Tips for Real Estate Agents: How To Stand Out
I’ve laid out the best tips for real estate agents looking to separate themselves from the rest in this video, and the following post.
Thanks to HGTV and Bravo, millions of people around the world are now in love with the real estate business – but do they realize there are actually two different real estate businesses? There are! In order to have a successful real estate business, you must become an expert at one of the two. As a real estate agent, you either need to be great at selling homes or great at selling yourself.
- The business of selling homes should never be an afterthought.
- Stop chasing new clients.
- Invest in building knowledge.
- Learn to play the long game.
- Interview strategically
The unfortunate reality is that most salespeople (particularly real estate sales people) are somewhat narcissistic. In one area of practice, the agent services the clients needs and in the other they get to serve their own ego. With that said, which do you think most agents would choose? Ding ding, you guessed it! Most realtors are more focused on selling themselves. They want to see their name in lights and their face on a billboard.
The actual business of selling homes gets treated like an afterthought. It’s just something they have to do a bit of in order to have something to point to and post about in order to further their actual business of selling themselves.
It may seem like I am down on this but I’m really not. It is a somewhat necessary part of every business. No matter what you sell, you want to create some kind of brand recognition and story and – yes, you as the agent are usually the star of that story.
Focus on Servicing Your Clients
Lots of tips for real estate agents are focused on the wrong thing. The problem shows up when there is a complete disrespect shown for the actual work in which your clients hire you to perform. This is the nature of the real estate business. There is a very large worldwide brokerage who trains their agents to, and I quote:
“Never allow servicing your existing business to get in the way of prospecting for new business.”
Let’s just break that down. What they are saying is that the stranger who has not yet signed a contract and pledged to do business with you is more important than the actual client who has already entrusted you with the responsibility of service. How do you think that feels from a clients perspective?
Is it possible they feel far less valuable to the agent the moment they sign on the dotted line? You bet it is! This is what new agents are being taught. In other words, turn ’em and burn ’em! They teach them that success lies on the other side of a high transaction count. Quantity over quality. The work of servicing your clients just doesn’t have the same sizzle that chasing and landing new ones does.
Invest In Building Knowledge
These ‘turn ’em and burn ’em’ tips for real estate agents are why there are over two million real estate agents in the United States and the average agent sells fewer than 7 homes per year. I golf seven times a year – and I am a terrible golfer – but, by this rational, I should be out there giving golf lessons. The truth is that many of these agents have little more experience and insight than their clients do. They are selling an image without any substance behind it. They are just faking it until they make it and because of that, they never will.
So whats the answer? You need to become an expert at the one thing that matters, the work! No matter what you are called to sell, you need to be more passionate and intentional about servicing the business you have rather than allowing yourself to become distracted chasing new business. Agents need to slow down and invest in building knowledge. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast! Rather than allowing yourself to be seduced by success, one should breath into a healthy obsession with service.
For many, this is not sexy and probably does not reflect anything close to why they got into real estate. I find the real answers often the ones that are least comfortable to hear. No one ever wants to hear their coach tell them to work harder. They would much rather hear that they are missing some secret ingredient and once they add in this special word or task, the magic will be revealed.
Play The Long Game
The best tip for real estate agents? Play the long game. The short cut to success mentality is why there is such a robust coaching industry within real estate. Agents will pay thousands of dollars a month to hear sage wisdom from a coach that will not have nearly as profound an impact on their business as just doing some real work. There is no elevator to the top, only stairs. You do not become successful in real estate by playing the short game.
Agents have to play the long game. Agents need to do the work to become an expert and become obsessed with service and relationship building. Agents need to care more about their clients than they do about themselves! This may all sound a bit Kumbaya but it’s the truth.
Imagine how different a conversation would feel if the person you were talking to was more interested in what you had to say than they were in telling you their own thoughts? What if in every situation where you encountered an agent, the only agenda they brought to the table was the one that was best for you? What would that feel like? It would feel great and you would probably be referring them a good bit of business. This is the real secret!
If you learn to do a great job for people, they will become your salesforce. You will not need to work so hard to sell yourself. If you do a really great job for people over a long enough period of time, you can retire from the business of selling yourself all together. This is where the magic happens – but it doesn’t happen overnight!
Whether you’re looking for looking for tips for real estate agents yourself, or are looking to hire the best of the best – you want to be strategic about your interview process.
When you’re hiring an agent, really ask yourself which business you think he or she is in. Are they in the business of selling themselves or are they in the business of selling homes? One will serve you far better than the other! Here’s a couple questions to start asking in your interviews to help you figure this out.
- How many homes did you personally sell last year? (Not your brokerage or your team, YOU?)
- Can you give me an example of a real negotiation in which you believe you had a positive impact on behalf of your client?
- What do you love about selling real estate (If the person says they just love looking at houses, NEXT)
- Can you give me an example of a real estate problem you have encountered and how you solved it?
- How would you handle it if you were awarded my listing and it wasnt selling?
If you ask these questions in addition to the standard interview questions you are more likely to hire an agent who is in the business of selling homes! As always, study the interviewees body language throughout this process and look for authenticity. It is often the way something is answered that matters more than the answer itself.
If you’d like to know more about developing yourself as a stand-out real estate agent, set up a free consultation with us here.