Gone are the days when people only had one or two options for hiring a real estate agent. Being a successful professional in such a world requires standing out from the crowd.
- Competition is fierce, so to rise above the rest, formulate a strong USP, find a niche, build a brand, master social media, snag reviews and cultivate your database.
With so much competition, it might seem impossible to reach six-digit (or more) earning power, but with these tips you’ll be on your way in no time.
Here are six tips every top producer knows.
1. Have a strong unique selling proposition
Your success depends on the fact that people choose you over everyone else. It’s up to you to win them over. One easy way to get their attention is to develop a strong USP (unique selling proposition).
Separate yourself from the masses by promising something that no one else in your field promises. This might sound like fishing for clients, but that’s the name of the game in today’s market.
People are overwhelmed by so many advertisements that only the most memorable cut through the noise.
By creating a USP unlike anyone else in your field, you guarantee that potential clients will pay attention and know who you are.
Don’t try to be the best real estate agent in your area, try to be the only one who does (fill in the blank with whatever it is that you want to be known for).
For example, I promise my clients that I will sell their home in 59 days, or else I will buy it myself. Even though most people don’t believe the deal at first, it catches their attention and brings in business, either trying to prove me wrong or trying to find out more. Both cases mean more business for me.
Another example of a successful USP is the promise that for every home sold, I donate 10 percent of the profits to the charity of the customer’s choice.
Such a deal appeals to both the logical and emotional side of a client’s thinking, and therefore, it works as an efficient selling proposition.
Focus on the unique part of your USP.
Claiming that you have years of experience or simply stating that you are the best in your field is vague and an overused strategy. Another tip is not to worry about every single individual in the market when creating your USP.
It’s impossible to make an offer that will appeal to everyone, so instead try to make a strong offer that might appeal to a smaller group more successfully. This relates to the idea of playing to a niche market, which we will discuss more in a minute.
2. Find a niche
Creating a USP may very well isolate some of your potential customers, but that could actually work in your favor. Instead of attempting to play to everyone’s ideal and spreading yourself thing, find a corner of the market to devote the majority of your attention toward.
In the words of someone semi-famous, “don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”
Devote your time and attention to a smaller pool of potential clients, and play to their needs and wishes to the best of your ability.
When I was looking to buy a condo in downtown Orlando for example, I contacted a well-known Realtor only to find that she worked in one specific part of town. She suggested a friend to help me, but from that day forward I knew exactly who to call for anything and everything home-related in her neighborhood, and so does everyone in the industry.
Whatever you want to specialize in, be specific, and focus your attention and your marketing material on that area. In the real estate field, that might be new construction, a geographic area or even something as unique as a religious niche.
If you think about it, many people who actively practice their religion probably want a home close to their place of worship, and if they know that is what you specialize in as an agent, you will likely get their business.
Don’t think about it as narrowing your potential client field or isolating your audience.
Think about creating a niche like a coffee shop deciding to only sell single origin organic coffee.
It might sound too specific for some people, but it is much more likely to draw customers who are are tired of the same old chain coffee shops or curious to try something new.
By finding a niche for your business, you are increasing your desirability through differentiation.
Specifying a unique selling proposition and finding a niche market are essential elements of establishing a brand for your company. The most important aspect of your brand is consistency.
Your LinkedIn, Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com profiles, and of course, your own website should embody your brand, and they should all send the same message to anyone who visits. People like familiarity, so the more you can make people familiar with your brand, the more likely they are to think of you when they have real estate needs.
Think about some successful brands in our society and how they’ve seamlessly integrated themselves into our daily lives and culture.
If Apple releases a product, its fans generally buy it without ever considering its competitor’s products. Build a brand that is memorable, and people will think of you and call you first. It’s easier to sell a brand than a specific product or service.
4. Master social media
Once you have a brand established, including your USP and niche market, create social media accounts on all the major sites to share your brand with the world.
Although your social media pages should be specifically created for your business, don’t shy away from posting more personal information.
Embrace your community, promote local shops and events, and let your potential clients know that you are a real person, not just a faceless business.
5. Revere reviews
Whether finding the best restaurant in town, a new hairdresser or the right real estate agent, review sites are where consumers go for research.
It’s much easier to trust the opinions of other customers than to rely on the descriptions and promises that we know are created for marketing purposes.
Your future clients trust reviews from your past clients more than anything, so make sure that you cultivate good relationships and follow through with ensuring that those relationships are described in review form.
Seeking reviews should be a constant part of your marketing techniques. Whenever you complete a transaction or interaction with clients, send an email asking for their feedback.
Supply a simple survey with a scale from poor to excellent, and if they respond with a positive score, send a link to your social media sites where they can write a full-length review for other potential customers to consult.
6. Cultivate your clientbase
All of these tips boil down to being personal and unique. Cultivating your database of clients simply means treating each and every one of them like they are your most important client.
Act like they are your family rather than business associates. Build a method of continuous communication, not only to seek referrals and reviews but also just to keep in touch with them.
Emails are easy, but everyone’s inboxes get overloaded, and most people honestly don’t read them all.
Instead, try something more personal, like a handwritten note. I always send four handwritten notes each year, not just for major holidays, but also on days like July Fourth and Thanksgiving, so the notes don’t get lost in the shuffle of holiday cards.
A fellow Realtor friend of mine bakes cookies and delivers them to everyone he’s ever sold to or for. You can guarantee that his clients look forward to that.
At the end of the day, focus on standing out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to be different, and make people remember you.