Despite appearances to the contrary, I am incorrigibly anti-social…
Compulsive diary-fillers view blank pages in their social calendar with horror, while for me this is liberation from the prison of small-talk. In fact, a month devoid of lunch or dinner engagements would have me dancing with euphoria.
However, I have to admit that breaking bread with a client enhances the relationship beyond compare.
One of the most grievous aspects of today’s working life is that we communicate mostly by emails and phone calls. Yes, information is transferred, but at heart – which is absent – they are emotionless and two-dimensional.
The third and most vital dimension is the personal touch. There’s nothing like sharing a social moment with a client in the form of a meal or entertainment event where you can press the flesh, throw out some witticisms, conjure a smile and slather on the charm. From there on, the relationship invariably blossoms and takes root.
It can be topped up with interim calls and emails, but it is difficult to create such a bond when the latter is the sole form of contact. I am a great advocate of the touchy feely business method and use every opportunity as a way of enriching my connections. This can be a charity do, estate agents’ function or even an obscure cultural get-together.
My aim is to leave an indelible mark on a worthwhile client’s memory, so that I am the first person they contact when they need me.
The Presidents Club was a good example of 80 proof networking; guests were encouraged to indulge in alcohol and there is no greater stimulant than booze to warm the mechanics of one’s tongue. If knowledge is power, then you can certainly learn a great deal by staying on the sober water at one of these shindigs.
A clear head enables you to absorb all the latest gossip, often to your own commercial advantage.
There is a staggering lack of regard in this industry towards closing a deal through a meeting. The apprenticeship to estate agency does not encourage this and the Hooray Henrys of this world, thank goodness, consider this method far too confrontational for the restrained Anglo-Saxon appetite. How wrong can they be?
Without heat, energy and feeling, you can’t get fusion or strike a deal at the crescendo.
One of the grandest occasions on the estate agents’ calendar is the LonRes party. Ironically, the sun shines on the righteous, since every year the weather has been very kind to this event, which is held in an attractive Belgravia or Mayfair square.
It is an influential forum for agents to talk shop and share the current chit-chat on what’s happening and who’s doing what with whom. Agents affect an indifference towards award-winners; true to type, this is more about bravado than reality. The real story is told by the smiling recipient of such an industry accolade.
Observers of our industry think that our stock in trade is property when really it is information. If information is power then the more you know in our business, the better you will succeed.
Being user-friendly and liberal with the charm will get you a long way, most definitely with clients, but also in the broad scope of life.
Trevor Abrahmsohn is CEO and Founder of Glentree International, specialising in the luxury property markets in North London including some of the most expensive real estate in the world.
T: 020 8209 1149, M: 07831 339699, Twitter: @tsabrahmsohn