Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Why price is not always an issue (a true story)

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  • #978816
    SalenaKnight
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    I feel compelled to put this in writing, after having it drilled into me that discounting should not be the mainstay of your business.

    My situation – I am currently selling some property. Given the target market, I knew I wanted to have the property professionally styled (with hire furniture).

    My stylist recommended an agent, so I met with the current agent (Agent A) and the stylists recommendation (Agent B).

    We all went through the property together, then afterwards, Agent B gave me a full area history, testimonials, contract etc (nothing out of the ordinary). Agent A had nothing – said they would get it to me the next day.

    By the time I arrived home about 30 mins later, I had an email from B thanking me for my time, any questions etc, call him.

    The next day, A rang to say email was down. he would drop a copy of his proposal to my house that afternoon.

    Next day, nothing from A, and a follow up phone call from B.

    Weekend passes – still nothing from A, B sends me a short, polite email.

    Monday arrives, and I have chosen B already, given his polite, but persistent approach (required in real estate IMO).

    Thursday come, A rings to ask what I thought of proposal – told him I didn’t get it. Appears he took it to the wrong house. Gets a bit uppity and emails it to me.

    His price, is nearly HALF of what Agent B is. He has also spelt my name wrong on every piece of correspondence (really irking me).

    I have chosen to go ahead with B, despite the fact he refuses to move on his pricing. He has agreed to pay the (small) fee for the stylist as a value add.

    So, my point is, that if you stand out, price does NOT have to be the deciding factor. Yes we all hear this time and time again, but this is my story, that I wanted to share. And I also have to point out, that most of the time, I’m a tight ar$e, so to have someone like me not looking at price is a testimonial in itself :)

    #1109734
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Well said!

    #1109735
    SalenaKnight
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    oh, and take the time to make sure you spell your client’s name correctly :p

    #1109736
    Cjay
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    Very true. I’ve chosen service over price many a time, as in the end you’re paying for the ‘experience’ with many things.

    Making the customer feel like you are committed and understand their needs is a big part of providing any service.

    #1109737
    yourvirtualboard
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    Testament that service is a differentiator that can command a premium.

    I am curious though, what would you have done if Agent A had submitted within your expected time frame? ;)

    #1109738
    SalenaKnight
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    yourvirtualboard, post: 122200 wrote:
    Testament that service is a differentiator that can command a premium.

    I am curious though, what would you have done if Agent A had submitted within your expected time frame? ;)

    Then it would have come down to follow up. I was sure he (agent A) was going to underquote anyway, as he was pressing me to know what Agent B was prepared to include. He also told me I was paying for ‘the name’ of Agent B and kind of bagged the company out.

    Funnily enough, the agent I chose didn’t quote anymore than I expected – it’s the ‘going rate’ in the area, so I don’t actually FEEL like I’m paying over the top.

    #1109739
    ABC
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    Good post – nice to see the theory bears out in practice.

    Time and again, I tell clients that it is about value and not price – so while Agent A was cheaper, you believed (and I would have to agree from the post) that Agent B provided much better value.

    As suppliers, sometimes its good to be reminded what matters to our customers.

    abcvic

    #1109740
    tkc2012
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    Thanks for sharing the story.

    What irks me is businesses that resort to silly attacks like “you’re just paying for the name with XYZ company”. It shows, perhaps, a lack of confidence in themselves and their offering, resorting to ad hominem attacks. In the time that Agent A used to say that, he could have attempted to sell you on some other benefit that he may be able to offer. Wasted opportunity.

    #1109741
    SalenaKnight
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    update – since telling agent A that I had agreed to go ahead with agent B, he actually emailed me to ask for some feedback on what made me choose.

    So I told him and congratulated him on asking for feedback.

    Hopefully he will take my comments on board.

    #1109742
    LucasArthur
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    flower-child, post: 122145 wrote:
    Given the target market, I knew I wanted to have the property professionally styled (with hire furniture).

    Awesome post,,, hope you dont mind me asking a question other than agent related?

    How did you come to deciding on the stylist? has the stylist worked closely with the Agent she/he worked with already? Were you advised of any ‘kickback’ she/he may be receiving as the introducing party?

    Just curious, nothing negative behind my queries either.. am always interested in stylists (staging) comments as i work with many of them and love what they do…

    Cheers and so happy you love your agent, you have to work so closely with them that you at least want to feel that they are on your side.. makes a huge difference when you finally come to the bard yards and negotiating a close.

    Insightful… LOVE IT…

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1109743
    SalenaKnight
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    HarryLuke, post: 122326 wrote:
    Awesome post,,, hope you dont mind me asking a question other than agent related?

