What sets you apart from other Realtors in your area? Why would the consumer choose to work with you instead of your competition? Once you have their business, what do you do to keep it? I've been asking myself these questions this week. Why? Well I'm curious as to why I am so successful in what I do. I don't have an office. I work by myself. I'm not that smart. I don't have some extraordinary marketing plan that miraculously gets my listings sold. In fact I do very little marketing at all. Almost all of my marketing is geared towards getting business, not selling houses. So what it is? What's the x factor? So let's see what I can come up with as I explore these questions.
First. What sets you apart from other Realtors in your area?
- Longevity. I have been in my farm area for 12 years. My longevity has proven to potential customers that I'm not going anywhere. Just the fact that I have been doing this for 12 years shows them I am not a fly by night Realtor. I have staying power.
- Persistency. My farm area sees my face everywhere. I have consistently advertised in the same couple of local papers for 12 years. My farm area sees my ads every month and have for 12 years.
- Name recognition. I get great word of mouth and referral business. My reputation is very good. I have lots of signs in the ground. My farm area is constantly getting post cards and letters from me.
Secondly. Why would the consumer choose to work with you instead of your competition?
- Honesty. I think this is one of the biggest things. Folks know I will tell them what they need to hear. I never underestimate my Sellers. I lay it on the table. I give them the facts about what their house will sell for. Sellers are not stupid. They know what their house is worth. They just need someone that's willing to reiterate it.
- Confidence. I have a lot of confidence in what I do. When I am talking to potential customers I talk with authority. They trust what I am telling them about pricing and market conditions. Folks can tell when you are faking it and they know I'm not.
- Market knowledge. I know my market inside out. I know what's on the market. I know what has sold recently. I know the color of the carpet in the house for sale down the street. I spend about 1 to 2 hours a day, everyday, studying the MLS listings in my area. This is a practice I started 12 years ago and I have done it ever since.
And lastly. Once you have their business, what do you do to keep it?
- Communication. This one is actually the easiest but seems to be the one that a lot of Realtors neglect. Constant communication. You must communicate with your customers constantly, as in everyday, if necessary. My goal, always, is that when my sign goes up, it does not come down, unless I am on my way to closing. I don't care if it takes 2 years, I am keeping the listing. The bottom line is, if you sell their house you are golden, if you don't sell their house you are mud. Nothing else matters. You must have a successful closing no mater what it takes. Everything else you do, depends on this. Successful closings mean repeat business, great word of mouth, referrals, credibility and builds your reputation as the guy that gets the job done. If you are not 100% confident, that you can sell the listing, then don't take it. Ever. As in never, no way, see you later. Its easy. Just say, "I would rather turn you down now than let you down later." NEXT!
OK, there it is, my self analysis. If you have never done this it is a very good exercise. You need to know these things. Your answers may be completely different than mine but that's OK. The point is you need to ask yourselves the questions and know the answers. It helps you to focus on what it is you do. If you are lacking in any area then you will know what to work on.
Of course in retrospect, maybe I'm successful because I'm sooooooo good looking. Yea, that's it!