Having a real estate license is not enough anymore.
It used to be all you needed to sell real estate, but in today’s world you need more than that. You need to be a marketer.
Having a real estate license gives the legal right to get paid selling houses, but that doesn’t mean buyers and sellers today think you earned it.
How often do you use the material you take continuing education on to keep your license in tact?
Does it help you get listings?
What do you mean “dude”?
Buyers and sellers expect more out of their real estate agents than they used to.
The writing is on the wall and our commissions are at hostage. Consumers have more options today than they used to.
Technology and the Internet have changed the landscape giving home buyers and sellers less expensive options to using Realtors, but do they really “save” people money?
Well, that depends on who they hire.
Let’s take a deeper look…
If you are a listing agent with a marketing plan that consists of a MLS listing, sign in the yard, and occasional open house, then YES, sellers who choose flat fee options or decide to go FSBO may be better off.
If you have a REAL marketing plan and strategy to selling houses the same way any business does with their product or service, then perhaps not.
It’s pretty simple.
The way to compete against all the “competition” we are experiencing is to show the value you bring to the table. Value can be defined in multiple ways (retrieving higher offer, or making a better investment for example).
Unfortunately, home buyers and sellers tend to lump all Realtors into the same category. Many times they assume all Realtors provide the same level of service more or less.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but in general consumers don’t understand the difference between low and high quality agents, which is why there is a demand for “less expensive” options.
There are good agents and then there are bad agents.
Unfortunately, there are far more bad agents than good ones, but that’s nobody’s fault except the broker owners and other industry elites who encourage anybody and everybody to get a real estate license, but that’s a whole other blog post.
The point is that there is a HUGE opportunity here for real estate agents who can see what’s coming in the future.
Buyers and sellers want agents who demonstrate the skills of a marketer because your license no longer creates the “Value” it used to.
2 Reasons Why Everyone In Real Estate Needs To Sharpen Their Marketing Skills
The first reason Realtors need to become marketers is because being a marketer increases the level of service you offer. Let me give you two examples:
- You are selling someone’s house and they hire you for the listing. Anyone today can find a flat fee service, put a home on the MLS, and a sign in the yard, but a true marketer is going to know how to position that home to the general public, apply different marketing strategies to it, and retrieve the seller a higher sales price than if they did it alone, making your commission justified. Your marketing skills are part of the service you provide.
- You are working with a buyer in a tight inventory market and you cannot find anything for sale. A typical Realtor will just wait for something to pop on the MLS, but a marketer will seek out a property for their client to buy that is off market. They will search FSBO’s, send out mailers, and target a property to purchase. You need marketing skills to do this, but it’s part of the service you offer. This is the extra value that no online information source can provide.
In both of these examples, notice on how being a marketer has become part of the service you offer?
The second reason Realtors need to become better marketers is for consistent lead generation. Our “competition” is consistently dangling their “less expensive” options in front of buyers and sellers daily so you need to beat them to the punch and consistently be marketing for new clients.
PEAKS AND VALLEYS SUCK!
There are many ways to market your business for new clients. It’s not hard to make your phone ring, it’s what you say when it does that makes the difference between the top producers and the low quality agents.
Just this week Zillow announced their brokerage division of their platform. Regardless of the details of their brokerage offering, I think it’s safe to say that Zillow will be successful because of the footprint they have already established.
They also have much bigger pockets to spend on brand awareness than an individual agent so it’s going to be hard to keep up with them, or is it?
How many possible clients are you losing each month to people who instead took a “less expensive” option?
Let’s first start by defining the competition so you know what we are up against.
Who Is This Competition?
They are every alternative to the use of a full service real estate agent. You might want to check out this article below to get a better macro perspective.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
Competition Example #1
FSBO’s- In a hot market the MLS is all a seller needs to get a contract on house. Getting a contract on a house is not the hard part, figuring out if that was the highest offer that could have been accepted is.
What To Do To Compete:
FSBO’s jump up and down when they sell their house on their own patting themselves on back for a job well done. The question is, was it?
Did they really squeeze everything out of that deal or did they leave some money on the table?
I think we know the answer to that, but part of being a marketer is the strategy in the “positioning” of a house for sale. Marketing is not all about exposure! It’s about how your make the house appear to the general public so that it creates urgency for buyers to take action quickly and for the right price.
The marketing strategy for selling a house is just as important as the actual marketing steps you take.
No FSBO will know how to apply a real marketing strategy to their house the way a marketer can.
Competition Example #2
Flat Fee & Rebate Brokerages- People think they are “saving” money when using one of these options but I strongly disagree the majority of the time.
You get what you pay for with these services.
What To Do To Compete:
This is easy. Does any of these companies do any of this:
- Marketing “positioning” strategy
- Professional Pictures
- Professional Video or Matterport
- Featured listing packages on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com
- Video Optimization for ranking organically
- Run Facebook Ads
- Send Just Listed Postcards
- Pay for their move
- Facilitate entire transaction
- Host & Sit open houses
What’s your marketing plan for listings? Are you starting to see why you need to adapt more marketing services into your business.
The challenge is going to be educating the public of your services so they can compare one against the other.
You see, it’s never a matter of price. Price will get people’s attention because who doesn’t want to save a few bucks, but it’s not everything.
As long as you can demonstrate the value you bring to the table price is not an obstacle.
People don’t mind paying for service, they just want the value to be justified.
There’s a reason why high end barber shops exists when someone can easily go to Super Cuts.
It’s a marketing plan like this that will give you the confidence to compare against any rebate or flat fee brokerage so that the seller can decide whats best for them.
At the end of the day all you have to do is show that you can net the seller an additional 3% more than they could with one of the “less expensive” options.
Because over 85% of buyers are represented by an agent so even FSBO’s pay commissions many times to buyers agents. There’s a reason why the majority of FSBO’s on Zillow state in the remarks they will cooperate with agents.
In any event I think you can see why in today’s market you need more than a real estate license to compete. I value licensing laws, but real estate agents need to start investing their time into learning how to create a better service to compete or I think we all know what happens next.
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