When I am teaching my marketing class one of the first things I do is ask the agents a question. It is a simple question really, yet invariably the students are unable to answer it.
The question is this “What makes you different from the thousands of other agents you are competing against?”
I have yet had anyone able to articulate what sets them apart or makes them unique from all their competition…until the end of the class that is.
The responses I get are “I work hard” “I return phone calls right away” “I put my clients first”. And to all these I respond “Well I should HOPE so!” If you are not those things then I don’t want to do business with you. But, as Joe Client I would expect those things from my real estate agent.
Your first step in marketing should be to separate and differentiate yourself from every other agent in your market. How are you different from them? And why should I choose you?
The best way to set yourself apart is to become an expert in a specific niche.
For example what if I was a real estate agent who specialized in helping handicapped people? How would I market myself?
Maybe I would have a van that was handicap accessible so that someone in a wheelchair could ride with me in my van? What if I had a ramp in my van that I could use instead of steps for houses that I was showing?
What if all of my marketing was directed towards handicapped people?
Who else can say this?
If you have a specific niche like this it also becomes really easy to target your marketing.
You can now market to physical therapists. You can now market to senior publications. You can market to the areas where it's easier to contact handicap people.
In your ad you could tell people all the advantages of doing business with you; that you have a ramp in your van so that they can actually get into the houses and see them, that your van is handicapped accessible so that you can both go to the house together. That you know handymen and contractors that can convert a home to become handicapped accessible.
How do you think this would make a handicapped person feel? Do you think they might start to think “I’d be an idiot to do business with anyone else?”
Do you see how by focusing your marketing dollar on a niche you would be able to make your money go further? Not only that but you will get much better results than you are getting now by placing an ad in the paper and HOPING someone thinks you have the prettiest house and calls you?
At about this point most agents start to think, yes but I'd lose all of these other potential clients if I niche myself.
That kind of thinking is actually ridiculous. If you niche yourself you will do tremendously more business then if you are trying to chase and capture every piece of the pie. You want to focus on just a specific slice of the pie. Trust me you will be so busy you won’t want or need the other business.
Think about this for a moment, who earns more and makes more money-- a heart surgeon or a regular doctor?
Who earns more, a heart surgeon or a pediatric heart surgeon?
Who earns more, a regular mechanic or a mechanic who specializes in just Volvos?
Stop wasting your time on advertising that doesn’t do anything but send business to other agents in your office.
Start asking yourself why would anyone do business with me? What makes me different from every other agent? What niche could I dominate?
If you want to make money in this market first figure out your strategy. A strategy is what you are going to say and who you are going to say it to.
Stop wasting money on tactics like calendars, pens, websites, and newsletters until you first have something good to say and have figured out exactly who to say it to.