How a Real Estate Agent can Differentiate Himself from the Crowd
By Sadiya Anjum
The competition for real estate agents is getting tougher; not only do they have to compete with other agents for business now even homeowners selling on their own are on the list. The amount of information that is freely available can at least spur on any homeowner to sell on his own, even if he does not quite succeed. It is time that you as an agent market yourself effectively and more importantly, differentiate yourself from the crowd. If you do not do this, you will be just another average agent who gets sidelined in the end.
Ideally as an agent your services should be so brilliant that they sell themselves. But before you reach that stage you need to demarcate yourself from the rest and then prove that you can deliver. Your marketing should not be harder, it should be smarter. It is like the story of the bee which is trying to fly out of a room but keeps hitting on the glass window. No matter how hard he tries he cannot possibly break the glass to get out. He has to fly around a little until he finds an opening to fly out. It is about thinking smarter and out of the box.
When you use any marketing technique, you have to think Ďsubtletyí. Todayís consumers are smart about recognizing shallow self promotional offers and are generally wary of those who boast about themselves. So remember to keep it real and let your track record do the dirty work of boasting.
When trying to differentiate yourself, evaluate yourself and business. First know what you stand for. What is the one thing that people associate with you when they hear your name? It could be your excellent negotiating skills or your reliability or some policy of yours. In addition, know your strengths and weaknesses. To help in your evaluation, conduct a survey among your past clients. With present clients do an informal survey over lunch where the client does not even realize that he is evaluating you. You will realize what people appreciate about you and what they tolerate about you. Use this information to improve your services and business.
It is essential to keep in touch with past clients for referrals as well as to have them come back to you later. Everyone sends out mailers, emails, makes phone calls, offer incentives etc. But it is up to you to distinguish yourself with the matter you provide and how you provide it. For instance, if you are sending a mailer to a client who has just successfully bought a home send him an article on interior decorating. Or offer to give him the number of your friend (interior decorator) who may provide suggestions. You can think of any idea you want and put it to your use.
Constantly thinking of new ideas and how to improve your services is important. Make sure you provide quality customer service. Always listen to your clients and adapt according to their needs. Offer free information kits on topics related to real estate. Information you provide should be real and actually help clients out. Simplify information and make it easier for them to understand.
Use the internet effectively. Sign up with a site that can provide special marketing tools. But more importantly have your own website. Make it as attractive as possible and market your services efficiently here. Drive traffic to this website from other sources and links. Information is literally available 24/7 and it is like marketing constantly.
Consider blogging; it is a platform where more people can express their views openly. Donít try to market yourself in this space directly; use a simple link on the page to connect to your site. Provide ideas and information that agents typically donít. It is important to let the consumers feel empowered; provide them with the essentials and let them take their pick. Spoon-feeding or talking down is not going to get you anywhere.
To truly differentiate yourself you must know what makes you different from the rest. If you donít already know the answer, then find out what does or what can make you different. Use that information to reach consumers and even then, use the medium effectively and uniquely. It has to capture a consumerís attention and make him seek you out. After that, it is your job to prove to them that you can deliver as promised.
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