Your value is the worth you have to clients when they hire you to work for them, and your proposition is the proposal you set forth to earn their trust. Here’s how to find and use yours.

Many companies today push the narrative of finding your unique value proposition. It’s not a bad idea: thinking about the value one brings to the table is invigorating and brings confidence to us personally.

We are taught that some of these value propositions are the marketing tactics, negotiating skills or even the technology we use. But I like to look at it a little differently.

What is a value proposition?

Let’s break down value proposition. First, value is the worth I have to the clients if I am hired to work for them. Secondly, proposition is the proposal I set forth to earn the client’s trust.  

It’s important to note that neither of these elements are tangible things. In a real world situation, do we earn someone’s business and trust with tangible items? We do not! Our value proposition is inside of us. It is the gift granted to us for accomplishing the purpose we have been set out to offer the world.

Let me explain that: Each of us has a deep connection to help other people. How we connect with others is by understanding our personal definition of success, knowing we have a deep level of commitment to show others what is possible.  

The value we bring is unique to our personality. It’s important to be in touch with your uniqueness and be confident in your heart that the compassion you have for others is real.  

How does value proposition relate to real estate?

The real estate business is about the lives of other people; it is not transactional. Sadly, many companies and agents look at it that way. Here are some examples: 

Transactional approach: How many new leads can I generate today? 
Personal approach: How many new people can I meet today?  

Transactional approach: I closed X amount of deals last year.  
Personal approach: I helped move X amount of people last year.  

Transactional approach: My volume was X, and I made X in commissions.  
Personal approach I contributed 5 percent percent of my commission to charity which was about $59,000.  

The main takeaway here is that people are interested in connecting with the real estate agent as a person first and an adviser second. What is important to clients is knowing who you are as a person, what you have inside you.

They want to understand your value (purpose) and proposition (proposal) to use that purpose to move them forward in their lives.  

What does value proposition look like?

For me it is being a highly passionate, caring community builder. Through the community of people I have built over the years, the value I have for my customer is a very, very large network of people who can get the word out about my client’s home.

I have even sold properties to other folks within my network (yes, dual agency is OK) just by knowing what one client wants and another client has.  

The client deserves your best knowledge. I highly recommend taking continuing education classes that will make you more valuable. Do not do the clock hours at the last minute and just click through the courses to do your time. Learn. Be dedicated to the profession. This will take you a long way.

Putting it all together

In closing, understanding of self brings the value the clients are looking for. Are you a direct person who cares so much for others that you tell them straight up what you think?

Is your definition of success more along the line a shepherd caring for a flock of people who will one day need your services? Or are you a use them and lose them person where a long-term relationship just is not important?

Whatever your value proposition, at the end of the day it is dispersed in each relationship you have with people. These people will refer people, and those people will refer people. Pay attention to people. All people want to be seen. If you take the time to see people, great things will always happen.

Joe Maxwell is the designated broker-owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Pacific Commons in Washington state. Follow Joe on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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