When everyone in the room states they are a top market expert, how can you stand out? Atman Real Estate CEO (and expert in her own right) Victoria Kennedy has three ways to elevate your public profile and edge above your competition.
Every Realtor wants to be considered an authority in their field, and being seen that way has numerous business benefits. First among them is that a true expert can understand a buyer’s needs better than the buyers themselves since an expert will be privy to all sorts of information that a buyer casually watching the market will not.
Being known as one of the most knowledgeable Realtors in your area means that, over the long term, your reputation will precede you.
In turn, this excellent standing will bring buyers who want the best right to your office door, easing the stress of lead finding and follow-up and letting you — the expert — focus on what you do best: getting good buyers into the homes of their dreams.
Here are some of our best tips on positioning yourself as a real estate expert in your area during the current turbulent housing market and buyer competition.
Engage with local officials
One way to always have a bit of an inside edge is to attend government meetings. It’s a great way to learn what’s happening in your town or district, network with local politicians and lawmakers, and find out exactly what’s on their minds — and what’s around the bend that could affect you and your clients.
The truth is that many things, from building a new shopping mall to shutting down an under-attended primary school, affect your business. It helps you to know about them first and pass on this seemingly insider information to your clients.
Check out district, zoning board or public works meetings in your area, and check up on general meeting agendas to learn if anyone might be bringing an important real estate query in front of lawmaking bodies.
The strategy helps Realtors become local experts in several ways. They are more knowledgeable, build relationships with more people, become familiar faces, and, more than appearing as an expert, they actually become one.
As a side benefit, some Realtors who regularly show up at government meetings find their phone ringing when local officials have property needs.
It also looks terrific if you walk a new client through a town where you regularly work and a local lawmaker waves at you or greets you by name.
Be as informed as possible
In short, the best way to be seen as a local expert is to be one. Read real estate news and follow industry thought leaders who inspire you on LinkedIn.
Stay on top of national trends by reading reports from your MLS as soon as they are released. Make yourself, your business, and your expert status a priority because you and your real estate career are worth it. If it helps to add a few hours per week to your diary for reading industry news, then do it.
Alex Lopez, Founder and CEO of New Door Property Transfer and Homeway Real Estate, states, “I made reading industry reports a regular part of my week. It wasn’t easy to get into the habit — I always felt like more pressing things were on my to-do list. But, very quickly, I discovered that the facts and analysis I retained from my reading impressed my clients. An unexpected side benefit was that it impressed other agents, too, who began to see me as a wealth of knowledge.”
Learn about local trends by building a network of area agents who have coffee monthly. Always ask them what their buyers are asking for and what their sellers are concerned with. From there, you can connect the dots about what’s hot and not in your market.
Become a community presence
You have many ways to go about this. Start a community-oriented message board or Facebook group where you can post listings and real estate news, sure, but also congratulate residents who have accomplished something noteworthy, post about local news and share uplifting content about your area. You might also launch a YouTube channel.
Another way to raise your community profile is to sponsor or support a children’s activity or charity. For example, donate funds to a Little League team and let the town see your name on their shirts. You can even volunteer to coach if you’re especially coordinated and inclined.
If sports aren’t your thing, support an afterschool program, pay for lunches for underserved students, or offer your services for free when one of these groups needs a new property.
Building your reputation and engaging with people over the long-term in a way that’s not always focused on sales builds trust between you and your community, and a trusted agent is often an in-demand agent. And an in-demand agent is what we all strive to be.
Victoria Kennedy is CEO of Atman Real Estate. Connect with her via email.