You know the difference between real estate features and benefits – right? And you know that simply listing the features of your new listing isn’t enough to get someone excited about your new listing.
After all, people buy with emotion, then justify the decision with logic. You need features combined with benefits to satisfy both. So your narratives have to cause potential buyers to see themselves enjoying the features and benefits of that home.
Features and benefits also relate to the service you offer your clients
Let’s begin with possible features:
- Your years of experience
- The number of years you’ve lived in the community
- Your designations
- The extra classes you continue to take
- Your awards
- The number of homes (or other real estate) you’ve sold
- The classes you teach
- The number of assistants who are helping you serve your clients
Before you simply list those features and leave it at that, ask “So what?”
Your clients may not say it or think it in those words, but it is still what they want to know. Remember the old saying: Would-be clients are all tuned into station WIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
Unless you tell them, they might not see the answer. They might not realize the benefits of working with you rather than some other agent.
How do the features of your service translate into benefits for your clients?
Your years of experience mean what? That you know how to handle any glitch that comes along? That you’ve honed your negotiating skills? That you’ve gathered a long list of trusted service providers to help with everything from renovations to estate sales?
The number of years you’ve lived in the community mean what? That you know every street and subdivision? That you know which neighborhoods are closest to highways or mass transit? That you know which schools serve each neighborhood?
How do your designations benefit your clients? It’s not enough to list them. Explain enough to let prospects know that you have added skills that apply to them and their situation.
Extra classes you take fall into the same category. You took those classes to learn specific things to benefit your clients. Say so.
Your awards may be directly related to the number of homes or other property you’ve sold in a given year, and may not. They may be a combination of sales and service to the community or to other REALTORS®. Tell your prospects what both mean to them. If it’s sales, you might talk about your marketing skills or your persistence in finding just the right home for buyers. If your award includes service to others, use it to show that you care about more than just the checks you deposit.
If you teach classes, use that information to show that you “know your stuff” well enough to teach others.
The assistants who help you will be seen as a benefit by some, because it may mean that there are more people working for them. Others may be put off by you having assistants, because they’ll want just one person who responds every time they call or email. Either way, it’s good for prospects to know ahead of time.
No, you can’t insert all of your features and benefits into every letter or email you send…
But you can sprinkle them in a little at a time.
Your agent bio should include your features and benefits, plus some non-business benefits
When I write agent bios for clients, I naturally include some of the benefits mentioned above. However, some of the other information I urge clients to share contains benefits of a more personal, non-business nature. These are details that will be seen as benefits in some prospects’ eyes, while others won’t even notice them.
- Your previous occupation or occupations
- Where you grew up
- Where you went to school
- Your hobbies
- Your volunteer activities
- Your pets
Details such as these help you connect with some prospects on a more personal level, because they offer a shared connection. That connection helps them see you as someone they will like and trust.
For instance: You might think “so what?” about including your pets. You might wonder why anyone would care. But some do. For a prospect who loves pets and wouldn’t trust anyone who doesn’t, it’s a big so what.
“So what” is a question you should ask any time you write a letter or any kind of promotion.
If you make a statement, think about it. Does it matter to your prospects? Ask yourself “So what?”
When your letters begin with a statement that directly relates to them, they’ll know the answer to “so what?” When it is all about you, their thought might end with your message going straight to the trash.
“So what” also matters when sending information or simply staying in touch.
Think of a “Just listed” card. Why would you send it? One reason is to show the neighbors that you’re active in the community. But that’s about you. What’s in it for them? First, the opportunity to be in the know. But also, they may have a friend or relative who would love to live near them. Suggest that!
If you’re writing to past clients or people in your sphere in order to stay top of mind with them, you don’t want them to think that’s the only reason they’re hearing from you. So write for a better reason. Send something you think they’d enjoy or find useful.
If you prefer calling, you could say you were thinking of them and hoping all was going well. Or how about saying something that shows you know who they are? For instance: “I hope your daughter is enjoying her first year in college,” or “How’s the new puppy?”