Keep Calm and Sell On
With home sales strong and prices even stronger, the real estate market is bustling with activity, making it all the more enticing for new players to enter the arena to seize the opportunities.
We know when significant changes occur in any industry, it creates questions among those invested in the industry. In real estate, agents may become concerned their business is being threatened by these changes. In times like these, it’s important to understand that while the industry is changing and evolving, it’s no reason to panic. Agents will persevere and thrive if they remain focused on their business and the unique value they bring to clients and transactions that these disruptors do not. In fact, there are really just two things to which agents need to remain true to successfully navigate this period of change.
Be knowledgeable. While simple in theory, this is absolutely critical to success. Agents must not only be knowledgeable about their market, but also have to know their competition — and well. Don’t turn a blind eye or dismiss these new developments. Rather, research, gather information and learn what these online sites offer to consumers. What are the pros and cons of online sales? To which consumers will these types of sales appeal? Information is power. The more intelligence you have about these offerings, the better you can educate your clients and potential clients. Be prepared to answer questions about these sites, and try to remain objective because they may be the right service for some buyers or sellers. However, keep these sites and what they offer in perspective. Technology is just a tool, and can never truly replace human expertise. You can provide valuable, expert counsel to clients that cannot be matched by a website. But you must be prepared with deep knowledge to provide that counsel from a position of trusted authority.
In addition to knowing your competition well (both traditional and technological), you must also be intimately informed about your local market. Be the local, in-the-know expert about the culture and personality of the market. Know the latest events and activities taking place, including what new restaurants and businesses are opening, and even local neighborhood traditions. Your information should be hyper-local and as up to date as possible.
Build relationships. Being a successful real estate agent has long turned on the network and personal relationships you build. This is even more critical in the midst of the current entry of technology companies into the real estate space. Agents should maximize and engage everything they know about relationship marketing. And as with the level of knowledge you gather about your market, your networking should be hyper-local as well. Become involved in the neighborhood and community you work in. Join appropriate Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Volunteer with civic, philanthropic, neighborhood and business organizations. Attend town meetings and community events. Agents should also continue to network through their usual social media outlets and do not be afraid to address the elephant in the room. Make time to pen a thoughtful blog post about these sites and what they can and can’t do for consumers, or use Twitter and LinkedIn to share articles that provide interesting, useful and objective information. The relationships you have and those you continue to build will be the critical underpinnings for your success. When you are well-informed and offer valuable insights and information, you build trust with your clients and network. This trust is the platform from which you can be a much-needed voice of authority in what may be an uncertain time of change.
Although some real estate agents may be concerned about changes taking shape in the real estate arena — and more may still come — the proverbial sky is not falling. Agents should keep a healthy perspective on these sites and new players in the market. Learning all that you can about this latest competition arms you to provide consumers with the information they need to make the decision that is right for them. With a solid network of relationships built from the trusted expertise they provide, agents can finish 2017 strong and without fear of any additional changes the future my hold.
About the Contributor
Renee Deane serves as Executive Vice President for Carrington Real Estate Services, LLC, where she is directly responsible for the operations and growth of the brokerage in 23 states. In addition, she leads the strategic development and implementation of new revenue sources that directly benefit the income potential of Carrington agents. A 25-year industry veteran in the financial services sector, Renee’s experience brings a global perspective to developing innovative ideas and solutions for Carrington Real Estate Services’ local leadership teams, training, marketing and product development efforts.
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