Last week, I had a moment of confusion as my sister and I were leaving a shopping plaza. Distracted by something my sister said, I stopped at the wrong car. At first glance the car looked identical to mine: it was the correct make, model, and color, but this car was three spaces away from the right car. It can be easy for buyers and sellers to make a similar mistake by assuming an agent who specializes in their preferred area is automatically the best agent available, regardless of whether that agent is actually the right agent for them.
While 66% of buyers are extensively researching their agent online, only 33% of buyers interview more than one agent before working with them (NAR 2015 Profile of Buyers and Sellers). This indicates that online shoppers are deciding which real estate agent they want to work with before they reach out. Therefore, it is vital to show prospects why you are the right agent even before you meet them.
Most buyers and sellers understand the crucial role an agent plays and will seek out an agent to represent them. Unfortunately, it is easy for those who don’t really understand the real estate market to see agents as interchangeable or think that an agent who charges half a percent less in commission is a “better deal”, regardless of the quality of the agent’s work. It’s important to make your buyers and sellers understand why hiring you is the best decision they could make.
Start by making it easy for buyers and sellers to notice how you’re different from other agents in your area. You’ve probably already got an incredible elevator pitch to use on new prospects in person; make sure you have an equally convincing, easy to consume pitch speaking for you online. Make it easy to find by putting it at the top of your website and by sharing it on your social sites. Consider adding it to your social banners as well so that whenever someone looks into you or your business, one of the very first things they discover is what makes you the agent they should be working with.
Next, go through your past listings and sales to find stats to show prospects that working with you is how they’re going to get the best price, the best time frame, or the most offers. Add these stats to your website and share them in your bio, social posts, etc. to demonstrate the success buyers and sellers can look forward to if they work with you. If you don’t have a lot of past sales to draw from, use stats that show how your company has helped individuals achieve great results.
It’s not enough to tell buyers and sellers that you’ve helped people in the past. It’s important to demonstrate that you can help them, too. Start by creating buyer and seller how-to guides and checklists to walk them through what they need to do and know to get started buying or selling a home. An outline showing how the buying/selling process works can also help prospects understand what you, the agent, bring to the deal. You can also use eBooks, guides, lists, and other resources to help demonstrate your value to buyers and sellers.
Showing buyers and sellers that you have knowledge, experience, and insight that can’t be replaced with a quick google search or a different real estate agent is also crucial to demonstrating your value. Take the time to really consider what you can offer your clients that no other real estate agent can, then determine the best way to share that online. It could be a web series, blog, or even real estate memes. Just remember: give buyers and sellers enough information to see your value, but not enough to make you obsolete.
Once a buyer or seller does reach out to you, responsiveness is one of the most important ways to prove your value. A survey from California Association of REALTORS® found that homebuyers consider “responsiveness” to be the most important criteria when choosing an agent. If a lead can’t reach you before you sign a contract with them, they’re unlikely to expect you to be there for them once they’re locked in.
Everyone likes a good deal. Make sure your services are valued because of the quality service and results you offer, not because you’ll cut your commission. Proving your value is just one way to earn more clients from your internet leads. For more tips, check out “Part 1: Create a Connection”, covering how you can earn more clients with quick response and follow-up, and “Part 2: Make a Transformation”, which goes over how to earn trust and build a community online to convert internet leads into clients.
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