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Chris Smith: how to find your differentiator

With so many real estate agents in Australia (the Real Estate Institute of Australia says there are more than 46,000 real estate businesses in the country) it can be hard to stand out.

But Curaytor Co-founder Chris Smith has three ways to do exactly that. 

Here, Chris explains why you need a differentiator and how to find yours.

Why you need a differentiator

Chris notes that to potential clients, most real estate agents look the same. You all have a Facebook and Instagram page, you all use professional photography and you all use listing portals to promote your listings.

He says you need to find your differentiator to stand out in the “sea of sameness” to generate more appraisal opportunities and more listings.

“A lot of what you do is the same as what every other real estate agent does,” he says.

“You need a genuine differentiator.”

Chris says with the increase in technology, there are even some companies that are currently looking for ways to remove the real estate agent from the buying and selling process altogether.

“Those companies are being called the next big thing, so you need to nail this,” he notes.

Framework for choosing a differentiator 

Scott Galloway, a professor at New York University, has a great framework for helping you choose a differentiator and it’s called The Three Hurdles.

  1. Is it truly a differentiator?
  2. Is it relevant?
  3. Is it sustainable?

“When you have all three it’s a differentiator worth adopting,” Chris says.

TikTok is a differentiator

Chris says in a recent poll he ran on Instagram 72 per cent of agents said TikTok was not a must-use platform.

“Basically, they’re not taking it seriously,” he says.

“Here’s a stat you probably don’t know, 37 per cent of TikTok’s users are actually over the age of 30. It’s aging up very quickly.”

Chris says agents such as Glenda Baker use TikTok as their differentiator and she can attribute more than six figures of her GCI to business from the platform.

Chris Smith

Being an excellent, expert negotiator is a differentiator

This one may come as a bit of a surprise, but in Chris’s poll 65 per cent of agents didn’t consider themselves an expert negotiator.

He says you can level up your negotiating skills with training from experts such as Chris Voss, who is a former FBI negotiator.

“Then incorporating the fact that you did (that training) into your pitch… can give you a differentiator,” Chris says.

“Imagine telling a seller, ‘Listen, negotiation is critical here. There are going to be buyers that we end up going back and forth with. You need a strong negotiator to represent you when you sell your home. 

“‘Thankfully, we’ve actually invested that time and money into taking a course by Chris Voss, one of the best negotiators on the planet. He’s a best selling author. He’s a former FBI negotiator. We take this seriously, because it matters how much money we get you when the property sells.’”

YouTube Ads

The third question Chris asks is whether agents had ever run a YouTube ad and nine out of 10 said they hadn’t.

“Agents are creating better videos than ever… but nine out of 10 are not turning the corner and advertising those videos on YouTube to reach a wider audience,” he says.

“So, YouTube advertising, the TV of the internet, the second most popular search engine, is wide open as a differentiator.”

Chris says these three options each meet The Three Hurdles framework and are different, relevant and sustainable.

“I’m not suggesting that you stop and do all three, I just know that your competition most likely is not doing this,” he says.

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