Real estate is a dinosaur. Don't be one!
This has nothing to do with your age. It has EVERYTHING to do with your paradigm. Paradigm is defined by Webster.com as a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind. Your paradigm is the way you process information - it's the way that you operate, the way you do things.
Here's the issue. Many agents have a paradigm that is based in the twentieth century. Which PART of the twentieth century varies, but the ideas usually flow from certain general idioms. This often is frighteningly clear with marketing. For example, typical agents all over the country run ads with big pictures of themselves smiling, with statements like "Work with me, I'm Number One!" I hate to break it to you, but consumers don't respond to that.
Why? They've seen a thousand number ones. They're so skeptical, that the only reason they're going to call you is if they happen to read about a house that they're interested in, and they really don't want to talk to an agent anyway!
What is a twenty first century paradigm? I would propose that the twenty first century agent is up to date on what really works in marketing, and they need to know how prospects think. Those agents who are reading this blog right now have embraced at least one component of it (I'll wait a moment so you can pat yourself on the back).
The twenty first century agent KNOWS that clients are more savy than they've been in the past. They also UNDERSTAND that prospects are going to be gathering a lot more information for themselves before they ever contact an agent to help them. Finally, they are COMFORTABLE with the fact that they are NO LONGER the gateway to real estate information!
I once had a fellow agent tell me that they were intimidated by clients who did a lot of research on the net. They felt that the clients might know more about the houses they were looking for than the agent. This is quite possible. Even though you can be an expert in your area, and you may do a thorough needs analysis, your prospect is still MUCH MORE of an expert on what THEY want. I told this agent to stop fearing it, and start embracing it. When I get a well-informed prospect, I jump for joy! That's MUCH LESS work for me!
How do you look at that situation? You have to concede that our job is no longer to be the gateway to real estate information. Our job is to be PROFESSIONALS whose knowledge and skills are beneficial to the individual wishing to conduct a real estate transaction.
I love the internet. I embrace the internet. I am comfortable enough in my REALTOR(R)-hood to give up tight reins on the information. If clients have already researched, my job is half over. Now it's time to bring in the professional to narrow down the last choices, find the right fit, and negotiate the best terms.
Another paradigm shift - when it comes to your marketing, give up the traditional print ads. If your ad doesn't have some sort of call to action, or an opportunity for a prospect to get information from you in a non-threatening way, then don't waste your money running the ad. Utilize tools such as direct response marketing. I'll tell you right now that I HIGHLY ENDORSE Craig Proctor's training for this. His systems and methods are light years ahead of other things out there, but I especially like his direct response marketing systems.
Terms such as call capture, IVR, and stealth web sites should be second nature to you. The twenty first century agent understands that the majority of prospects work with the FIRST real estate agent they speak to, and the best agents use methods to identify those prospects earlier in the game.
Change your paradigm. Change it now. The real estate dinosaurs are going extinct - don't join them!
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