Gone are the days in which a real estate agent held all the power by controlling the MLS (multiple listing service). The Internet, along with shifting technologies, has changed many industries and real estate is no exception. Here we are in 2015, with a much-improved economy and rapidly changing technologies, but there are a lot of agents who are struggling to make the necessary changes.
For a real estate agent to survive in today’s world, they must adapt and change to accommodate their clients’ needs.
1. Change your marketing strategy.
Any agent who wishes to stay relevant and in business must change his or her marketing strategy. In the past, it had been all about the listings and how many bedrooms a home had; these days that style of advertising just isn’t going to cut it. The majority of individuals don’t want to be the focus advertising, therefore advertisements should focus on lifestyle, and all marketing should feel authentic and organic.
2. Customize your services.
The world continues to evolve a rapid pace. We’ve gone from Web 1.0 to almost Web 3.0, better known as the Internet. We need to focus on delivering a customized experience. How does this work in real estate? Focus on the now. Make sure each of your clients is getting serviced on their schedule, not yours. Your customers want everything to be about them, and anything you send them should be tailored specifically to their interests and needs. Personalize their experience from beginning to end and offer additional services. Don’t limit your services to just the transaction; provide them with concierge-style services.
3. Establish a brand.
Creating a brand is an absolute must when it comes to real estate, and doing it well is what separates outstanding agents from the mediocre agents. Clients need to feel that they can trust you with their home — a solid brand will do just that. Your brand should speak volumes about your services, knowledge and ability for success. Be consistent; otherwise your clients will not recognize you.
4. Become an industry leader.
Sound simple? It is. All it requires is time. It’s probably the last thing you want to hear especially during the season. However, it is crucial to establish yourself as an industry expert. When you are quoted in the news, and you provide a wealth of content online, you become a greater asset to your client. Did you know that 80 percent of people prefer content to advertisement? That’s a big number. Your target audience is looking for content, and they want to know that you are the go-to expert.
5. Offer a wealth of knowledge.
Perhaps the most significant piece of the puzzle is offering your audience local knowledge. Your extensive knowledge on the real estate industry and the lifestyle available in the area are critical. Your audience is looking at you as their guide not only for their home, but also for the area. They rely on you to give them insight into everything there is to know about the area where they are focusing their search, especially if you live there.
Whatever you are doing now, stop. Take a step back and evaluate your marketing. Is it working? Are your clients looking for something different? What are you doing to make yourself indispensable? The world is quickly changing, and if you aren’t prepared to adapt and evolve, you’ll get left behind and your competition will get ahead.
Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. She has over ten years of marketing experience directly related to the real estate industry.