Focus On Your Clients, Not Your Competition

By: Matt Giggs | February 5, 2024

You need to focus on your clients, not your competition! Welcome back to my blog. I’m Matt Giggs and today I’m going to tell you why your focus should be on your clients and their needs and wants.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve spoken to agents who are trying their best to be the best, to be number one, to beat “that” one. They're spending all of their energy, which is their most valuable asset, and time focusing on things they can't control: their competitors.

You don't need to do that. Today I'm going to show you exactly what I do to detach myself from that competitive mindset and focus instead on the client.

Why should you listen to me on this? Well look, I've been in estate agency for 28 years and I'm telling you right now I have seen it all. I know from scaling my own career without resorting to the sleazy tactics of undercutting, overpricing, lying, and BSing people along the way, you don't need to do that stuff.

I've grown an estate agency group and I've mentored and trained thousands of agents across the UK to improve the way they operate in a competitive climate. I've sold over a billion pounds worth of property in my career and I've enjoyed it. I've enjoyed the challenges. I've embraced the challenges, and I've grown from a trainee to working in the corporate sector to building my own businesses and companies.

From all that experience, I can tell you, you need to shift your focus from your competitors to your clients.

What goes wrong when you focus on your competition?

Focusing on my clients not my competition and this has been my recipe for success over the years. Looking back over the last 28 years, it’s clear that when I focus on my clients, good things happen. But what happens when I’ve lost that and focused on my competition? What happened to my performance then? What does that feel like? How does it affect my energy?

Let’s look at what happens when you go to an evaluation focused on your competition – we’ve all been there. You go in and you're thinking ‘God that agent's coming out here and they're going to undercut. They're going to charge less.’ You lose all your confidence and you start sounding desperate to the client.

Oh my God – do not even enter that mind space guys; it will do you no good. Your energy is so important but your focus is everything, and if you're even leaking a little bit of desperation it will show. People feel that energy. They feel confidence – they do not buy desperation.

Focus on what matters to your clients

Many, many years ago when I got started in estate agency, the focus was always on being the best, being number one. All we talked about was we want this. We want that. I want this. I want that. We get paid by commission. It was relentless.

The trouble with focusing on being number one is that then you’re driven by conditioned behaviors which your clients do not value. They don't! Go and speak to them. Do they give two shits about whether you're number one in the market? Uhuh!

I tell you what, we've lost listings, we've lost clients because we've spent our time talking about us not them. Let me say that again – we lost listings because we spend our time talking about ourselves, not our clients.

So you’ve got to think about what I'm saying here and how important focusing on your client is, whether you are number one number five number 10, it doesn’t matter. If you're just starting, you've got so many advantages when you pull out the client's needs, when you get to grips with what actually matters to them as you start this journey.

If you're in the mindset of thinking about “Oh I wonder what they're doing, the competition, the fees they're charging, the price that they're quoting”, you are knackered. If you need some help getting out of that mindset, have a look at some of my other posts about how to price and not lose, how to win before you've been, how to provide value and raise your fees. You’re going to love your posts, but remember this business is all about your clients.

Find out where to focus by talking to your clients

What do clients want right now from their estate agent? Do they really want the cheapest estate agent? We all know that going for the cheapest can be the most expensive mistake that people make.

So if they’re not after the cheapest, then what? Talk to your clients and find out what it is they want, what it is they need. I did just that for a year prior to me launching Giggs and Co. in 2012.

For that year, I spent my whole time talking to clients – clients who were on the market and those who had sold. When I was in my previous company I was doing constant research. I was really interested in finding out what matters to them.

I wanted to know what they feel is really important and what things they hate about estate agency. When you're writing those lists out, they're quite willing to share. Once you have the list, you can do the opposite of what those clients hated about estate agents. That feedback helps you start to build your checklist, your belief list, your focus list.

You’ll find they don't say things like the following:

-be cheap

-be number one

-win awards

They don't because they don’t value those things. I know that being number one and winning awards can really help you with your belief, and I'm not knocking that because I have used those strategies over the years. But what I’m telling you today is that I've lost more listings when I focused on winning versus my competition.

What I'm saying to you when I go look to that period, and I'm talking about 11 or 12 years ago now, is that focusing on what clients actually value really helped me to launch my business own business which nobody had heard of on day one, right?

Focus on your clients' anxieties and concerns

When I started Giggs and Co. there were estate agents charging £500, £900, half a percent, 1%, you get mad drift. They were all out there in the market. They were all out there using Rightmove. They were all out there saying and doing the same things.

