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Ask An Ambassador: How To Be A SME

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

What's a SME you ask?  it's not more NAR related alphabet soup to add to your signature and advertising, but Subject Matter Expert is the answer,

When a consumer contacts us, they're expecting whoever answers the phone to be a SME when it comes to real estate matters.  If they didn't think we were the SME for the particular topic or location that concerns them, they'd never reach out.

To be a SME, you have to know stuff.  That doesn't mean you have to spend years in college getting an advanced degree, instead practical knowledge and critical thinking can trump a certificate.

But for that practical knowledge to matter, you have to get people to find you, and IMO that's where blogging and IDX pages really come in handy.

And frankly, it's easier to be a SME if you have a niche than trying to know all things real estate about an entire metro area or two.

Over the years I've created a fair number of blog posts and IDX pages that feed the long tail search results.

If someone calls me about "Lexington Park" like they did yesterday, I know that's a community in Mason of single family homes, approximate age and priced lower to mid point for the area, and that there are few opportunities for purchase in a given year.

The conversation is easy because the caller has already found and read our information about the community, and there's a level of trust established before I've ever spoken a single word.

To me, that's an ideal situation to start a potential relationship.

Do they all turn into clients?  Nope!  Often it's a call like yesterday, the caller already has an agent, but in a frustrating market for buyers where paying $60k over asking means losing to someone who paid $80k over asking, they're seeking information that they haven't found with their agent.  Just maybe you know of a Coming Soon?

Providing information that helps the consumer find what they're seeking is a great way to establish yourself as a SME (and with luck, Google sees you as one too and your posts move up the rankings).  Some of those calls won't have an agent, so your blogging and webpages have done their job, it's up to you to convert them to clients once initial contact has been made.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask an Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Often times it's the street smarts that the caller is seeking especially when it comes  to specific communities.   I was curious as to meaning of SME.

Mar 26, 2024 12:46 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

An experienced agent has a lot to offer in both avoiding trouble and how to deal with it when it does appear.  Each transaction adds a bit more to use and less of "I've never seen THAT happen before".

Mar 26, 2024 01:31 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

The only SMEE I know how to be.

Mar 26, 2024 12:53 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

That extra E makes all the difference :)

Mar 26, 2024 01:30 PM
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Lakeland, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

I put all of my knowledge in my videos on YT and it seems to be working!

Mar 26, 2024 02:20 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Videos for some, written words for others, just a matter of matching the right target audience with the medium.

Mar 26, 2024 07:06 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - maybe it's hyperlocal; perhaps a bit beyond that.  I believe some clients seem to understand connection especially when they have felt differently in similar situations.  You're right, there are no guarantees.  A practice of becoming more knowledgeable and focused on the market helps us to be better.  

Mar 26, 2024 03:24 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I try to target communities I'd want to work in (good price point, but not TOOOOO high, decent turnover), it's definitely hyperlocal and it gets the best results for me.  For others, it may be a heavier mix of personal that works.  Whatever works, go with it.  YMMV.

Mar 26, 2024 07:08 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Savvy buyers and sellers will certainly want to feel comfortable that we know what we are doing in the business, can help them navigate the transaction, know the local market and housing conditions, and will add value to them working with us as opposed to someone else. Just claiming you are the neighborhood specialist doesn't cut it.


Mar 26, 2024 07:59 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

You've got to be able to walk the talk when they reach out.  This isn't a fake it 'til you make it scenario.

Mar 27, 2024 07:46 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Such a simple concept. Go deep not wide but going deep takes time and some people are still looking for the magic bullet

Mar 27, 2024 03:48 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've yet to find a magic bullet in this business.  It's working the fundamentals that seem to consistently do the job.

Mar 27, 2024 07:46 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I try to stay in my lane as much as possible and only give advice on subjects that I know really well, haha.

Mar 27, 2024 04:56 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

A lot harder to get in trouble that way!

Mar 27, 2024 07:47 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I do agree! Having a niche is especially helpful because you really can't be a SME about everything!

Mar 27, 2024 05:13 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Well one could TRY :)

Mar 27, 2024 07:47 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Great Blog!  I agree with your thoughts on knowledge of an area.  I know a lot but will never know it all...even though my wife thinks I am one of the smartest people alive...I love it when she reminds me by calling me a Know-It-All!! Have a great Wednesday!

Mar 27, 2024 06:55 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Don't tell anyone, but I was a genius BEFORE I got married :)

Mar 27, 2024 07:47 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

When I worked in Capital Markets, I worked alongside a lot of SME's on a routine basis. When I decided to make the career change into real estate- I was President of my condo board and kept encountering all of these agents that despite having sold a lot didn't have deep knowledge that I expected. I decided at that point that I would be able to differentiate myself by becoming an SME. I always aim to add some unique value proposition to every deal.

Mar 27, 2024 08:17 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Adam, I can relate, this week I had an agent who OWNS a condo in a community and listed it for sale calling me asking for the floor plans for the community.

Mar 28, 2024 05:33 AM
Adam Feinberg

Liz and Bill Spear Yep- that is exactly what I have routinely experienced. 

Mar 28, 2024 12:11 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I don't think I know EVERYTHING about my market, but I am smart enough to be the source of the source if I don't know.

Mar 28, 2024 01:03 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

And I bet you don't have to invoke your sources very often.

Mar 28, 2024 07:39 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and advice.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Mar 29, 2024 08:52 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Weather here has been great today and forecast for weekend is good too :)

Mar 29, 2024 03:34 PM