Real estate is a challenging field. To rise to the top, you need to do a bit more than your competitors are willing to do. These are all actions that can help you set yourself apart.
One of the top complaints customers have about real estate agents is that they don't listen. Real estate author Jennifer Allan says that your first meeting with a customer should be more like a counseling session. She says, "real estate is not like a sales job. It is much more of a management and customer service job. You want someone with the heart of an adviser."
1. Work to understand your buyers or sellers.
2. Use a great headshot.It takes 40 milliseconds for someone to form an impression of someone based on a picture. And, those impressions tend to stick. Invest the money in a professional headshot. Wear a top in a bright colored solid. And, be sure to smile. Your headshot should make you look approachable, confident and capable.
3. Distinguish yourself by picking a niche.Specialization is one of the ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd. As a generalist, you can be one of dozens of competitors. As a waterfront luxury specialist, you'll be one of a small, dedicated and knowledgeable handful.
4. Manage your time well."You can’t avoid the administrative functions that support your sales and customer service efforts, but you can and should handle them in the absolutely fewest number of hours possible," says real estate author Dirk Zeller in his piece on production supporting activities. The less time you spend on these support activities, the more time you have for clients.
5. Be highly responsive.Buying or selling a house is a massive commitment, and your customers will feel more secure when you answer their phone calls and emails right away. Sometimes, when bids get competitive, hours can make a difference in whether you secure the sale. Set up your emails and your office phone to forward to your cell phone so that you are never out of touch.
6. Stay up to date on technology.Twenty-seven percent of real estate agents invest $500 to $2000 each year in tech gadgets that help them do their jobs better. At any given time, you should have a quality digital camera, a smart phone and/or tablet and a data plan that can handle the heavy use that your career requires. If you are not technically proficient, consider a quick course to get caught up.
7. Know your area of expertise.To win your clients' confidence, you should have the expertise to guide them through the buying process from preapproval to closing. If there are areas where you feel your knowledge is weak, whether it's mortgage, zoning or law, you can round out your expertise by taking one of REIC'sinformative classes.
8. Develop a strong network, online and off.Get out in your community to meet new people whenever you can. This can increase your chances of finding new leads in the unlikeliest places. You should also be building up your network online. Take a bit of time each day to attend to your social media accounts. Spend time on LinkedIn commenting on people's posts and milestones. Answer questions on forums like Quora. Being present and helpful means that you are more likely to be the agent people think of when it is time for them to sell or buy.
9. Tell your clients everything you are doing and explain step by step.About one-third of buyers are first-timers. And, even people who have purchased or sold a home before will likely have a lot of concerns and questions about the process. At any given time, you should always keep your customer in the loop and explain what is going on. This can allay a lot of their fears and increase their trust.
10. Ask for referrals.One of the most powerful ways to get referrals is to simply ask. After the completion of a sale, send a quick note of congratulations to your client. At the end ask, "were you happy with the process? If so, I'd love it if you shared the names of three people who you think could use my services." Referrals from trusted friends are some of the most trusted leads and the ones most likely to convert. Ask when your customers are enjoying the glow of a new sale and they are likely to sing your praises to their family and friends.
Successful realtors are the ones who are always learning new things and doing everything they can to be of service to their customers.
Are you ready to expand your skills and grow your success? Check out REIC courses and programs today to find out more about our offerings.