41 (Not So) Crazy Things to Make You Stand Out as A Real Estate Agent

SHORT ON IDEAS? NOT ANY MORE! Peter Hutton shares his top tips on how to give your brand distinct appeal over the competition in 2015

WOULDN’T IT be nice to stand out?

Really stand out so that you become one of the top five per cent of real estate agents in your area?

Standing out from all the other agents can be a hard thing to do, especially with all the noise your competitors are making. But the truth is that it’s not that hard when you consider what everyone else is doing.

I’m talking about the ‘same old, same old’ stuff agents do, like free property appraisals (boring) or offering ‘our free real estate newsletter’ (ah, no thanks).

So here are 41 ideas that will help you get noticed, build a list, get your foot into more doors and list more properties.

  1. Create a survey – find out what your prospects want help with.
  2. Create a blog and share information that will help your prospects. If you’re not a writer that’s fine: use video or have someone else supply you with the content, like Agent Marketing Wingman.
  3. Refuse to follow the trends even when doing so would provide a quick fix of attention. Keep being yourself.
  4. Big vs. little: increasingly people don’t like big. They fear being treated as unimportant. If you are small use this to your advantage. Being small you may be the underdog, but people love the underdog – play this up!
  5. Find your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP) and tell the world what it is. Your USP should include the three Rs: Reality, Reward, Risk. For example, Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.”
  6. Don’t be a go-getter, be a ‘go-giver’. Be willing to give of yourself. It’s about being of service to people and giving them what they want.
  7. Offer an incentive to get leads. The Law of Reciprocity says that when you give something to someone, they will reciprocate the gesture. For example, offer people a free eBook as a gift and in return ask for their names and emails – see #9 below.
  8. Find your ‘Big Why’ and core values and let them be your compass to every decision you make going forward. You’ll need to know this before you can craft a cool USP.
  9. Craft a ‘listing magnet’ and generate a massive list of future sellers and landlords. Mine was an eBook I wrote called The Key: 21 Secrets To Selling Your Property For More which I gave away for free.
  10. Return phone calls and emails. Don’t make people wait.
  11. Make sure your CRM has an auto- responder built in so you can set up an automated email trail to nurture your leads.
  12. People love to belong. Make them feel like they’re a part of something. Invite them to special ‘Your Name Here’ community gatherings, for example cinema nights, Friday night drinks at the office, and so on.
  13. Own your niche. Stop being a generalist and be a specialist. This will make it easier for prospects to trust you. It will also give you greater cut-through with your prospecting and marketing.
  14. Treat every person at your open homes like a prospective seller. That way you’ll be giving them a first-hand experience of how you’ll be handling their buyers when they list their home with you.
  15. Never lie, not even little white lies. Don’t mislead people by sugar-coating things. Be sincere, honest and speak with integrity.
  16. Being the nice guy may not be serving your clients. Far better to speak frankly to a client even when the news isn’t good. Salespeople who tend to challenge people’s perceptions and assumptions outperform those who don’t.
  17. Focus your prospecting on future sellers; only about five per cent of agents do this. All the rest only target ‘now’ sellers. Obviously, if everyone’s targeting ‘now’ sellers it’s very competitive. Use education-based-marketing to build a list of future sellers.
  18. Give away branded umbrellas at open homes when it’s raining.
  19. Offer a free handyman service to help prospective sellers get their home ready for sale.
  20. Start saying ‘no’ to the wrong kind of business. Sometimes you have to give up something to get something. That also means stop trying to be all things to all people.
  21. In your competitor’s strength there’s weakness. That is, don’t compete by playing their game; look at their USP and do the opposite. Play your own game.
  22. In many markets it often turns into a ‘two-horse race’. So if there’s already someone  in the first spot, aim to occupy the second spot. If there are already two dominant agencies or agents in your area, be the wild card. That means be that person people go to for a second opinion because they know you’ll have a different point of view.
  23. Work from a busy café where all the locals go. I knew a lawyer who did this; he ran little ads
    in the local rag calling himself ‘The Coffee Shop Lawyer’ and offered free 15-minute consultations while at the café. If you do this, wear a name tag and have your laptop branded so people can recognise who you are.
  24. Optimism is infectious, as is enthusiasm. How can you weave more of this into what you do?
  25. The Law of Expectation: create an expectation that your service will be exceptional.
  26. The power of stories: use case studies in your newsletters, writing them like a top- notch news reporter would. Make them human, engaging and conversational.
  27. People love to play, so use quizzes, contests and puzzles to engage people.
  28. Realise your prospects are making all kind of assumptions about you, your company, your results and your service. Take advantage of the positive assumptions. Turn around the negative ones.
  29. Create your own signature copywriting style so your listings stand out on sites like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.
  30. Stop spamming people. Start using ‘opt- in-prospecting’ instead.
  31. Offer a guarantee. When you lower or remove the risk altogether for prospects to do business with you, you’ll make it easier for them to say yes and give you a go.
  32. Build traffic to your website by basing it on a dynamic blog structure. That’s what I did with my real estate agency, and we received between 10,000 and 13,000 unique visitors to our website a month! That’s a whopping amount few agencies enjoy even today, putting our little independent agency’s website into the top one per cent in the world for traffic (source: alexa.com). It got us a lot of leads, of course, and lots of listings.
  33. Challenge your perception. Stop thinking everything is written in stone. It’s not. Open yourself up to greater possibilities, and start taking some risks to stand out in the crowd; it’s your perception that creates your reality.
  34. Be consistent in everything you do. The easiest way to stay consistent is to use your ‘Big Why’ and values as your yardstick against all the marketing and prospecting you do.
  35. Stop copying your competitors. Replicas never earn as much as an original.
  36. Write a list like this about something your prospects will find helpful or interesting and put it on your blog.
  37. Send out five handwritten cards a day to people in your area, congratulating them on having such a beautiful well-kept front yard.
  38. Reward loyalty. Spontaneous gestures to clients go a long way and give rise to referrals (refer #6).
  39. All great books are written to answer  a question. Authors call it the ‘central question’. In the same way, great brands are based on answering a central question that their clients want answered. What can you do to answer your prospects’ most pressing needs, desires, and central question?
  40. Be hyper-relevant to your prospects. Stop bombarding people with stuff they don’t need or want. Everything you use to market yourself must be relevant to them. For example, do a six-month market wrap-up report, specifically for their street or apartment building.
  41. Innovate. Innovate. Innovate. Never stop innovating.

Make a decision now that you’re going to do everything within your powers to take your brand to the next level. Start by committing to implementing three items from this list into your business in 2015.

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Peter Hutton

Peter Hutton is the Director and CEO of Hutton & Hutton Real Estate. Peter brings over 25 years real estate experience as well as a wealth of expertise to the industry through his book, ‘The Love Price’.