The housing sector is witnessing very positive signs of recovery. Renewed customer interest is catalyzing more mortgaging, refinancing, and house buying queries. However, this doesn’t mean that every business unit is flourishing. Are you really prepared to survive and thrive in the current marketplace?
What are we talking about?
Do you have a unique product? More importantly, do you have marketing methods to shock, awe, and engage customers? If not, what makes you certain that customers will prefer you in a pool of similar-sounding real estate institutions? Do you do something special to convert a serious inquiry into an actual customer?
Real estate agents suffer from almost-synonymous profiling. The sales pitch, explanations, calculations, and overall approach seem as good or bad as that of the next agent. This makes it very difficult to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Why pricing cannot always deliver?
Home buyers are perhaps among the most demanding customers when it comes to being pampered. Still, we cannot think of many real estate brands where follow-up packages have been curated for making customers feel special. The smallest effort to make a customer feel appreciated can go a long way in materializing a sale.
A slightly lower interest rate or price may not always deliver. The emphasis should be doing something that sets you apart, something that highlights you as a better if not more experienced agent. The customer shouldn’t feel chased but valued. Blindly patronizing everything that the customer says isn’t likely to help you. Today, people are rather informed about their purchase decisions. The research is even more comprehensive when considering a new home or refinancing.
If possible, try to make every customer engagement a memorable experience. Yes, this is quite difficult but the returns are almost immediate and sustainable over a long period. A well-served, happy customer is likely to route home-buying or mortgaging queries from colleagues, family members, and friends towards you.
We understand that coming up with creative solutions can be difficult. To make this easier, we have discussed some real-life examples below. These will help you better understand how you can fine-tune your approach.
Differentiate Yourself: Starting with the Basics
What seems most obvious and most relevant is most likely to be a part of the standard approach of most real estate agents. The trick lies in looking at the smaller details. For instance, if the proposed property isn’t in the greatest shape, you can propose getting the repairs and renovation done at discounted rates. This can be offered as a bundled package, making the entire deal seem sweeter. Here, your relationship with neighborhood plumbers, construction firms, and designing professionals can be really helpful.
Customer feedback has become a standard procedure. However, few firms bother to really understand what the customer is complaining about. You can step beyond the customer feedback collected at your office. Real estate magazines, consumer forums, and even online discussions can help you identify the not-so-obvious, home-buying issues.
This also includes following social media conversations. You can subscribe to social media channels relevant to your line of business. However, try to connect more with discussions delivered from the customers’ perspective. Being socially networked helps you understand the consumer psychology, buying preferences, and identify solutions that can appease most consumers.
Differentiate Yourself: Going Beyond the Basics
Don’t underestimate this—personal branding is seldom understood by real estate agents. Most of them keep branding limited to a business card or carrying folders bearing insignia of their parent firm.
Emailing is bound to be a common form of communication. Brand it and personalize it with a small note about your qualifications, years of experience, etc. We recently noticed that emails from a regional real estate firm always carried a small, hyperlinked list of blogs they followed. This was pasted towards the end of the email. It didn’t challenge the importance of the actual purpose of communication. However, it gave an impression that the organization is well informed, networked, and progressive.
You can further brand yourself by becoming a point of reference. For instance, writing for a local newspaper or being registered with regional chambers of trade/community can help. This underlines your credentials. It highlights you as a knowledgeable resource of information and a local community member who can be trusted.
Your social networking shouldn’t be limited to Facebook. You can try the latest, like Google Pinterest. Real estate investors, sellers, and buyers are converging here. Communication includes comments, ideas, and property images. Make your Pinterest pin-board a comprehensive resource about different types of neighborhood properties.
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