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In most markets, real estate brokerage is a crowded and competitive business, especially with the surge of new brokerage models and constantly evolving technology developments. So, what makes your brokerage different?

Differentiating yourself from your competition requires understanding the unique benefits you deliver—and communicating those benefits to potential clients.

It sounds simple, but most real estate professionals struggle to identify and articulate these points. There are several ways to do it. To get your ideas flowing, consider these possible approaches:

  1. Specialized Niches
    Instead of trying to be all things to all people, consider zeroing in on a segment of the market where you can claim strong expertise. Successful niches can be based on a type of client or property, a location, or even specialized knowledge and skills.

Many of the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) designations and certifications can play a strong role in supporting your ability to promote a specialized niche, such as the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) or Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designations.

  1. Commitment to Excellence (C2EX)
    NAR’s C2EX program, launched last November, is available at no extra cost to members. It’s another powerful way for agents and brokerages to stand out in a crowded field. Brokers can also brand their C2EX platform with a company logo and share content with the rest of the team.

Encourage your entire office to complete the program and use the marketing materials to tell the world that you’re endorsed by the National Association of REALTORS®—and that you operate your business at the highest possible level of professionalism.

  1. Trends and Technology
    In your advertising, tell clients how you’re keeping up with the latest industry developments—and how they benefit.

This might include your use of e-signature software and other technologies that keep their transaction on track, your work with iBuyers to offer additional selling or buying options, or your use of a team structure.

  1. Personal Style and Talents
    Are you a gifted and patient hand-holder? A skilled negotiator? Do you have intimate knowledge of every property in your market or unique financing options for credit-challenged buyers?

Each of these qualities can play a critical role in informing potential clients how you’re different.

  1. Quantifiable Results
    If you claim to be good at something, back it up with facts. A mortgage specialist, for example, might be able to point to a higher percentage of first-time buyer-clients that were able to secure a mortgage and purchase a home relative to other first-time buyers.
  1. What Clients Say
    If you’re still not sure what sets you apart, ask your clients. Or, reflect on the feedback you’ve already received.

Most buyers and sellers don’t work with real estate professionals frequently enough to articulate how you and your brokerage compare to others. They can, however, say what they enjoyed about working with you, providing clues for crafting a unique value proposition.

Making a Statement
Once you’ve compiled your thoughts, start writing and refining statements that convey your benefits from a client’s perspective. Aim to be as clear as possible and avoid using jargon.

If you’re leading a brokerage, or a real estate team, make this a group exercise and explore ways to integrate each team member’s unique benefits into a unified message.

Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit