Standing out as a Broker in the Real Estate Industry
Real estate agents don't have control over the multiple listing service anymore; with the evolution of the Internet, several industries like real estate have dramatically changed. Now in 2015, as the economy starts to recover and technologies continue to emerge, there are still a number of brokers who haven't been adapting to the shift very well.
This can actually work out in your favor, because one thing is for sure: You won't stand out if you're marketing just like everyone else. If you want to stand out, you'll have to transform the way you present yourself and what you can offer in a rapidly shifting industry.
1. Put emphasis on value rather than price
Real estate brokers are everywhere, so it can be tempting to shave a little off your commissions to attract clients looking to save money wherever they can. This is actually not the best idea. Just think of luxury brands; Mercedes-Benz doesn't care that Honda sells cars at half the price tag, because they've proven they can deliver value for the cost.
If you lower your price, you start to become the discount broker in real estate. While some brokers might able to survive such a designation in the right market, consider the fact that there is a reason they're the first ones to close up shop when the economy tips downward slightly.
Someone will always do it cheaper, but cheaper isn't everything to a seller. They know their homes are expensive, and they'd rather work with an experienced agent who can get them through the process more efficiently, even if it costs a little more.
Remember, if you're able to get that 5 percent bonus for the seller, then you've more than earned your commission, and a good seller understands that. Your marketing focus should be on value, not the cost.
2. Don't focus too much on marketing
Given the scope of the article, this can seem a little counter-intuitive. After all, there are quite a number of brokers who have branded themselves based on their marketing activities. Someone might be considered an expert at gaining open houses, or another agent might take pride in being able to design MLS listings succinctly.
Here's the thing: The seller wants your results at the end of the day, not the marketing tools you have at your disposal. They want to get their house sold as quickly as possible with as little intervention as needed. Of course, marketing plays a huge role in achieving this, but your client shouldn't near about these nuances when you're selling them on your skills.
When a seller sits down for a consultation and asks what you'll do to sell their home, don't just spout the plan that you'd tell anyone else. Ask them whether they're interested in your plan or if they want to earn top dollar. Based on their response, you'll have your next step ahead of you.
3. Deliver a strong presentation to stand out
When the client is in the office, take off your broker's hat. Think of yourself more as a friend looking to help someone upgrade their lifestyle by delivering the results they're seeking for their own lives.
People don't usually just sell homes for no reason; even in the best scenario, it's an arduous task that most wouldn't do if they didn't have something better to look forward to. By understanding why your client is moving, you can present a plan specific to their needs.
By adding a personal touch, you'll already be miles ahead of other agents. After all, your goal isn't to just quickly sell a house blindly to the point where the clients are merely faceless customers; your goal is to befriend your clients and help them reach the next point of their lives. Because it's something you'll also feel passionate about, you'll end up expressing that enthusiasm when presenting to a client in person, which definitely brands you as a truly caring broker -- how's that for standing out?
Perhaps this isn't how you see yourself, but it's a personal image that your clients need to see if they're going to feel comfortable working with you. By differentiating the value you are going to bring to both sellers and buyers, you will find natural growth in your business and brand.
Regardless of your plan, stop whatever it is you're doing right now and consider all parts of the marketing plan you have right now. Is your current plan working, or are the clients you're interviewing looking to get something different? How are you working to turn yourself into an indispensable asset to the real estate industry? The world continues to change, and you'll need to evolve with it in order to truly stand out as a quality broker in the real estate industry.
Gennady Barsky is a real estate mogul with a background in entrepreneurship.