How to Differentiate Yourself and Stand Out From the Crowd
When I first got into the real estate business, I was letting my clients and business run me, the question that I used to ask was: “How can I make a sale today?”. Then, it was: “How can I make another sale?”. The next day it was the same question: “What do I do today to make another sale?”
Sound familiar? I’m guessing it does. The bad news is that this is not the right question.
We really should be asking a more sophisticated question: “How can I set up a system of attraction that brings a steady reliable stream of ideal potential clients to me, asking for my advice or assistance as the trusted authority on real estate or even better, who are predetermined to be my clients if accepted?”.
This is the question an expert agent asks every day.
An expert agent is committed to learning, growing and creating a business based on serving real estate consumers at the highest level with proven and tested strategies that result in getting their clients the best value for their real estate experience.
Most importantly, expert agents have an attract, not chase mentality and it’s really the best way for you to conduct your real estate business. Wouldn’t you rather have that type of business? I believe you would.
Of course “chasing business” is part of the business and it's something that you can do to drive revenue (and it's something you should do to drive revenue) but the ultimate goal is to get to the point where you're an expert agent and you’re attracting business to you where you're determining whether you're going to accept that client or not.
Not the client controlling the relationship.
When this happens, you get your time back. When this happens, you generate consistent income. When this happens, you can create a predictable pipeline of business that can provide for you and your family for generations to come…
...and it all comes as a result of differentiating yourself from every other agent in your marketplace.
Differentiate Yourself and Stand Out From the Crowd
Money moves to difference not similarity.
If you’re taking notes, write that down: Money moves to difference not similarity.
If the agents in your market do things one way, you’re going to do it a completely different way. If everybody else does it one way, you can't do it that way because now you're just like everybody else. If you do, you’ll look like every other agent in your area to real estate consumers, which means you’ll get the same poor results as most every other agent in your marketplace.
Your goal is to create for yourself a defining gap where it is clear to the consumer that you are different than a regular real estate agent...than a realtor. You need to do things that help your prospects and clients see a tremendous amount of value in what you do.
The best way to do this is to start with The Strategy of Preeminence (TSOP) in mind.
TSOP is “the most powerful business strategy that - when harnessed and executed properly - is virtually guaranteed to catapult any business (and most specifically your business) ‘to lofty levels of multiplied results that will leave your competitors choking on your dust.”
In specific terms, TSOP “extols, advocates, champions the role of the team member, supplier, prospect or customer” explains Abraham, “Its focus is on the receiver and their best interest. It boils down to, ‘I’m not trying to sell you - I want to serve you.’
When it comes to being preeminent in the eyes of your consumer, you have to “show up before you show up”. Showing up doesn’t mean that the seller needs to be wowed at the kind of suit or shoes you wear, the kind of car you drive or how pretty your presentation is.
Yes, these things are important for a professional image, but they have nothing to do with TSOP.
In order to show up before you show up, you need to provide your prospects with a steady stream of high-quality materials that give you a tremendous amount of credibility in their eyes - credibility when it comes to the job of helping them achieve their real estate goals in a reasonable time frame and with a tremendous amount of value along the way.
As agents, we send out a short, ten-minute video that chunks down into bite-sized pieces the 115 variables that we proactively manage to get their home sold fast, for top dollar and for as little stress as possible.
The video isn’t of anyone of us talking about how great we are. It is an infographic that extols the virtues of our listing system and it’s laden with not only features, but also a multitude of benefits for sellers who choose to work with us. There is not one mention of how great we are or anything that we’ve accomplished other than helping sellers achieve their goals.
After that, we send a pre-listing package that includes the following materials:
- Letter of introduction - a letter that introduces our company while at the same time focusing on all the great things sellers achieve by working with us. It introduces our services, strategies and philosophies - not our attitudes, accomplishments and accolades.
- Tear Sheet - a glossy four-page document that establishes our us as the expert on what it takes to get homes sold in the ever-changing landscape that is the real estate market
- White-paper - a high-quality, thirteen-page piece that helps sellers understand what keeps homes from selling and then describes how our company helps them overcome those challenges to get top-dollar for their home
- Testimonials - a page of testimonials from past clients who loved what we did for them. Testimonials are among the most important ingredients for influencing prospects to choose to do business with you.
