One thing we can always count on is change, and today we are on the cusp of big events in the world of real estate. Five years from now, the way agents engage with the market will be markedly different than it was five years ago. Consumers are evolving and it is critical that we adapt our strategies to meet and exceed their expectations. To do so, we need to face some harsh facts and make some strategic changes to the way we operate. Are you ready? Here is what consumers want, so be prepared to give it to them.
- Integrity above everything. Don’t even toy with the idea of double ending a transaction. It is impossible to adequately represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. If you disagree, you are making excuses for bad behavior. Get over it. Double-ending transactions has never been the make it or break it for a great career in real estate. When you have a buyer interested in your listing do the right thing – refer the buyer to an agent you respect for this specific transaction and receive a referral fee when it closes. When you do this you solidly establish yourself as a professional with the utmost integrity, you will earn the respect of your peers and your clients, which in turn will bring you more business. I recommend you tell all of your clients upfront that this is your personal policy. This will validate their perception of your worthiness out of the gate.
- To be treated as people, not leads. Lead generation is dying so don’t design your entire success strategy around chasing leads. Agents are spending more money on lead gen than then entire economies of some island nations. This will end because consumers are fed up with being accosted by ravenous service providers who simply want to make a buck off of them. Future-forward businesses will provide consumers what they want: free and instant access to personalized information about the products and services they are interested in, and real estate will be no different. So adjust your expectations and prepare to join the sharing economy; a world in which you give then you get. Look for opportunities to contribute your real estate expertise with the world, and expect to be discovered based on what you put out there.
- Immediate satisfaction. You heard it here first: Sunday open houses will one day be a thing of the past. I know this is hard to wrap our heads around, but we have to. The technology is already available to make it simple for consumers to arrange an instant showing of a property with an agent in the field. If an individual can get an Uber car in three minutes, surely they can get an agent to show them a property in five. Engage in technologies that make it possible for you to connect with consumers in real time and get on board early. Early adopters of the right applications will be the long-term winners in the innovation race.
We are creatures of habit and for many agents it is simply too hard to accept that they will go the way of Radio Shack if they refuse to embrace new ideas. This provides a great opportunity for new agents and established agents who are curious and open to trying new things to lead the pack. Agents who differentiate themselves by providing consumers real estate services on their terms will become the leaders in the industry while those that cling to the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy will be forced to retire. Keep your ear to the ground and challenge yourself to show the world today that you are the future.
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