With more than 1,000 Inman posts, Bernice Ross is a long-time contributor whose weekly column on real estate trends, luxury, marketing and other best practices publishes every Monday.
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How many trainings and seminars have you attended where the speaker tried to convince you that your only path to success was to copy his or her strategies, techniques and business tools? This one-size-fits-all approach almost always results in frustration and failure for most agents.
Perhaps recognizing this, Dean Cottrill, president of brokerage consulting for T3 Sixty, outlined four agent “archetypes” at a recent conference. Each archetype has different strengths and weaknesses and requires different tools and strategies to succeed.
So identify your personal strengths — your archetype — and then build your business on what you do best. As the speaker and work coach Joeann Fossland says, “No one ever got to the top by developing their weaknesses.”
Uncovering your personal strengths: 4 archetype models
The diagram below represents the four dominant agent archetypes and whether they work primarily with cold or warm leads using direct or indirect selling. Looking at the chart, which one best describes you?
Once you have identified the archetype that best fits you, use the guidelines below to see which tools and strategies are most likely to contribute to your success.
1. The prospector
Prospectors use direct selling with cold leads. They typically rely on cold calling and door-knocking to reach FSBOs, owners of expired listings, and people they haven’t met before. They are high-drive, get-it-done types who handle rejection well. For them, every “no” puts them that much closer to the next “yes.”
Because prospectors often fail to build strong relationships with the people they represent, they often have to spend more time in lead generation as compared to other archetypes.
Successful prospectors use proven scripts and normally have them in front of them as they prospect. Most are very disciplined about when they prospect each day, often tracking when they get the best results and working within those time parameters.
Key tools prospectors need include:
- A data system for expireds, FSBOs and/or neighborhood information
- A client relationship management (CRM) platform or follow-up system
- A conversion-oriented website
- Testimonials, reviews and proof of results
- Strong telephone skills
2. The networker
For years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers has reported that referrals are still the primary source for both buyers and sellers. In 2018, 41 percent of all buyers used an agent who was referred to them by a friend, relative or neighbor and another 12 percent used an agent they had done business with in the past. For first-time buyers, 51 percent relied on referrals.
Networkers can be found doing volunteer work at local schools or their place of worship, or raising funds for local charities. Many enjoy doing open house because it puts them face-to-face with potential clients.
This archetype also loves Instagram and YouTube as ways to network online. To maximize their results from these social media site, networkers must focus on turning those social conversations into face-to-face meetings.
Networkers need the following tools:
- A basic CRM
- Basic email marketing/touch system
- Business card website or basic brand website
- Social media presence (growth area)
- Time and friends
Networkers don’t need a lot of technology to be successful and should stay away from more complex systems and tools that keep them from doing what they do best — networking.
3. The converter
Converters rely on indirect selling to reach cold leads. This is a highly demanding approach because it can be extremely expensive, requires quick response time, and leads, especially those from online sources, can take 12-18 months to convert. Needless to say, this approach requires a robust lead follow-up system that drips on leads for extended periods of time.
Paying for leads is capital-intensive and requires tremendous discipline to conduct the required follow-up calls. Primary sources for leads include realtor.com and Zillow, their own websites, plus other services such as BoldLeads, Real Geeks, MarketLeader, BoomTown and RedX.
Also, chatbots are also an extremely effective way to convert incoming leads 24/7. IMRE.Ca, Automabots, Structurely and Roof.AI are all examples of chatbot tools that can help converters be more effective.
- Strong follow-up systems and responsiveness
- Phone skills and appointment setting
- Organization for follow-up
- Systems for measuring quality of and cost-per-lead
- A commitment to follow up religiously to reach a 3 percent and 4 percent conversion rate
They also need:
- A budget
- Advertising programs
- A lead generation website system
- A lead follow-up and lead management CRM system
4. The marketer
Clients are attracted to marketers not only due to their expertise, but also because the marketer’s message resonates with the people in the niche they serve. In other words, they speak the language of the niche they serve.
Marketers are most effective when they tailor-make their marketing materials to fit a specific niche. For example, if they’re serving seniors, their marketing materials should show the elements of the local lifestyle in which seniors are most likely to engage. See an excellent example here.
T3 Sixty describes this as having “expert knowledge in a given niche where your identity and brand are integrated with that knowledge. The agent’s marketing campaign should also drive home the agent’s expertise in that niche.”
Marketers will also need the following tools and systems:
- Niche or brand-oriented website (neighborhood specialty)
- Niche-related, lifestyle content
- CRM system with email marketing system/drip/ incubation system
- Offers (free reports blog articles, marketing items)
- Lead capture tools
- Social and local presence
Once you have identified which archetype best fits you, let the other approaches go, and double down on your strengths. You’ll love how great you will feel as your business grows, and you’ll let go of engaging in activities that are ill-suited for your unique archetype, allowing you to do more business that you enjoy.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP (brokerageup.com) and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.