By the time we arrive at the front door, our seller prospects are well informed about what our company can do for them when they hire us. They’ve seen everything our listing system does and how it equates to them walking away from the sale with the most amount of money while experiencing a highly professional and highly systematic approach to selling their home.
No other agent in the area has this material or takes this approach when working with sellers. As a result, we look very different in the eye of the consumer and have a huge advantage over the other agents in our marketplace.
The best part is, sellers are often sold on who we are as a real estate company, which requires less of our time at the house and even less time “selling” prospects on why they should choose us.
Be THE Expert
Right now, there is a forest out there with a number of woodland creatures raising their figurative fists in anger at real estate agents around the world. They’re doing that because of the number of trees that have been cut down to create the thousands of unnecessary and ineffective comparative market analyses (CMAs) real estate agents use every day at listing presentations.
Unfortunately, CMAs are nothing more than a look in the rearview mirror of the real estate market that provide a somewhat distorted view of what actually happened along the way. Yes, we do need some comparables to help sellers understand what’s happened to homes similar to theirs, but using comparable data is woefully insufficient to 1) help establish us - real estate agents - as experts and 2) give sellers a legitimate understanding of the market and at which price they should decide to list their home for sale.
You must know the market better than any other agent.
To be an expert, you must know the real estate market - both nationally, locally and even at the neighborhood level - better than any other agent or seller in your marketplace. More importantly, you need to be able to demonstrate a true understanding of how market conditions will affect the sale of your clients’ homes so that they price it properly to sell in a timeframe that’s meaningful to them.
For data on a national level, we use a service that provides monthly updates on both the real estate and mortgage markets. This service also provides a look at buyer sentiment, trends in price ranges, updates on existing home sales vs. new construction sales and a variety of other categories of data.
Most agents don’t even cover what’s happening on a national level with their seller prospects; so just by doing that, we are setting ourselves apart from the other agents in our marketplace. The great thing is what happens on a national level has a significant impact of what happens on a local level and our sellers greatly appreciate our reviewing this data with them not only at the listing appointment, but on an ongoing basis after the initial appointment.
On a local level, we use a service that provides them with local sales data in any price range and in any areas they choose. The data is very detailed and it gives sellers a solid look at not only what’s happening in their city/town, but also in their price range and the price ranges above and below theirs. This gives our prospects a very clear picture as to what’s happening in the area that could affect the sales price and time on market for their home.
The quality, depth and breadth of this data helps us shine when demonstrating their expertise and it gives sellers the comfort that they’re making the best choice when it comes to pricing their home.
Lastly, on a more granular neighborhood level, we provides sellers with a look at the present and future of pricing and sales in their specific neighborhood. At our office, we have a web-based pricing model that processes all the past sales in a particular neighborhood and shows them roughly where their home will sell in the next several months.
It’s more detailed and specific than a CMA and most importantly it lives in the present and talks about the probability of selling at a specific price for the future.
No other industry on the face of the planet looks at the sales trends of the past to determine the current sales price of their product. Automobiles, jewelry, furniture, restaurants, grocery stores, etc….all of these products are priced based upon current production costs and demand. Real estate should be priced the same way, but it’s not. Our software program allows us to come up with a realistic price at which our sellers’ homes will sell using real-time, current data as its basis.
The combination of these three data sources helps us establish a tremendous amount of credibility in the eyes of our sellers. No other agent in our marketplace is going as broad or as deep with sales and market data as we are and as such, we come across as being completely different from the agents against whom they are competing.
The best part is that sellers recognize how different the approach is and subsequently, work more collaboratively with our with us when it comes to pricing their home. That is to say, they price their homes appropriately with way less fighting and arm twisting.
It’s a much better way to do business, I assure you.
These strategies are available to everyone of you out there who care to grab them and put them to work. Take yourself, your business and the outcomes you get more seriously. Decide today that you’re going to be different from the agents in your marketplace - that you’re going to be an expert - and the how will take care of itself.
Most importantly, decide you’re worth it.
Don’t be afraid to be different, be afraid to be the same as everyone else.
Set up a free business assessment to find out how to be an expert and differentiate your business and yourself from the competition.
Click the button below to set one up now.