Wisdom Wins the Home-Selling Wars
How to Become a Real Estate Yoda
Whether you are new to the real estate market or a career veteran, you will always
encounter a competitor who has received more awards, been named to more prestigious committees or garnered more experience than you.
No matter how many awards you chase, there’s no guarantee you’ll win any (and awards do not necessarily translate into sales). There’s a limit to the number of committees — prestigious or otherwise — that will accept you. And you can’t do anything — today — about your tenure in real estate.
But nothing can hold you back from becoming the most knowledgeable real estate agent or broker in your market. And, in today’s information-driven climate, what you know trumps who you know.
If you want to outsell your competitors, out-think them.
Here are two ways to become the Yoda of your real estate galaxy, as revered by your clients as the Jedi master was by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
1. Put Your Thinking Cap On.
Not too long ago, keeping up with real estate marketing trends was something you could do once a month or so — whenever your local newspaper ran a story about housing prices . But if you Google “real estate market trends,” dozens of articles less than a day old will pop up.
And if you can see them, so can your potential clients. Today’s home buyers and sellers have a wealth of information easily available to them — so it’s crucial that you read anything a client might read.
Because, although numbers in an article don’t lie, they don’t always tell the whole story. The Mortgage Bankers Association, for example, predicts that the median price of a house in the U.S. will rise 8 percent this year, “the fastest pace of growth since 2005,” according to a November 26 article in the Washington Post.
But this prediction, even if it holds true, is not necessarily relevant to your client. Average median prices nationally — or even locally — may not reflect market conditions in a particular neighborhood.
Some of your clients and potential clients will search for real estate news while you’re talking to them on the phone or while you’re showing them homes. You can’t confiscate your clients’ smartphones and tablets so it’s up to you to keep yourself better informed than your best informed client.
Become a guru to your clients — the sage real estate advisor who can make sense of predictions such as Bloomberg’s projection that home equity loans will jump 31 percent to $104 billion in 2013.
Although a client can pull up this information in seconds, he won’t necessarily understand the importance of the information or be able to put it in prosper perspective.
If you do an extra 10 minutes of research a day, you’ll possess knowledge that your clients — and most of your competitors — do not.
And you’ll soon be too busy closing deals to worry about collecting trophies or invitations.
2. Get Your Geek On
Don’t be frightened of technology or welcome it with a tentative embrace. Fall in love with technology because, used wisely, technology will become your best money-making friend.
Consider your website, for example. A stunning website is useless if it doesn’t convert to phone calls and sales. When choosing a website designer, look for someone who understands real estate and can design a website that will
- Impress clients by both its beauty and functionality such as the ability to search for MSL and IDX properties,
- Produce qualified buyer leads,
- Result in high page ranks because of its search engine-friendly design and
- Integrate with other marketing efforts such as Facebook and Twitter.
Also learn about lead-generating software that brings search engine-generated leads to your website, online tools that help you create targeted promotional materials such as neighborhood-specific postcards, smartphone responsive websites and mobile apps. Zillow, for example, offers an app that provides listings and prices for more than 100 million homes.
Adopt the Star Wars Spirit
Educating yourself about the real estate market and real estate marketing technology is time-consuming, but free. And it can greatly improve your ROI. It’s impossible to predict the effectiveness of an expensive ad but easy to understand that it pays to have the answers to clients’ questions and that it’s easier to have leads come to your website than to search for them by canvassing neighborhoods.
Pursue your real estate education with passion and purpose. As Yoda advised in the Emperor Strikes Back, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”