How Estate Agents Build Trust In The Valuation Process

By: Matt Giggs | December 2, 2023

I’m an experienced real estate agent, and today I'm going to share with you my five steps to building trust during the valuation process.

If you’re returning to my blog – welcome back. If you’re new here, I’m Matt and I’ve been an estate agent for 28 years. I started when I was just 20 years of age as a junior, a t-boy, a trainee who didn't even have a driving license, and now I’ve trained over a thousand estate agents across the UK. I've scaled my own businesses and now help business owners to do the same with a focus on scaling without sleaze.

If you’re ready to scale without sleaze, pay attention because I’m about to share what I believe should be done, which is to understand your clients’ needs and deliver solutions.

Understanding needs and delivering solutions is how I’ve stayed in this business for almost 3 decades and it’s how I’ve been involved with property sales valued in excess of a billion pounds. As every estate agent knows, you can’t sell property if you don’t get the listing. So it’s crucial to build trust during the valuation process. Keep reading to learn the 5 steps for building that trust.

Step 1: Prep Your Client

Step 1 is to prep your client. They've never met you. They don't know. You can’t assume anything at this point. It’s your job as an estate agent to make sure they understand the layout of this appointment. They need to know how long it's going to take and what you're going to cover with them. You need to explain that to them right to set their expectations.

What are you going to cover? You're going to cover their needs and their goals. You're going to cover how you are the estate agent who can achieve what they want – your process and everything you will do to take them from where they are to where they need to go. You also need to talk with them about the market. Both about what they’re thinking about the market and about how the market changes all the time. They need to understand that supply and demand dictate the strategy and price that you decide upon. Finally, I would ask you to ask them for feedback.

Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions, or so they say. But I think it's the winner’s medal for estate agents because most people are scared to get feedback. You can say to them that as a business owner and an estate agent, you want to know how you can improve, what you need to do to get better. So you’re going to ask them at the end of this appointment.

Step 2: Prep Your Price

Step two is very simple – prep your price. To do this, you, the estate agent, have to look at two things: strategy A and strategy B. Then the client needs to choose what's right for them based on their time frame.

Now bearing in mind you haven't been to the property yet, you should, as an estate agent, do your research. That means you should be looking to answer questions like these:

● What's the demand like?

● What kind of buyers are out there at the moment for that kind of property?

● What sets this property apart from the rest?

Don't just get stuck on the comparable wheel, you know when you start going back in time looking at historic prices. Why not? Because prices change every single day.

If you've got a house, it’s true that similar ones might have sold over the last two years, but if there's nothing else like it on the market at the moment and demands high, that’s going to push the price up. As an estate agent your job is to maximize the vendor's asset value and sell the property for the best price at the time.

Now how are you going to do that if you get wedged in the past? Instead, get clear and prep your price on these factors: supply and demand, strategy A and strategy B. If you need help with this, come back – I’ll break it all down in a future post.

Step 3: Prep Your Plan

Step three is to prep your plan for what you’re going to do to sell their house – their unique house. What is it that you're going to actually do? So far you've looked at your supply and demand, and you've been looking at buyers that could be interested in this kind of property. You've looked at the market and the competition that's going on out there, and you've talked to your client about the landscape.

You know you're going to be going through all of these things during this appointment, but you know what? If you've got a goal but no plan, it's just a dream. Your clients don’t want a dream, so you need to make sure that this vendor or this client that you're going to spend time with can see how you're going to take them there. You need to clearly communicate your plan – that's yours. You own that and with them you can build the best plan to reach their goals.

Step 4: Prep your Q and A

Step number four is to prep your Q and A. I’ve lost count of how many estate agents I’ve coached, mentored, or trained over the years who had fear around certain questions being asked.

Why? As an estate agent, why aren't you prepared for the fee conversation? Prepared for the price conversation? Prepared for the plan conversation? Prepared for the market conversation? Why aren’t you prepared to talk about what's going on right now and how you will sell their house?

There’s no reason to be afraid of any of these questions. In fact, there are so many questions that you can prepare for before you've arrived at the meeting. There's a great saying that you should prepare beyond nervousness. To build trust with your clients that you are the estate agent for them, prepare beyond nervousness.

You, the estate agent, need to have the answers to the questions. You also need to know that questions are the answers. What I mean by that is you need to know what questions you need to ask that client to learn what's going to be essential to them about who they work with, who they want to engage. What do you need to ask to learn who they want to give their equity to, who they want to give their property to, to trust to take them on this journey.

When you hear estate agents after they've lost a listing they say, ‘Oh it's down to fees. It's down to the price.’ No, it's not. It's down to you. If you fail to prepare, that means to me you are the loser. So to be a winner, prep your Q and A. Do the work to really understand your client.

In case you missed it, I talk about this at the other end of the client journey – helping your client find the house they want to buy – in How I Became an Estate Agent in the UK - learning what works’.

Step 5: Prep Your Solutions

Estate agents provide solutions, so step five is to prep your solutions. That means you're looking at what problems and challenges these clients are going to be faced with along the way because there's no smooth sailing when it comes to selling a property.

Let's be honest, there are so many different eventualities that can happen. It's an imperfect process but you need to communicate the solutions you are providing to this particular client, solutions that meet their particular set of needs.

At this point, you’re towards the end of the appointment, so you've got to present the solutions to their problems that will absolutely give them the confidence in a tangible way, in an evidential way that you're the estate agent that's going to take them on this journey.

Building trust in the valuation process is so important, but you know that’s not the end of the journey. For more support in scaling your business as an estate agent or estate agency owner without sleaze, head on over to my YouTube Channel. Once you’re there, make sure to subscribe and hit the notifications Bell so you won’t miss my next video. Don't forget to keep an eye on the community tab where you can request specific videos about estate agency in the UK.