‘Salesperson First, brand second’ Real Estate Q from Facebook.

I made a comment recently on facebook which read….

it just annoys me when the Salespeople come second to the brand (happens more with franchise than independant. I was speaking with Chris Heller from Keller Williams who may be playing in Australia one day soon, and I wish their attitude of ‘Salespeople first, brand second’ was done more here.

I prefer independant, but that’s just me. Figure the % you pay the franchise, if put towards your own marketing, would be better spent.

But the franchises, each with their own strengths, may short cut the learning curve as well.

My two bobs, for what it’s worth !!

and a very clever and respected colleague asked me what I meant by ‘Salesperson first, brand second’ and I went on a bit, but here’s my response.

hey Kevin , man, didn’t Madeleine open a can of worms with this question.

Just to maybe re-phrase, the reason I say salesperson first, what I mean is when something is counteractive to the salesperson deriving an income that is insisted upon because of some corporate policy, that in no way serves the people on the street, then I have a problem.

One example recently was a salesperson wanting to deviate from the very strict corporate business card policy. The cookie cutter business cards being forced upon him, that HE had to pay for by the way, would serve little to no purpose.

We all know where business cards end up, no matter how much we fool ourselves into thinking they are kept in the wallet of the people who really want to get to know us. Baloney !!

The busines scard he wanted to implement had a few more devices to drive the receiver to a website, or a facebook page where they could get more information, but more importantly, where my mate could capture THEIR contact details and keep in touch with them over time, until the need a real estate agent.

This was prohibited by the brand.

I really have little to no interest in the brand, because, in my opinion, people list with the person, and if they happen to have a credible brand they work for, that serves as a bonus, often a very valuable bonus, but a bonus none the less.

I think sometimes the big branding people in the big brand, who have a uni degree in branding, but no rubber on the road, ‘I need to list and sell 2 homes this month to feed my children’ experience, sometimes make policy to justify their existence, and to penalise a salesperson, who is the source of their income, for implementing proven strategies is heading for disaster at worst, and mediocrity at best.

If brands (and salespeople) can’t (ready for the big cliche) embrace change , then they’ll like extinction even worse.

Now, I’m not saying corporate standards are a waste, of course not, the salespeople would be well served by having standards not allowing certain things to be put into the marketplace that cheapen both the salesperson’s ‘brand within a brand’ and the big brand itself.

But when big companies preach words in their recruiting and training like ‘you are a business, treat yourself as such’ and ‘you are a brand within a brand’ etc. It seems at times to serve them very well when asking salespeople to fork out a few bucks to fund something because ‘they are their own business,’ but if that steps out of line with a branding style guide written in the mid nineties, that ‘your own business’ philosophy sometimes gets lost rather quickly.

And I have seen a few great business people leave their brands over stuff like this, and start up kick butt independants in competition as a result. And how does that further the brand’s profitability. (and isn’t that the end goal of all this anyway, to ensure the salesperson, Principal, and hence the brand overall, is profitable)

I think sometimes we get so caught up in ‘how’ we do things, that we sometimes forget ‘why’ we do things.

Comments 1

  1. Manis Findikakis

    Glenn; just want to say your post is brilliant!

    It is time that agents wake up to themselves and take control of their own destiny and reach their full capacity. As a principle, I’m fully aware of the importance of ‘the brand’ but if the brand stops agents from truly working as a ‘business within a business’ then questions need to be asked. And I agree with you 100% and I’m amazed how some agencies preach that their agents work as a business within a business and yet they control their time, are not rewarded appropriately and restricted with what they can and can’t do.

    ‘Brands’ do not own agents;)

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