely are not unicorns).
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