It’s time to stand out from your real estate competitors.
You have plenty of competitors. That’s just a given. There are more than 2 million individuals licensed to sell real estate in the U.S. Appraisers, inspectors, stagers, and investors also have more than enough competition.
So how can you stand out from your real estate competitors and make sure that people notice and remember you?
A number of experts have weighed in on this issue, and their suggestions include:
- Focus on a niche or a neighborhood – become THE specialist.
- Fill your personal website with useful, interesting content.
- Host webinars and allow time for participants to ask questions.
- Be active on social media sites – comment on other people’s posts and reply to comments on your own.
- Always exceed expectations – in service, in attention, and in marketing your listings.
- Gather and use testimonials from satisfied clients.
- Market yourself and prospect continuously
Those are tried and true ways to stand out from your real estate competitors, but they aren’t the only ones.
Lately, my in-box has been filled with messages about another method.
This is one that the “get rich” gurus were using back in the 80’s and 90’s. In fact, they used it so much that (In my opinion) no one stood out because they were all using it.
That method was to tell a personal success story.
The reason no one stood out was that they all had a variation of the same story: rags to riches. Every one of those now fabulously wealthy gurus told a story of living in Mom’s basement, sleeping in their car, scrounging for food, etc. Then they started doing whatever was taught in the program they were selling and suddenly they were wealthy beyond their dreams.
And of course, telling the same story made them all less believable.
It might have been more believable if they’d told stories of how their methods helped their clients go from rags to riches…
The messages I’m receiving now are for coaches. (I don’t know why, because I’m not a coach, but I landed on some list.) They recommend telling a story that, in my opinion, is too much like the stories the get rich gurus told. They say to tell how you transformed your own life with the methods you’re now teaching.
Unless you’re a coach, how can this apply to you in your effort to stand out from your competitors?
Your story can help people connect with you.
Your agent bio can tell the story of how you made the decision to become a real estate agent (or investor, stager, appraiser, inspector, etc.) It can also relate the events in your life that make you more valuable to your clients.
I once wrote a bio for an agent whose history included multiple moves back and forth between the U.S. and England. Packing up a household, including children, and making that kind of move is not simple, but she mastered it. And yes, it did help some clients identify with her and choose her. In fact, one stated that she chose this agent only because of her experience in moving.
Many of the agents I write for chose a real estate career because of a strong interest in real estate combined with poor service from agents they’d used. They knew they could do better and were fired up to try.
One bio I wrote was for a young man who had never considered doing anything but real estate. He had been raised in a family of agents and obtained his license as soon as he finished high school and was of legal age.
When I enrolled in real estate classes it was because we were interested in investing, and I felt ignorant. I didn’t know the terminology, procedures, etc. It was the classes that fueled a desire to become an agent. If I still sold real estate, that might be my story.
As it is, my copywriting story is that I was an agent for 19 years, so I understand the challenges agents face and the issues buyers and sellers bring to the process.
For some agents, the story that makes them stand out from real estate competitors is in the niche they’ve chosen.
Life events led them to a deeper interest in helping people in specific situations. It might be personal experience with divorce, probate, first time buying, senior relocation, military or corporate relocation, refurbishing a historic home, or even navigating the permit process to build on unimproved land.
Whatever it was, they recognized a need that they wanted to fill and set out to do so.
Telling your story will help people realize that you’re the agent with the experience, skill, understanding, and perhaps compassion, to assist them.
It might also help them to relate to you and form a connection based on past experiences. That connection is also the reason why I encourage my bio clients to let me include information about pets, volunteer work, hobbies, etc.
Remember to tell stories about clients you’ve helped.
Use your blog to relate stories about people who were having a tough time buying or selling, and how you were able to solve their problems and help them accomplish their goals. (Do either make the stories anonymous or get permission to use their names!)
But – what will help them remember your name if they aren’t ready to act right now?
- Your distinctive nickname
- Your consistency in staying in touch
- Your name and photo on every one of your web pages, your business cards, your print advertising, your blog posts, and every email or postal mailing you send out.
Working together, those three will almost guarantee that people won’t forget you.
Recently marketer Graham McGregor wrote about someone who calls himself “The Happy Printer.” If you had used this printer and liked his work, you’d find him again even if you could not remember that his name was Sam Smith.
What nickname could you use to make you impossible to forget?
When I asked that question on Active Rain, a few agents shared their own nicknames:
- Bethesda condo queen
- The leadership guy
- The Canyon Creek Queen
- Anna Banana
Think about it. If you already have a memorable nickname, be sure to use it in your signature lines, on your blog posts, etc. If you don’t have a nickname yet, start brainstorming with friends and family and come up with something that fits.
Consistency is a tried and true way to stand out from your real estate competitors.
So few agents are consistent in staying in touch with those in their sphere, their past clients, and their prospects that just being there will help you stand out.
When you pair that with good information, you’ll be remembered.
That is, as long as you remember to include your name and photo on everything you send out. Most of us are notoriously bad at remembering names, but we do remember faces.
Signpost image courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net