Does your real estate marketing help clients choose you by clearly showing who you serve and where you do it?
Does it lead people to you who will appreciate your expertise, trust you, and make your life easier because you do know the answers to their questions? Does it help clients choose you?
Or does it basically say something like “I’m a real estate agent and I sell some kind of property somewhere.”
You might laugh, but that – in different words, of course – is what a whole lot of real estate websites say.
Some don’t give the agent’s location, even on the home page. But that’s nothing. I’ve been on agent sites that revealed the brokerage’s name on the home page, but saved the agent’s name for the about page.
With no clear location visible, visitors are forced to look at the homes for sale and hope that they give a city name as well as an address.
Depending upon the size of the MLS, the homes for sale may or may not be in the agent’s territory. That is, if he or she even has a territory. For agents in my own community, the “local” MLS covers 3 counties – or about 4,500 square miles – and more than 30 distinct communities.
If a would-be buyer or seller is looking for an agent with expertise in a specific community or a specific type of property, they’ll have to keep searching for that specialist.
Remember that people do put more faith in specialists, because they trust a specialist’s expert knowledge. It’s the same in many trades, from copywriters, to vehicle mechanics, to attorneys, and even to doctors. When people need someone with specialized knowledge, they call on a specialist.
When the answer isn’t on the home page, they can look to the agent’s blog for a clue.
Unfortunately, some agents can’t seem to make up their minds, so their blog posts are all over the place. They share a market report or tidbits about a few different communities. They give advice about buying or selling single family homes, investment properties, and commercial properties.
These varied blog posts do nothing to help clients choose you, but they do say “Call me” about all of them.
With no help from the blog, visitors can check the about page.
If the agent has a geographic territory or niche, visitors should find it there.
BUT – some agents are so afraid of missing out on one client that they won’t give up their secret even on their about page. Instead, they keep pretending that they can be all things to all people.
Would you really trust that someone “Knows the area inside out” when that area takes in 15 distinct communities and covers a territory of more than 2,000 square miles? I read such a claim on a (somewhat) local website just this week. And no, I don’t believe the claim. At least she was only claiming to be an expert in about half the territory of the 3 northern counties.
Your website, like your elevator speech, needs to be a bit more specific.
What happens to that prospective buyer or seller when they can’t find even one agent who declares his or her expertise in the community or the type of property that interests them?
Unless they can get a referral from a friend, they can take a wild guess and pick an agent at random. Perhaps there will be something else in an agent’s bio that attracts them, or maybe they’ll choose based on the number of certifications, or even the agent’s age or gender. Maybe it will be the quality of the agent’s smile in a photograph.
Choosing and revealing a territory or niche will help clients choose you.
If only a few agents hid their expertise, it wouldn’t be a problem, but…
Trying to serve everyone seems to be a common malady. I wrote about what I learned during quest to find one agent who specialized in Priest River properties in this January post about agent bios. In case you wondered, no, I didn’t even find one.
Thinking beyond your real estate website…
Some agents use the same shotgun approach in prospecting letters, newspapers, magazines, flyers, and postcards.
When the listing on my son’s rental property expired a couple of years ago, he started getting postcards and even full color 9X12 brochures from a real estate team at company whose name we didn’t recognize. I found out where their office was by looking at the telephone prefix. Then I visited their website, which repeated the message on the postcard: “Serving North Idaho.” Yes – more than 30 communities and 4,500 square miles.
Since they were the only ones who bothered to send more than one postcard, I did meet with them. It didn’t take long to realize they knew nothing about this community.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“With the explosion of the internet has come numerous avenues for small business owners to share their expertise and position themselves as experts. And expertise is what consumers are looking for.”
― Diane Helbig
“Specialization, concentration and consistency is the key to outstanding performance… Love your zone!”
― Israelmore Ayivor
If you are an expert in a specific geographic territory or a specific real estate niche, there are people who want to choose you.
Do your website, your print ads, your postcards, your letters, and your social media sites help those clients find and choose you?
Or are you trying so hard to appeal to everyone that you appeal to no one?
Remember – Choosing a territory or a niche does not exclude anyone. It only brings you more clients who are searching for your particular area of expertise. In other words, it helps clients choose you.
Confusion button Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Searching Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Choice Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net