What set us apart? What made the clients come to Giggs and Co.? What made us become a market leader in a very short period of time?

Now I'm saying market leader because we did lead the market. We decided to listen to our clients, to focus on understanding what their wants and needs are. And then we built our service around that. We focused on the client journey. We asked questions like how do they feel before having their house valued? What are their anxieties about having a stranger in their house? Let's think about that.

When you're an estate agent you take it for granted, don't you? It's just another appointment. But not to your client. For them, this is their first appointment with you, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So you've got to think about that principle right now

Focus on your client to make a difference for them

Think about where it all begins for your client and what that process and that journey looks like for them across time. How can you make a difference? How can you make an impact?

How can you give them insights which are going to absolutely help them to understand and navigate through the process of selling or buying a property? We all know it can be a stressful experience for them. How can you help?

As you answer these questions, remember that you've got the advantages. You've got all the tools, the data, and the skills you need. You've got the information, experience, and knowledge to help your clients.

So you've got all of this stuff, all in you right now, but how do you use it? What do you take out of the bag and fire back? What tools have you got to help this client really move forward?

It’s easy to lose sight of this when you're reverting to desperation and looking outside of yourself. When you’re focusing on the competition and what's going on around you, you really lose out.

How do I know?

I know because I've been there. I was absolutely questioning my fees before I started Giggs and Co. We were by far the highest fee new agent coming into the town. We were also nearly three miles away from the town centre where everybody else was.

So hang on a second, think about that for a minute. There's a new guy opening, and he's got only one other person working for him. They're in a service tiny office which was actually on the first floor of a commercial unit way, way far out from the town centre. Nobody had heard of us, right?

Giggs and Co. didn't stand a chance, did we? Yet I was doubling the fees of most agents, and I was out there winning listings from day one. Why? Because I built trust. I didn't focus on my competition. I didn't start my business because I gave a shit about what other agents thought around me, about what they were doing to win or lose business. Instead, it was all about research and finding out what clients want.

Talk to past clients to improve your focus and your business

So the thing that you need to do right now is to go and speak to 10, 20, 30 past clients. Speak to those who have used you, and to clients that haven't used you but have gone elsewhere. Yes, speak to those people, and you're going to get more gold there, more lessons there than you're getting right here because they’ll tell you what you need to improve.

If you ask questions around feedback and wanting to improve your business, they’ll give insights and inspiration for moving forward. You’ll get all of this if you're prepared to put your ego in a box, right?

What I'm saying to you right now is that it's got nothing to do with any other estate agent in your town. How successful you're going to be has nothing to do with what they (your competition) charge, what they say, what they do. You have everything under your power and your control as long as you've got customers and people to talk to. You have everything you need so long as you have a mobile – right there's your database, use it.

Imagine ringing up people that you know and asking them questions like these:

-If you ever moved home, what would really matter to you?

-What would you need from the estate agent that you partnered up with?

-What kind of person do you want to work with? Who would you trust to take the equity from your house and negotiate it on your behalf?

Keep asking questions

There's loads of questions that you can ask people, so make a list and keep asking them. That's where you need to focus. And know that it's never ending, so stay curious. I find some of the most successful agents become most unsuccessful because they use complacency as a backbone of their failure.

Let me remind you of that when you become successful, you can very quickly become complacent. So never stop talking to your clients. Never stop going to your clients and working to understand what it is that's important to them.

Build your service around what they need at every step of the way and you will execute needs, outcomes, dreams, and desires. If you do that, then even the clients who didn't go with you the first time will come with you the second time because you are operating with Integrity.

They’ll come with you because you are working on scaling your business the right way, not the wrong way. You're being authentic because if you genuinely are in this industry, which is the people industry, not the property industry. You are going to be getting to the root and the heart of the sale by understanding what your clients’ desires and needs are.

Your job is to go and deliver that. To deliver solutions to those problems and challenges. Believe me, if you can put your energy, time, and attention into those areas, it might take you a little bit longer but you’re going to get there and you're going to make stuff happen.

Final thoughts

So there we have it: focus on your clients, not your competition – not your competition, okay?

I know it's a habit, but we can break bad habits. I hope you've really enjoyed this post. If you've liked or if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

If you’d like to find similar content, make sure you checkout my YouTube channel – while you’re there, subscribe and make sure you hit the bell so you’ll be the first to know when new videos land. Keep following me on this journey and I'll keep giving you what you need to become an estate agent with integrity. I’ll show you how you can scale your career and your business without the sleaze.