Standing Out as a Realtor: Five Ways to Get an Edge on the Digitized Competition
Thanks to the proliferation of digitization across almost every industry, real estate agents are now up against more competition than ever before. Where word-of-mouth reputation, experience and credentials used to be enough to gain an edge, today’s enterprising realtor must now compete with slews of tech-savvy up-and-comers with a knack for matching clients and listings via innovative online resources and outreach measures.
To this end, standing out and getting noticed is now more challenging than ever before. Yet, that’s not to say it can’t be done. It simply requires thinking outside the box, finding the right resources and partnering with the right people to shine. Today, we’re sharing five ways to turn heads as a modern realtor, from online to in-person.
1. Spruce Up Your Website
Is your website up and running? Great! That’s a good first step. Next, however, you have to optimize it. Make sure it’s responsive on mobile devices so it looks as good on a smartphone as it does on a sprawling desktop. Add a blog to the site and fill it regularly with your original, informative musings on data trends, industry tips and other information your clients crave.
These might be steps you can complete yourself, or you may need to hire a web design firm. If you go to the latter route, it will be a worthy investment. These days, research shows that 95% of interested homebuyers hop online to browse listings before making any other move. If they also land on your dynamic website while they’re browsing, you’re one step closer to helping them find their new property.
2. Create Compelling, Free Content
It’s one thing to create an e-book or white paper chocked full of valuable data that your current and prospective clients would love to read. It’s another to charge them $75 to download that document. If you want to set yourself apart from the pack of competitors and boost your credibility as a realtor, this information should be downloadable free of cost.
You may think that, by creating a free resource such as this, you’re not seeing a return on your investment of money and time. However, consider the amount of brand buzz you could generate if those materials get into the right hands. So, create the content, post it online, and share it across your online platforms, including your social media accounts, to pique interest.
3. Create an Online Business Listing
Have you incorporated SEO strategies into your online marketing plan? Standing for Search Engine Optimization, this is the strategy of positioning yourself as high as possible on the search engine results page. You don’t get to Page 1 overnight. Rather, it takes a dedicated effort that involves successful link placement, keyword usage, content creation and more. If you’re a local real estate agent, you’ll want to focus in on local SEO. You might not be the most popular and well-known agent in the world, but you can be the best one in your local community.
To make sure that people can find you online and Google can recognize you, make an online business profile via Google My Business. By keeping the basic contact information up-to-date and including as much information as you can around your services, you immediately become more legitimate. Be sure to check back often and, if something changes in your organization, be sure to update it here.
4. Hire a Great Team Around You
Maybe you’re an independent real estate agent working for a larger national firm. Or, maybe you’re building a boutique real estate company from the ground up. If it’s the second, you’ll need a solid team around you. From administrative matters to bookkeeping and myriad tasks in between, there are multiple roles to fill. Still, rushing into finding matches for those positions can lead you down the wrong road.
Rather, take your time with the interview process. Ask the right questions and give the other party time to respond. Not sure what direction to take? You can learn more about successful questioning tactics to employ before you schedule that initial or follow-up meeting. As you speak together, ask if the interviewee has any specialized technical skills that can help your agency. Has he worked in virtual reality (VR) before? Is she an experienced photographer? Learn as much as you can about their interests and abilities, and then consider how those talents can fit into the bigger picture.
5. Create Branded Items Intentionally
No one needs another unsharpened pencil to drop in a trade show goodie bag and ultimately throw away when the event is up. Rather, when you’re creating or purchasing branded, promotional items, it’s worth the time to get creative. How? Think of things your clients actually need and will use. One popular branded item for real estate agents is a keychain. As you help new buyers obtain the keys to their new place, this gift makes sense and can keep your name top of mind now and down the road.
If you don’t have a snappy tagline or a memorable logo, take your time on the process. Invest in the highest quality postcards and business cards you can afford. People will associate your name with quality and that’s one connection you always want to make.
Standing Out as a Modern, Future-Focused Agent
As we continue to find new ways to buy and sell homes, today’s agents must be well-equipped with the resources and know-how to convince community members to remember their name. What used to work with printed flyers attached to car windshields now requires an infinite more effort to stay relevant.
Still, it’s a worthy pursuit and one that should be taken seriously. Make your online presence accessible, user-friendly and full of information. Then, hire people who bring your agency up with their skills and interests. As you take care of these steps, the rest will fall into place and before you know it, you’ve built a pathway to your own successful future.