    How did you come to deciding on the stylist? has the stylist worked closely with the Agent she/he worked with already? Were you advised of any ‘kickback’ she/he may be receiving as the introducing party?

    Just curious, nothing negative behind my queries either.. am always interested in stylists (staging) comments as i work with many of them and love what they do…

    Cheers and so happy you love your agent, you have to work so closely with them that you at least want to feel that they are on your side.. makes a huge difference when you finally come to the bard yards and negotiating a close.

    Insightful… LOVE IT…

    Jason

    Hi Jason, I actually started with the stylist and worked backward to the agent. I’d seen some properties she had worked on then signed up to her blog/facebook page. Once I’d chosen to engage her, she gave me 2 recommended agents and I chose from them (Agent B – Agent A was already the managing agent). There was no pressure to use either of her recommendations.

    The agent is paying her initial fee as I negotiated which isn’t large and the stylist doesn’t receive a kickback (I asked – remember I’m a tight ar$e and thought I might be able to use this as a negotiating tool). She will just go in, sketch what’s needed, organize the style of furniture then the furniture company does the rest.

    In saying that, for the few hundred dollars she costs, I would have been happy to pay it out of my own pocket. I have bought and sold a few properties and learned very quickly that stylists are worth their weight in gold.

    The agent has also disclosed other potential ‘kickbacks’ that might be received, but as a business owner, I can see the benefits of a continuous working alliance with other businesses, so have no issue with the companies they work with.

    Hope that helps!

    #1109744
    LucasArthur
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    flower-child, post: 122335 wrote:
    Hi Jason, I actually started with the stylist and worked backward to the agent. I’d seen some properties she had worked on then signed up to her blog/facebook page. Once I’d chosen to engage her, she gave me 2 recommended agents and I chose from them (Agent B – Agent A was already the managing agent). There was no pressure to use either of her recommendations.

    The agent is paying her initial fee as I negotiated which isn’t large and the stylist doesn’t receive a kickback (I asked – remember I’m a tight ar$e and thought I might be able to use this as a negotiating tool). She will just go in, sketch what’s needed, organize the style of furniture then the furniture company does the rest.

    In saying that, for the few hundred dollars she costs, I would have been happy to pay it out of my own pocket. I have bought and sold a few properties and learned very quickly that stylists are worth their weight in gold.

    The agent has also disclosed other potential ‘kickbacks’ that might be received, but as a business owner, I can see the benefits of a continuous working alliance with other businesses, so have no issue with the companies they work with.

    Hope that helps!

    Thats awesome,,, ty for reply… just some info, i wasnt trying to discredit ‘kickbacks’ but the disclosure of such events (even though they are legally obliged to advise) shows the integrity of the 2 people you are dealing with – stylist and agent.. awesome stuff.

    On your part re using a stylist, i couldnt agree with you more… stylists are paid less than their weight in gold… how they can make your home look is incredible.. applying an old retail comment, people become ‘store blind’ and miss the finer points of presentation of which i believe can be applied to selling a home and the stylist allows you to ‘reconnect’ with your property in order to present it in its bests light…

    Really, love the post… although you were not trying to advise people of using an outside source to achieve the best possible results (in sales and appearance) i have gained some invaluable thoughts from this..

    I have learnt from the years that many agents have stylists on call and draw on them regularly, there is not normally a kick back scenario in place although they do feed each other legitimate business. Agent to stylist through new listings and stylists to Agent as per your example.. Great synergy really, as long as all 3 parties get along ;)

    So from me, and i am sure others, TY..

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1109745
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    In my opinion, discounting is a lazy way out unless it’s done strategically e.g product or business launch to a niche market that has money to pay the full price.

    #1109746
    mikeacetate
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    Great post.. we have a small garden and property services biz and work closely with some of Sydney’s top agents. We have done some recent pre sale garden makeovers at properties that other agents have not been able sell. New lawns, plants, pots, painting etc..

    I have been amazed every time how a professional agent with a good team of stylists and garden pros can have a property sold in a second.

    Sure, it all comes at a price but I bet a lot less than having your property sitting there unsold for months on end.

    Service over price is the backbone of our business and business is pumping.

    #1109747
    AGMBris
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    Hi

    Great article and wonderful you would share it.

    It is refreshing to know as we sit out company in the middle price range and not the cheapest because we invest time and money into staff training and relationships with clients. I would like to think we do not spell client’s names incorrectly!

    But thats great, and also really fair and open that you would provide feedback to Agent A, let us hope they can take that in and evolve their relationship/business skills.

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