By Peyman Aleagha
RISMEDIA, Oct. 16, 2008-At its heart, real estate is a business of information. A Realtor’s job is to gather, understand and convey that information. It’s what makes you an expert in the field. You can spend every hour of your working day processing information. You can know your market area cold, able to spew out even the smallest market detail in a second.
For a Realtor, the rubber meets the road when a hot prospect is interested in the information they posses. So what possible reason could there be to give away hard earned expertise for free? The biggest reason is that it’s the surest way to build your business.
Being an expert and establishing yourself as an expert are two different things. When you establish yourself as an expert, you will attract prospects to you. In the community, the Realtors that get the business are the ones who have established themselves as experts. They’ve branded themselves as a trusted source of information. They did so by giving away their expertise.
Giving away expertise is a technique that has been used by Internet marketers for some time now. They call it the pink spoon. Attract interest in your product, you, by developing a giveaway that establishes you as an expert. It’s a concept that Realtors can use to their benefit, too.
Sharing your expertise with the community is how you develop your pink spoon. It’s what will separate you from all the other choices consumers have when time comes to buy or sell. It’s like this. When consumers look to participate in the real estate market they have limited sources with which to research Realtors.
Consumers want and look for the best service they can find. But unfortunately they don’t often have the resources they need to make the best decision. They may have a refrigerator magnet with a number, there may be a sign down the street they can check into and maybe they’ll ask their family. But wouldn’t it be nice if you were positioned in their minds as the local expert. Who do you think they’d call then?
If you’ve become aggressive in placing yourself in the local market, chances are your name will come up when consumers start to search. But being aggressive means more than putting your listings and name in the homes book once a month. Even there, your one in many Realtors consumers can choose from.
The trick is to stand out. The key is to find the outlets to stand out in. In real estate those outlets are mailings, advertorials, local newspaper columns and Internet advertising campaigns. In each of these outlets you are marketing your expertise. You give away your information and knowledge so that prospects are naturally attracted to you when the buying or selling time comes.
But even if you do stand out, you still need to deal with the competition. And the competition comes in varying forms these days. In many markets there is tremendous pressure to lower listing fees. When I first got into the business the fee was traditionally 7%. Recently in my market it has become 6% and is heading down. It is becoming harder and harder for most Realtors to sell value for service.
You need to give ample reason to earn the higher fee. One way of doing this is to establish your expertise in advance. The way to do this is marketing-specific marketing with the intent of building your value beforehand. This comes by way of sharing your expertise with the community.
A good example would be the difference between a buffet steak house and a premier steak house. Sure they both sell steak, but which one has the higher value. Steak is steak at the end of the day, but the premier steak house has established itself as superior brand. They command more money.
When Realtors work in the community they face many marketing challenges. Among them are perceived depreciation of a Realtors value, increased competition and in some places stagnating market conditions.
In order to compete more effectively, Realtors must position themselves as experts in their field. The best way to do this is to give away targeted expertise in as many outlets as possible.
Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides Realtors with Real Estate Web Design, Real Estate Print Marketing and Free IDX solutions.
For more information, visit http://www.realtysoft.com.