When it comes to real estate, relationships are key and having your name on the tip of everyone’s tongue — in a positive way — is what will drive your business.
As with all things, success doesn’t happen overnight, but with a little planning and a great sense of purpose, you can become the most sought after agent in your area.As with all things, success doesn’t happen overnight, but with a little planning and a great sense of purpose, you can become the most sought after agent in your area.Click To Tweet
The following eight tips will help you devise a plan to set you on the road to becoming the most beloved agent in your neck of the woods.
1. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
Once you realize that you can’t become the best on your own, you’re one step closer to achieving that sought-after status. Take a step back to consider your current network; what does it look like?
To become the ultimate authority on all things real estate in your area, you need to surround yourself with the best in the business.
Build a network of trusted:
- mortgage brokers
- professional organizers
- any and all professionals that deal with each aspect of homeownership
Once you have a network of trusted professionals established, start using them. Refer your clients to companies in your network and ask for referrals in return — it’s a reciprocal relationship.
Take things a step further and ask your network if they’re willing to offer a discount or extras to your referrals. It’s easy to create a coupon card or pamphlet that highlights the companies you work with, but also provides your clients with a bonus for working with them.
2. BECOME A MASTER COMMUNICATOR
Not only do you need to perfect the art of communication to build and maintain relationships with your referral network, but you also need those skills to become the go-to agent in your area.
You can invest a ton of money in marketing materials, mailings, and email lists, but unless you are seen as a real person behind the images that go out, you’ll have spent that money for nothing.
Think about the last time you needed major work done on your car or something in your home. Did you blindly contact garages and contractors, or did you ask around for personal recommendations? You can send out thousands of postcards, but word-of-mouth recommendations will always, always, trump a mass mailing.
So, how do you get those recommendations? By being a great communicator.
The process of buying and selling a home is extremely personal for most homebuyers. This isn’t a decision they’re making with haste, and you need to understand and appreciate that about your clients.
A large part of communication is listening, which is how you’ll build trust with your clients in the long run. Listen to their wants and needs, show them that you’re listening by asking questions directly related to their requests.
Hearing, respecting, and addressing your client’s needs — in addition to doing a stellar job — is how you’ll become the most beloved agent in your area. Practice listening more and talking less.
3. BE AN AUTHORITY
Most areas feature local magazines that offer opportunities for guest writers. If you’re not a stellar writer, consider hiring someone to ghostwrite some real estate articles for you to place in area magazines.
You can offer helpful how-to pieces that will inform owners about the best ways to increase home value on a budget, what to ask their real estate agent or top tips for creating curb appeal. Don’t give away all of your trade secrets, but provide actionable advice. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to pitch a regular column, solidifying yourself as an area authority people can trust.
If you want to steer completely away from writing, consider signing up as an authority open for interviews.
HARO — or Help A Reporter Out — is an online database that matches subject area experts with reporters looking for sources with professional expertise.
You sign up as a source and then choose the frequency with which you wish to receive emails with postings of reporters seeking experts. If you get into the habit of monitoring the daily emails, you’ll likely see requests to real estate experts.
In time, you can become a journalist’s go-to source for all things real estate, creating a trail of articles featuring you as a trusted expert. It’s hard to top being quoted in a major media outlet when it comes to establishing your real estate prowess!
4. MAINTAIN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Speaking of building relationships with area professionals and journalists, don’t forget that you need to nurture and tend to those relationships from time to time. Whether it’s a quick email check-in periodically, or sending holiday cards once a year, make sure that you’re checking in and keeping in touch with your referral network.
Consider sending out a periodic newsletter highlighting area trends and other tidbits that may be helpful for your network. A newsletter allows you to maintain semi-frequent contact with your ever-growing list of referrals, in addition to providing value to your network.
For example, if your local market shows no signs of slowing in the fall, consider reaching out to your landscapers to let them know that their services will be in high demand as more people continue to list in the off-season.
5. HAVE A PLAN
It may seem like a basic piece of advice, but without a plan for your business, you can forever be wandering and chasing after loose ends. Decide what your mission is and the goals you’ll use to guide you to achieve them. Consider your strengths and incorporate them into your plan.
For example, your mission may be as simple as wanting to help families find the right forever homes. A goal might be to become an area expert in local schools and daycares, in addition to community activities and availability.
Whatever your plan is, make sure it aligns with your mission, strengths, and goals.
6. BUILD YOUR BRAND
If you’ve not already begun to build your brand, you need to get started today! Building your brand is vital to your mission to become your area’s most beloved agent.
Quick — what sets you apart from your competitors?
If you didn’t answer the question immediately, you need to sit down with a pen and paper and start brainstorming why people should choose you over your competitors.
Once you’ve figured that out, put it into action and incorporate it in all of your materials, print, digital or otherwise. This is the embodiment of your brand.
Let’s back up a bit. Remember your business plan?
A large part of your branding will be tied to your plan. Determine your niche and use that to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Using the previous example, you being known as the family agent should drive your branding. You know all things kids, schools, and activities in your area, so this should be apparent in everything you put out in the community.
Remember your referral network?
If you’re known as the family agent, make sure that your network includes area daycares, schools, club sports, and other organization or business that serves local families.
7. BOLSTER YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
There is no way around it — if you don’t have an online presence these days you’re dead in the water. And if email is the extent of your tech acumen, it’s time to take some refresher courses or hire outside help.
With millennials on the market, you need to rethink the way you operate your business and ensure that digital technology is a large part of the plan.With millennials on the market, you need to rethink the way you operate your business and ensure that digital technology is a large part of the plan.Click To Tweet
Not only should you have a website, but it should look professional and be updated frequently. If you choose to incorporate a blog on your site — and you should — make sure you are contributing to it regularly. Your social media links should be in a prominent place so that potential clients can easily connect with you on various platforms.
8. MAKE TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
If social media isn’t your thing, you’re going to need to hire someone to take care of that for you. The prices vary depending on frequency, but you can find someone to handle your social media accounts easily and within your budget.
If you’re handling social media on your own, choose one or two platforms to focus on to make things more manageable.
A great example of a real estate agent building a strong local presence is one I stumbled across on Facebook. An area agent created the only local group for our rural area, and it’s used by tons of area residents daily — there are 35,000 members in the group. While the group name is the name of the area, the banner is the real estate agent who founded the group — clever guy — with all of his contact information. He regularly does Facebook Live videos in the group, garnering him hundreds, if not thousands, of views per day. What a brilliant, free way to market oneself as an area expert!
As long as you realize that your goal of being the area’s go-to agent will take time, you’ll have the patience required to build that all-important foundation.
- Start with a plan
- surround yourself with the best in the business
- establish your authority in the field
- use your online presence to help build your brand
Your name will be mentioned in all the right circles in no time!