Stand up and stand out
It’s a tough market out there. And with nearly 60, 000 real estate agents in Ontario alone, and 67% of them serve the GTA, how do you stand out?
Consider defining a niche market. Know one area, the neighbourhood, and the profile of the people in one community. Specializing in a key area will make you different from the rest, buyers will trust you, and give you more selling power in the neighbourhood you know best.
Yes, technology. You know, computers, cell phones. Moreover, texting, email, virtual tours, professional photos. Most of your clients will be Generation Y (“Millennials” born between 1981-2001). And to keep up to their speed, you better know what will grab them.
Most of Gen Y buyers are first time buyers – and have high expectations. First time home owners want the luxury of purchasing homes that are move in ready – strongly influenced by many home improvement television programs such as Property Brothers and Love it or List it. These kids text before they talk, spend more time in front of a screen unlike any other generation before them. They shop online and like moving images – better known as virtual tours – and like crisp clean professionally photographed images. Because, you know, everyone has a smart phone.
So get with the program. Get a good real estate photographer and videographer and make your homes look good online as they do in person.
Have a presence online
Hire a professional to build your website. There’s nothing more disappointing than looking at beautiful houses on an ugly or not user friendly website. Keep it simple, clean and straightforward. Buyers are there to look at homes. They don’t need the distraction of decorated backgrounds or unwanted ads.
Blogging is a must! Sharing your thoughts on the market or your expertise in your neighbourhood will garner interest and build a relationship with potential clients. Show off what you know. Educating others won’t make them buy houses without an agent; it will only want them to trust one.
Social media is a must! Go on Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram. Yes Instagram. With the majority of users are of Gen Y, and 68% are heavily skewed towards women (single women are the largest segment of home buyers next to couples), it’s worth posting on Instagram.
There are two main ways to be consistent: time management and persona.
Be honest and true to yourself. There’s nothing more distrustful than being a phony online or in person. Most people can sense dishonesty from a mile away. The best way to be consistent of who you are, is by being who you are.
Blog on a regular basis. Whether it’s one a week, once, a month, or once a day (which may be a little much), be sure to maintain that routine. People like routine and look forward to your next post. If it’s every Thursday you post, keep it that way. If it’s the first of every month, keep it up.
Build your Professional Team
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor did one person build it. Your main goal is to sell homes, not build websites, shoot houses or stage them. Leave that to your team of professionals. They are there to help you. Perhaps it may be a big investment from the start, but it will pay off.
In the long run, they will be your ‘go to’ people you trust. And when you trust them, you build your trusted brand. By using your team of service providers will ensure that your client is taken care of. What is the end result, you ask? Referrals and repeat customers. That’s the kind of brand you want.