It's no longer enough to print up some fancy brochures, place an ad of your smiling face, and wait for the phone to ring.
Those days are gone.
Modern real estate agents need to be impressive in ways that many never thought about a decade ago. But how do you be impressive in a market that's upside down?
The first key to being impressive is to STAND OUT. You've got to get the attention of potential clients.
Think of today's market as a jungle. Who stands out in a jungle? The zebra. You must be the zebra of the real estate jungle. That's why I chose zebra stripes as my own personal brand - because they stand out. Your client must look at the jungle and immediately notice your stripes.
But that's just the first part. Many agents think that's all they need to do - just stand out from the crowd. Yes, that's the important first step. Much more is required in today's marketplace, though.
If you want to be impressive - and you should if you have any desire to thrive - then there are three areas on which you should focus:
I'm often amazed at how often I still have to tell agents that their marketing collateral material just doesn't cut it in the modern world. For some reason, agents think they can scrimp and save on the ONE area in which they should NEVER scrimp and save.
Your materials MUST be top-notch. Like the zebra, they need to be different from every other life form out there. Yours need to be tailored to your own personality, strengths, and expertise.
It's more than just fancy colors and slick graphics. Much more. It's a theme that tells people, "I have to call this agent because she looks like she knows exactly what she's doing."
This is where you really need to hunker down and do some work. You need to be like the pundits you see on the political talk shows - a fountain of knowledge who can talk endlessly about any particular area of your expertise.
Let's start with your listing presentation. This is where you truly want to make your clients say "Wow!"
Typical agents will do a short listing presentation and then ask the prospect to sign. This is why people are so picky when it comes to choosing a real estate agent. They don't know who to trust.
But when you provide them with facts and figures that go above and beyond anything anyone else has brought to them, then they will be impressed.
Also, make sure you are well-versed with the facts. If you pull out a historical analysis, you'd better know how to read it and decipher it for them. Talk about trends and what happened at specific points in time.
Speaking of historical analysis reports, don't just create one for their neighborhood. Pick one or two similar neighborhoods and run historical analyses on them too. This gives them further information to help them make a good decision. Then, do the same thing for all three neighborhoods with an appreciation analysis.
I know. It's a lot of hard work to dig up all these numbers and become well-versed with them. But trust me, it pays off. A little bit of sweat equity up front works wonders.
Then, when you've presented them with all the hard facts, don't be afraid to express your opinion. Tell them what you've seen and done. You know what works from experience. Don't let them assume that they know everything. You're the expert and you've seen a lot more than they have. Express yourself.
Poor service is the root cause of failure for most real estate agents - heck, for most businesses in general. My father operated the most successful restaurant in our neighborhood because he delivered the best service people could ever imagine - above and beyond what anyone experienced from the competition.
Working with him as a girl, I learned this lesson early. When I became a real estate agent, I noticed how the people who apply this one principle to their business can't help but succeed.
As a real estate agent in today's topsy-turvy market, it is IMPERATIVE that you dedicate yourself to providing what I call "Five-Star" customer service.
What does this mean?
This means picking up the phone from time to time to find out if there's anything you can do for your clients - without asking for anything in return.
This means follow-up. Impressive follow-up is not just sending out generic mailers. Impressive follow up is developing a long-term connection with your clients.
After all, these are the people who pay for your own home, your car, and your food. Treat them like gold. Don't forget about them once you receive your commission check. Invest in them.
Now, I'm not saying be a pest. All I'm saying is to never forget where your prosperity comes from - and stay in touch with them.
This could be as simple as inviting them to your annual Client Appreciation Event. Or preparing an annual report that shows the status of their neighborhood.
When you provide service that goes above and beyond the transaction, you impress in a way that makes them tell everyone about you.
Starting today, think about these three areas. How can you make your materials stand out more? What research can you do today to sound more impressive when you talk? How can you provide more impressive customer service?
Think about your answers and resolve to improve a little in each area by the end of next week. Then, write to me at email@example.com to tell me how it's made a difference.
Now get to work!