For real estate agents, staying relevant is an active, ongoing process of understanding what clients value in life and adapting to their changing priorities. Here are a few ways to add value and build relevance within your community.

Relevance. From “why am I on this email? It has nothing to do with me” to “how does Instagram know that I was just thinking about buying these exact shoes?” and every point in between, it’s a concept we’re all familiar with and encounter countless times in our everyday lives.

The idea of “staying relevant” is one of the tenets of our business. It’s ingrained within the DNA of real estate professionals. We must always challenge ourselves to come up with new ways to engage with and remain top-of-mind for clients past, present and future.

Consumers’ priorities and expectations changed during the pandemic and will always change. What matters most to them, how and where they want to work and live, and what they consider to be meaningful in life, all prompted lifestyle shifts and moving homes.

And with all of this change, often happening very quickly, it became more important than ever for real estate advisers to provide relevant expertise, guidance and counsel during these pivotal moments in their clients’ lives.

The disruption to business as usual over the past year was perhaps a wakeup call to some in the industry that flash and buzz are not nearly as important to creating relevance as being able to answer questions like:

  • How am I providing value to my clients right now to address concerns directly and indirectly related to their real estate needs?

  • How can I anticipate how these needs will change?

  • Do they consider me a trusted adviser during an uncertain and volatile time?

  • How can I adapt to the current market to provide better service?

Relevance 2.0 and beyond

It’s easy to show relevance during a transaction, but it’s equally as important to show relevance outside of the transaction. For real estate professionals, relevance should continue to be an active, ongoing process of understanding what a client values in life and how a home fits into that larger picture.

Here are three ways to start building your relevancy.

1. Be more than a real estate professional to homeowners in your neighborhood

Look for ways to play an active role within your community, whether that means championing local issues, supporting local businesses or becoming involved in local organizations.

Actions speak louder than words, so sponsorships and ads are not enough, and authenticity is key. Make connections with business owners, promote them beyond word of mouth and incorporate within your marketing — it will be reciprocated.

Show up for the things that you care about, support people and places you are passionate about, and it will get noticed.

2. One-on-one interactions are just as important

After representing a client, do not make every interaction about “the next transaction” or even about real estate in general. Find ways to connect with clients and prospects as your neighbors and fellow humans.

Instead of sending templated birthday greetings, for example, take the time, pay attention to detail, and learn their interests, hobbies and passions. Then reach out when it makes sense to with personalized messages.

3. Consistency breeds leadership

Your local brand reputation is built on consistently playing an active role in whatever is happening in your community, whether that’s business as usual or in times of crisis.

The ways in which you’re there, outside of helping clients to buy or sell a house, can often be the most impactful and memorable.

Regularly check in on your clients with timely, helpful information to strengthen your relationships and build loyalty.

Relevancy among our clientele and within our communities will continue to define the best professionals in the industry. Wake up every morning and ask yourself: “What will it be today that leaves a lasting impact?” It can be the smallest of things.

It is only through a constant assessment and adjustment of our own relevance that real estate professionals will continue to add value and best serve our clients in the weeks, months and years to come.

Anthony Hitt is the CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas in New York City. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

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