There are probably lots of reasons you became a real estate agent. You’re a people person. You like the challenge of sales. You like real estate in and of itself, either for its aesthetic or sentimental qualities, or as an investment. The reasons are as varied as the people who make up the industry.
One reason you certainly did NOT get into real estate, however, is because it’s an uncrowded field. There are plenty of agents competing for clients and closings alongside you every day, some of them perhaps even in the same office. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that, in 2014, there were more than 421,000 real estate agents and sales brokers in the United States, with that number expected to increase slightly by 2024.
So, with such a densely populated industry, how do you stand out? Zbuyer is here to help.
Many agents have similar degrees, similar certificates or training bona fides… some even have similar marketing strategies and specialties. But the one thing no other agent in the world has is… well, you. As Dr. Seuss said: “There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
This isn’t to say you should have your own theme music or dress wacky just for the sake of it or drive an ice cream truck instead of your car. The trick is, simply, to be your genuine self. Combine authenticity with knowledge of the industry, marketing smarts and hard work, and you’ll find success.
(Pro tip: Give clients with kids a copy of a Dr. Seuss book when you help them close on a new property.)
Find a Specialty
Sure, there’s probably at least one agent somewhere in the country specializing in everything under the sun. But that agent may not be in YOUR territory, which means you could be the trailblazer. You can segment in terms of type of client, location, or type of home.
Agents who specialize are better able to reach clients in their niche. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do this. You could specialize in working with a particular type of client such as first-time home buyers or people who need to sell quickly due to a job relocation. You could specialize in a particular neighborhood or in selling a certain type of home like multi-family homes or beachside homes. The possibilities are endless, but any direction can increase your chances of being the go-to source in a particular subset of the market.
(Pro tip: Become a leading agent in your area for Gen Xers. Everyone in the world focuses on the suddenly cash-flush Boomers and their more opinionated kids/grandkids in the Millennial generation, but Gen X has largely flow under the radar. They have money. They’re practical. Their kids are graduating from high school. And they’re interested in finding a place where they can whether the storm until they get to take over. You can help them find that place.)
This may seem like a no-brainer but… um, answer your phone. In this technological era it’s all too easy to let any number you don’t know go to voicemail and sit there ignored in perpetuity. This is the wrong idea. There’s a very good chance someone who is calling you is a business lead, and a motivated one at that.
Similarly, return your e-mails, and ideally with a bit more effort than an “OKAY” with “sent from my iPhone” at the bottom. Carve out time every day to sit down at an actual keyboard or tablet and type out responses to the important e-mails you receive. Potential clients, other agents and your mom will appreciate it.
(Pro Tip: Type your e-mails in Word or run them through a spell-checking engine before sending them.)
Listen to your Clients
Biggerpockets.com offers a list of direct feedback from sellers and buyers to agents. It’s worth a read.
Do more than “your job.” Go the extra mile. Help find and coordinate contractors, do your best to find ones that do good work at fair prices, and show the investor that even though your commission is earned, you are their “partner” and looking after them just as you would yourself. This is called integrity.
Don’t be this guy