There are more than 1.3 million real estate agents in the U.S. In any given year, the median number of transactions among this group of agents is 12!
In such a hyper-competitive industry, it takes a special effort to stand out, to differentiate yourself when meeting with a prospect. Why should a homeowner trust their most treasured asset to you? Why should they be confident that you’re the right person to help them realize their dreams and financial goals?
A good way to assess your point-of-difference is by defining your “value proposition.” According to Investopedia:
The value proposition provides a declaration of intent or a statement that introduces a company’s brand to consumers by telling them what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.
For top real estate agents, there are a number of ways you can get in touch with your personal value proposition. Here are a few:
YOU PROVIDE DIFFERENT OR UNIQUE SERVICES
Much of your success is driven by how you separate yourself from the pack when meeting or Zooming with a prospect. To the degree you can provide “value added” services to help a homeowner sell their property, you will be ahead of the game. For example:
- Provide professional photography to bring their listing to life.
- Pick up the cost of pre-inspection expenses.
- Offer professional advice with regard to staging.
- Build relationships with relocation companies that connect you to people moving to your town, and are in search of a new home.
You probably have other ideas you can add to this list. The point is, if you’re the one agent offering something of value to the homeowner, you have a much better chance of setting yourself apart from your competitors.
YOU ALWAYS MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
There’s an old Saturday Night Live skit featuring Billy Crystal as the Latin character, Fernando, whose famous catchphrase was: “Darling, it’s always better to look good than to feel good.” And Head & Shoulders ran a TV advertising campaign in which they warned those with dandruff that “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” You get the idea. Zoom or not, how you present yourself is critical in sending a message about your passion and professionalism. A few ideas in this regard:
- Use awesome, high-quality, professional-looking presentation materials. Find a cost-efficient graphic designer to help create your “brand look,” including color palette, logo, etc. Everything you do should “pop” off the page, and bring your personal brand to life.
- ALWAYS look your prospect in the eye, smile, acknowledge, and repeat back what you’ve heard. Top performers never stop showing their passion, conviction and enthusiasm.
- Be the best-dressed person in the room. In these days when casual Fridays have expanded to casual every day, you can stand out by looking like you’ve just walked out of a fashion magazine. Remember that “first impression” concept.
YOU PROJECT YOURSELF AS AN AUTHORITY FIGURE
It’s critical that you want earn a prospect’s trust, as a means to earning their business. You can foster this trust by being prepared, and serving as the real estate authority figure. Here are a few ideas:
- Know everything there is to know about a neighborhood, from recent transactions to the best schools to the most enjoyable place to have an intimate dinner with your partner. Find those little nuggets that nobody else will know and you’ll find that people are calling you for information about their neighborhood.
- If you’re presenting to a new Expired, be sensitive to the fact that they may be frustrated and angry about the failed attempt to sell. But then show your confidence at how you would go about marketing and selling their home. Be extra sensitive when working with homeowners whose home failed to sell and have now been added to the new expired listing. They’re likely frustrated, possibly angry and probably being inundated with calls from other agents. Let them know you understand, and project confidence that you can market their home to success.
- Be a pricing strategist, driven by your first-hand knowledge of market dynamics and your interpretation of market data. This is particularly important when working with new expireds.
- Always be listening! It’s imperative that you fully understand your prospects needs, concerns and fears. And dreams!
If your goal is to sell five or ten times the median number of homes sold each year (12), a good place to start is by working on your value proposition. Be clear what makes you different, and more effective than any other agent. Be confident, and look your best. With apologies to Fernando, it’s better to look good AND to make your prospects feel good about having you as their agent.