How are you different in an industry that offers the same service, for approximately the same price?
It’s a good question and is at the heart of one of the toughest challenges many agents face – finding their unique selling proposition (USP).
The issue is further compounded by the fact many beyond the real estate industry consider all agents the same.
We have the same purpose – sourcing and selling property. We often look the same in our business attire. We use similar marketing techniques. We are seeking to achieve the same result – selling a property for the best possible price on behalf of a vendor.
That means on the surface, there is little to differentiate one agent from another.
Inside the industry we all have access to the same tools. We list properties on the same portals, we all have databases and off-market strategies.
We all use professional photography, video and floorplans, and draw on the same set of selling methods, whether that’s auction, private treaty or sale by tender and negotiation.
So, what’s different about you? Where does your unique selling proposition lie?
I’d argue in a sea of sameness, two key factors can help you stand out from the crowd, and they play out across every piece of marketing you disseminate, and every interaction you have.
They are quite simply voice and authenticity.
You must run your own race
Real estate is essentially people business where clients choose you because they know, like and trust you.
The worst thing an agent can do is try to mimic someone else, rather than find their lane and run their own race.
A lack of authenticity is something prospective clients feel. It is that little thing that puts them off, that element that doesn’t quite seem to gel, and that niggling feeling something’s not quite right that inevitably turns a possible client ‘yes’ into a ‘no’.
When you are true to your authentic personality and style, you find your voice in the marketplace. Both then separate you from the competitors and help you stand out from the crowd.
You need to find your own tribe
There is a client for every agent and an agent for every client. The aim is not to cater to everyone but to find your ideal tribe.
The reality is there are many personality types in real estate. If you think about it, at some point we have all met another agent and walked away wondering ‘who on earth would list with them?’.
Yet sellers do, those agents might actually be highly successful and the type you lose listings to.
But rather than get caught up in trying to emulate another, or being a competitor, it’s about recognising we need to be ourselves and connect with the people who want to do business with us because of the way we are.
Finding your own voice
When you know who you are, what you represent and how you operate, you understand the value that can provide your ideal tribe of clients.
This is your USP and must be at the heart of every piece of messaging and marketing you put out into the marketplace.
It is this combination of the unique ingredients of who you are that help paint an authentic picture which then attracts your tribe of clients.
A robust digital footprint
Not so long ago, a survey of past sellers by CoreLogic found 58 per cent chose an agent based on their performance and marketplace before they even met them.
That’s a pretty key indicator of why a strong digital footprint and brand presence is essential.
Agents need to amplify their USP through consistent marketing which builds the initial trust in their personal brand, whilst their market knowledge and results build them as an authority in their marketplace.
And then it comes back to authenticity…
Because you have found your voice, marketed it to the public and it is authentically you, people actually get what they expect when they finally meet you in person.
In other words, the picture marries up with the actual persona, which further builds the trust of your tribe.
Ultimately that results in a ‘yes’ from the right type of client for the right reasons.