You are a Realtor, and you care about how to be the best in your market.
Ok Then. Let’s talk strategy here. Let’s discuss facts. Let’s decide how to beat your competition.
1) Realtors do not compete on price. Commissions are industry standard percentages. If you sell one home this year you will make the same percentage as someone who sells 100.
2) Listing a home should be your goal. When you list a home it does not matter who finds the buyer you get at least half the commission. Of course you want to sell homes, but getting listings is great for you. So marketing to potential sellers IS important.
3) Realty marketing is stale. Your headshot is ten years old, your peer’s headshots look more like a high school yearbook than what they are today. Your office groups a few of you together for a weekly ad in the local paper (yawn) you and a few others do the same for your selves (yawn), you go on caravan (yawn), you put up generic open house signs and spend your afternoons waiting for potential buyers to show up to look around (yawn), you send direct mail pieces with your headshot and some ‘gold circle’ BS achievement data. Your marketing should step ou t of conventions and spark conversations, and a desire to be at your next open house not to miss out.
4) The photos that realtors use to market their homes is stale, boring, and not stimulating for the buyers who are browsing them. Unprofessional pictures, with poor light, are too often taken while leaning back into the corner of a room to try and ‘get all of it’ or ‘make it look bigger’. The video (if any at all) looks like it was taken with a cell phone, and uploaded without edit, title, branding, or descriptions. The virtual tour gimmick is old too, nobody wants to mess around with that. Plus why pay all that money for such a hokey 1999 technology? Your photo and video should immediately make sellers/buyers think of your brand, via both logo watermarks and style.
4) 94% of homebuyers start their search online. (via Century 21 VP of marketing) They don’t drive around first. That means you are presenting your homes with this mediocre media as their first impression. Think that makes sense? They are also looking for agents online too. If they see all your properties have great media, your web presence is gorgeous with an active blog dedicated to selling the homes you list, and then compare you to other agents who are doing the mundane who do you think gets the call? Some of today’s most envied realtors have incredibly old web sites with little to no social media presence. They are ripe for the picking.
5) Social media is an investment, it is a tool for making and nurturing connections, for building the reputation as an agent that a client has ‘known’ in the business for a while. When you create gorgeous photo/video content, maintain an active blog about properties and your local market, and share it all via your social channels you will develop a following that eventually will use you when they sell/buy. Building your network today is of utmost importance to tomorrow.
Implications for Real Life Work
None of this changes the fact that real life dedication, desire, and drive are needed to succeed. But why not stand out from the crowd, take your marketing dollars and get a substantive and undeniable differentiation from your competing agents. You are the brand, you are ‘the what’ that you are selling, the houses are secondary. They come and go, you are here for the long haul.
Do you think sending a forty page printed marketing packet with all your certificates from your mother agency is impressive to a seller? Really? If that was all that was out there maybe, but in reality sellers want people who are treating their property like a one of a kind, most valuable possession, make or break transaction that it is to them. They want feet on the ground, creative marketing ideas, and a driven focused unique approach that breaks from the norms of the mundane tried and not as true anymore methods that every lazy agent uses.
They want their 400k home treated like a million dollar home, with coverage and photo and video, with blog posts written about them and attention that they need. They want their million dollar homes to be opened to the realtor community with enticing events that make realtors want to come see the house. They want them opened to the public with wine tastings and magazine spreads. They want it all captured in ways that it can be used in their marketing efforts online/offline in every way applicable.
And they will get it. Will it be from you? Will it be from the office next door? Whose name in your community will be associated with changing the way the game is played, under whose umbrella will the credit lie?
The time is now. You know where to find me.