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Business woman texting on her phoneCoined by Verl Workman, moderator of RISMedia’s recent webinar “Yes, You Can List 100 Homes a Year!” and founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems,  the “unfair competitive advantage” describes the one asset that elevates an agent above all others in his or her marketplace. As attendees soon learned, webinar panelists Bob Sokoler and Martin Bouma have the unfair competitive advantage in spades.

Presented by Pillar To Post Home Inspectors and RISMedia’s Content Solutions, “Yes, You Can List 100 Homes a Year!” explored both Sokoler and Bouma’s paths to success, including surpassing 100 listings in one year. What unfair competitive advantages propelled them to such an achievement?

For Bouma, president of The Bouma Group, Keller Williams Realty in Ann Arbor, Mich., gaining total market knowledge is critical for even the most seasoned professionals. “There’s nothing worse than when a consumer calls into an office and someone is reading off a sheet of paper,” says Bouma. “What [consumers] need is the market knowledge that very few people have.”

To get it, Bouma is adamant about spending 24 hours preparing for a listing appointment, taking the time to view aerial photographs, preview active listings and drive the neighborhood. Bouma also requires agents new to his team to spend two-thirds of their day learning the ins and outs of the Ann Arbor market. “It’s important to build a perception of knowledge,” explains Bouma. “A lot of confidence comes from knowledge.”

Equally essential to capturing listings is gaining a deep understanding of the client’s needs. For Sokoler, owner of The Sokoler-Medley Team, RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville, Ky., that involves a lengthy “I’m Ready to List” form that, aside from extracting information, asks sellers to price their own homes. “We find they’re more willing to tell you on paper than in person what they think they’re home is worth,” Sokoler says.

And forget a rehearsed listing presentation – Sokoler conducts presentations live to better gauge what is most important to clients. “If they’re looking for videos, I’ll pull up how I edit videos,” Sokoler says, citing a client’s interest in video marketing. “You need to find whatever the hot button is for that seller and deliver it.”

Sokoler and Bouma share at least one unfair competitive advantage – consistency. With the assistance of a dedicated staffperson, Sokoler’s team adheres to a strict rule when responding to incoming leads. “Two minutes is the new norm for leads,” Sokoler stresses. “We need to make contact within two minutes. If you don’t, another agent down the block will beat you to it.”

“Consistency has no cost,” adds Bouma, who similarly abides by a system that includes mailing five handwritten notes and making 10 phone calls each day. Coordinating procedures and action plans and sticking to them, Bouma says, will make listing 100 homes a year seem less like a pipe dream and more like reality.

To learn even more ways to grow your listings – and maybe discover your own unfair competitive advantage – view the recording below.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

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