How to Stand Out As A Real Estate Agent
It seems like the real estate profession is growing daily, especially in our home-shortage economy.
With so many real estate agents entering the field by getting licensed, how are they—or even you—supposed to stand out from the rest of the licensed real estate agents?
As a real estate photography business owner, I’ve seen quite a few agents separate themselves from the crowd and provide a solid income for themselves and their family, even by selling a home or two a month.
Here are the most common ways I’ve seen, but it does include hard work in terms of money, time, and energy.
Ways to stand out as a real estate agent
1. Forget Your Time in the Industry
Forget how long you’ve been in business, but how you can help your sellers or buyers get what they want. I’ve seen so many first-year agents crush it because they took the time to create relationships with other agents, understand the market, and learn good negotiation strategies.
Sellers want their home sold quickly and for the most amount of money—how can you do this for them?
Buyers want a good deal on a home that they can afford and where they can feel financially, physically, and geographically comfortable—how will you help them achieve this goal?
Yes, your years in the industry helps, but you can be a 10-year part-time agent that’s only doing real estate as a side gig—years alone doesn’t mean anything.
Explain what the market is doing. Share good, not great, advice because you don’t want them to think it’s easy—because it’s not. Share what you would do in certain scenarios to position yourself as the expert. Once you have your seller’s agreement or buyer’s agreement signed, let open the flood gates of the best advice and gold nuggets you can offer.
2. Create beautiful marketing collateral to leave with your buyers and sellers
Presentation is everything because it’s the thing that will stick around long after you leave the meeting. Without great marketing collateral, it’s easy for your prospects to forget about you and your service and you’ll immediately blend in with the majority of other agents.
Marketing content can be provided through your brokerage, past listing photos that have been added to your portfolio, or other third-party services.
Pro Tip: Ask your lenders or title officers how they might be able to collaborate with you because as a real estate agent, you market directly to consumers, in other words B2C. Lenders and title officers market to agents, aka B2B, and they market to consumers, B2C. If you can find a good overlap, then collaboration will help you afford great marketing material for your presentations.
3a. For sellers: share a high-level marketing plan that only an agent can offer
Again, you don’t want to get down into the weeds of explaining every single thing you’ll do, explain just enough to make a decision that will lead them to signing a seller’s agreement.
Explain your high-level marketing strategy of how many marketing channels you’ll publish to, work samples of your photographer, case studies of past sales with the number of offers received and how they were generated.
Share a challenge or two that you had with past sellers and how you overcame them.
If you don’t have any past sales, share stories from other agents—with their permission, of course—on what other sellers have done with a similar marketing strategy and what the outcome was. You don’t have to claim it was your sale, just that “this seller’s experience with [YOUR BROKERAGE NAME] was…”—that’s one of the benefits of belonging to a good brokerage or team.
3b. For buyers: be a little more of a hands-on agent
Offer to pack and help move; offer to bring dinner on moving day; create a move-out and move-in checklist so nothing gets missed during the process; share a list of your contacts for movers, lenders, inspectors, storage facilities, cleaners, etc. Keep up to date on the needs of your buyers and constantly set expectations of the market because their needs can change if the market continually does not meet their expectations—their expectations constantly has to be in check.
4. Be the liaison between your vendors and your clients
Your primary focus is to help your buyer or seller to purchase a home at the right price and under the best terms. This only works when you’re in constant communication between your clients & vendors and keeping current with market conditions. Don’t expect this to be a walk in the park—keeping track with everything is tough and may require you to invest into a CRM system, a customer relationship management system. Some brokerages include them, some real estate websites have them already integrated. Even a Google spreadsheet can help manage everything you need to track. If you’re part of a team, more than likely you have access to a CRM.
A word of caution: Nothing beats having your own CRM because if you were to change brokerages or a team, oftentimes they’ll have one you can use, but once you leave, all of your contacts stay with them and then passed on to their agents to touch, or contact, them throughout the years. If you have your own CRM, that client base you build stays with you throughout your career.
5. Be the friend that happens to know how to do real estate
People do business with those they know, like, and trust. With cold prospecting, it doesn’t mean that you need to know about their family history and what keeps them up at night, but you do need to know their motive and desires when it comes to buying or selling a home. Once you get their “why”, then everything you do will cater to that pain point.
Need a bigger house? Why?—Often, the first reason isn’t the underlying issue. This is where you can get to know the household to understand the underlying issue of moving to a bigger place.
Need to downsize? Why?—What physical demands need to be met and what have they not considered? What financial demands are the clients hoping to accomplish by downsizing?
Need to upgrade? Why?—What are the benefits of upgrading that your clients haven’t considered? What are pitfalls that should be avoided when upgrading?
Need to build a house? Why?—Building a house is more luxurious than a necessity, but still ask why they need to build a house—find that underlying issue.
When you find the underlying issue with your clients and make a good impression, it’s a lot easier to close the sale because then you’ll know how to address it by being yourself.
That brings me back to the first point, it’s not how long you’ve been in the business that people are needing addressed, it’s what you’ll do for them in the current market conditions and how you’ll help them buy or sell their next home. The years help, but ultimately it’s what you’re able to do to help them meet their goals.