It may sound harsh to say, but it’s true: Talking about yourself is not the best way to win listings. That’s why statistics on YouTube’s top 5 real estate video types indicate “About Me” content ranks fifth on a scale of most sought-after video content buyers/sellers review before choosing an agent.

Why? The reason can be found in what I believe is one of the best sales, marketing and communication books ever written: “How To Win Friends & Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. If you haven’t read it, get a copy. First published in 1939, it continues to be a top seller because it’s based on a profound truth about human nature: To get people to give you what you want, you have to give them what they want first.

To build and grow your business base, you need listings and referrals. But what do consumers value when choosing a real estate agent? According to a recent report about real estate tech trends, 39 percent of consumers said they chose an agent referred by friends or family, and 25 percent said they went with an agent they’ve worked with before.

Staying in regular contact before, during and after the close of their real estate transaction — and providing a message of value during that contact — is a huge step in the right direction. A step that (which might be hard to believe) many agents fail in taking.

You understand that repeat business and referrals by professionals and past/current clients are key to grow your business, but do you have an actionable plan? Start by selecting content everyone would consider noteworthy or, better yet, socially sharable. If you don’t have time to create all the content yourself, just identify some credible industry partners. Companies such as RPR, HouseLogic or Imprev may offer multitouch campaigns with content delivered in both print and digital marketing materials.

Select content that appeals to your SOI.

Select content that appeals to your sphere of influence.

When it comes to sought-after content, topping the chart is market data. Answers to commonly asked questions like “How is the market performing? How long does it take to sell a home right now? Do I need to renovate before I put my house on the market?” can help agents brand themselves as the go-to source in their area, armed with data like up-to-date local real estate market analysis, managing conditional offers or bidding wars, and improving curb appeal.

Even better, when this information is presented as agent-branded video content within a newsletter, it becomes highly shareable via email and social media. These are the kinds of things that homeowners want to know beyond the purchase date of their home, and are also topics that they are more likely to share with their friends and family. Before you know it, you’re not working as hard to get your name “out there.”

Suddenly, you’re no longer just a salesperson. You’re a trusted real estate concierge. People come to you when they have questions and need advice. They become your faithful fans. They want to refer you to friends and family. And, just like Dale Carnegie said, this is how you get what you want: listings and referrals.

Stephen Schweickart is the founder and CEO of VScreen, the nation’s leading video services company within the real estate industry.

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