Glenn Twiddle outlines his three-point plan for establishing a successful real estate profile in any area.
Many top agents have certain things in common. I was asked recently by someone brand new to the industry, ‘What are the three biggest things to focus on to ensure a successful real estate career?’
I take this question very seriously. This was my response to her, and I thought it was so valuable I would share it with Sold readers. Very importantly, despite how simplistic these three steps appear, they are things that almost all successful real estate agents have in common. So here they are. Get these three things right, or even half right, and you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
To some groups of people, it’s a massive advantage to be seen as a ‘Specialist,’ possibly famous, even a celebrity. For most of us in real estate, this would mean in your local area. Now, you don’t have to be everywhere to everybody; just to a small group, even 500-1000 people, you should be a household name.
And it’s preferable for you to be seen as a ‘Specialist’. Think how much you pay a specialist compared to your GP. And extending that metaphor, think about how much you would have to pay Dr Phil, compared to your local specialist. He is at the top of this ladder as a ‘Celebrity Specialist.’
In our industry, John McGrath has achieved this status. Now think about that. Imagine John McGrath was listing a property and a potential seller just saw him on TV’s ‘The Block’. Can you imagine those sellers with the ‘Celebrity Specialist’ in front of them saying, with folded arms and an air of derision, ‘Now, John, the guy down the road will do it for half the commission and he’ll pay for all the advertising and marketing’?
No, they wouldn’t. They’d be sitting there and counting their lucky stars to have the ‘Celebrity Specialist’ helping them out, and they would be more inclined to follow John’s advice in all areas, including price, marketing and method of sale, than his ‘unknown’ competitors.
Of course you don’t have to get on TV’s ‘The Block’ to achieve this on a local level. Ways to become a ‘Big Fish in a Small Pond’ in your local area might include –
Newsletter A monthly newsletter branded with your personal brand. You could add your company brand if that is helpful, but primarily it should be your newsletter, written personally by you, about your local community, with issues important to your community. You could have stories about local businesses and residents, success stories and personality driven stories; not necessarily about you, but about your locals, both people and companies. (Tip – you could even ask businesses you plug to contribute to the cost of production and/or delivery of the newsletter in exchange for the free advertising they will receive. Email me for more information on this strategy, and how a few of my clients have pulled it off successfully.)
Video Marketing In the last issue of Sold I spoke about the power of using various types of video marketing in your strategy. And three out of the four preferred methods of using video when marketing property involve you being on camera. By its very nature, you being filmed on camera is another cog in the ‘Make You Famous’ machine.
Articles Experts write articles. If there’s a local newspaper column you can write for, start sending the editor stories on a monthly basis. They may not appear for six months, but wear down the editor and show them that you can be relied upon, are knowledgeable about your area and have something informative to say. If you can’t get into your local paper, you could certainly write the articles and put them online on a blog, or as mentioned before you could put them in your own newsletter. Those articles could be used as marketing tools, such as in your ‘Pre-Listing Kit’.
Write a book Experts have written things, and specifically a book. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (with some authors I could mention), it is commonly accepted that if you have written a book then you are an ‘Expert’. So whether you write two pages a day for two months, or you sit down for a weekend and write from start to finish, your book is written. Or, as my clients have done, we had a book ‘ghost written’ meaning most of the writing was done for us, and we personalise it for you. But however you do it, getting a book is another tool in your marketing arsenal that will contribute to you ‘being somebody’.
Get interviewed Another symbol of ‘expertise’ is that people ask experts for their opinions in interviews. So find someone, preferably someone who is known in either the property industry or a celebrity, and get them to interview and record it. Technology is such today that you can do a good enough job without having to hire a TV studio. Some shows are even filmed on iPads, and the quality is adequate for the purposes we’re talking about.
This leads us to the next in the big three.
This underlying theme is where you are seen as ‘somebody’. Using some of the above points, the ‘Be Somewhere’ portion of the formula is how you are going to get these tools and messages into the eyes and ears, and thus into the minds, of your target market. And the amount of media you can use to pull this off is limited only by your imagination and your personal ‘brand within a brand’ marketing budget.
But please, don’t limit yourself by just thinking you are only able to do what everyone else in real estate does: the old classics, letter box drops, cold calls and door knocks. In fact, because everyone else does these, while they are still effective when you do them correctly, they can sometimes have the reverse effect. This is especially true for the last two. When was the last time a ‘specialist’ cold called you and asked, ‘How is your heart today, still ticking?’ They don’t call you on the off chance you had a heart attack today. So even if your budget forces you to do the ‘outbound’ marketing efforts of cold calling and door knocking, then think to yourself, ‘If a specialist had to call, what might they say in that instance?’
Consider, though, diversifying your media so that your target market sees you as ‘everywhere’, both on the Internet and in their offline world as well.
This is the most important part of the formula. By ‘Do something’, I mean start something before you are 100 per cent ready to do it. A saying I have loved and lived by for years has been ‘Don’t let perfect get in the way of done’. Just start something and talk to someone. But the bigger picture is to ‘do something’ that reinforces your ‘Somebody’ status in the ‘Somewhere’ place you are choosing to do it.
So do something noticeable. Do something controversial. Do something awe-inspiring. Read Seth Godin’s ‘Purple Cow’ and take that principle to heart. His take-away from that book is to be ‘remarkable.’ That means people remark about you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ‘Being boring is akin to business suicide’.
So make a list of all the things you want to get implemented in your marketing system, based on these and other ideas, and call it your ‘Implementation List’. And then, over the next 12 months, chip away and get one thing done a month. Before you know it, you will ‘Be Somebody,’ you will ‘Be Somewhere’ and you will have ‘Done Something’, and you will not believe what you have achieved.