Redefining Your Value Proposition
With a sea of real estate professionals in the marketplace, it becomes vitally important to define one's value proposition, which is comprised of the things that you do better than your competition. A value proposition should include a solution to a problem and also identify exactly who you desire to work with. Once your value proposition is developed, you must practice using it on a regular basis and find ways to communicate it to your ideal client.
Be different – do something unique. In a country where there are more than a million real estate professionals, how do you distinguish yourself? If all of these agents are helping to find their client's dream home, how do you set yourself apart? This is where your value proposition comes into play. Your value proposition should separate you from the pack and highlight your unique capabilities.
Being able to answer these questions will be integral in defining your value proposition:
- What services are you going to provide to your clients, for which they will compensate you?
- Which aspects of selling a home are the biggest frustrations for your clients?
- How much time will working with you save your clients?
- What are you capable of doing that they do not know how to or likely will not want to do?
Next, develop a two-minute "commercial" about youreself. Use this whenever you introduce yourself at networking events, when a person asks you what you do for a living and anytime you are promoting your business.
Once you have developed your value proposition or value statement you can tailor slightly different versions for different audiences, such as buyers, sellers, FSBOs and expired listings, as well as other agents.
Another way agents can distinguish themselves and differentiate is by specializing in servicing a specific niche market. What is your area of specialty? For example, are you an expert in a specific subdivision? Do you primarily work with teachers or educators? Do you focus more in the luxury market? Are you bilingual?
This leads us into the second area of developing your value proposition, which is defining your niche market.
Defining Your Niche Market
You can try to be an expert in many aspects of real estate (a generalist), or you can specialize in a niche market and become the authority in that space. Many times your niche can evolve or change over periods of time.
There are many highly successful real estate agents who have narrowed their real estate marketing niche to a specific geographical area, a type of property or a category of consumer. Recognizing the opportunities that are out there and selecting a niche that appeals to you can be a lucrative strategy.
Do not think of niche marketing as limiting your scope of clients as much as increasing your level of expertise and knowledge to be able to serve solid segments more effectively.
Following are a few strategies for defining your niche:
Identify your passion. What do you know and love? Where do you spend your free time? Maybe it is the sports field with your children. If so, you could focus your marketing on parents and coaches.
Do you volunteer each month for your favorite charity or organization? You can focus on fellow volunteers and organization leaders. If you love horses, perhaps focus on farmettes and equestrian properties. Finding a way to turn your hobbies and passions into a referral source is extremely valuable.
Focus on a defined geographic area. It could be a specific subdivision, a condo complex or townhome community. You can capitalize on whichever location appeals to you or where you have had experience. Consistent focus in a small geographic territory can create brand awareness for you and help to establish you as the expert in that market.
Analyze your past clients. Who have you worked with in the past two years? Are there similarities when you examine where you derived most of your business? Maybe you succeeded with first time homebuyers or relocations, for example.
Review your client base (who, hopefully, you are keeping in touch with on a regular basis) to determine why you believe you helped so many clients in this similar niche. What created these opportunities, and can you capitalize on your strengths and derive even more business if you strategically focus on that niche?
The bottom line here is that we must be able to clearly and succinctly define our value each and every time we meet someone. Each person who we meet is an opportunity for expanding our referral network, centers of influence and ultimately growing our business. Without a clear, well prepared value proposition we may not be capitalizing on each and every interaction.
Victoria Gillespie, MBA, is a licensed REALTOR® in Maryland and Senior Vice President for REALTORS® Federal Credit Union. For more information on the Credit Union, visit www.realtorsfcu.org.
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