Ask an agent what they do and they’ll often respond with, “I sell real estate.” But it’s the answer to the question about where they sell that’s the real differentiator, as it makes them one of many—or places them among the elite.
If they say “everywhere,” they’ve flunked the expert test. Of course, a licensed agent can sell anywhere within an entire state, but that doesn’t translate to expertise on a hyperlocal level with statistics, trends and data in the area.
In his best-selling book, “Category of One,” author Joe Calloway shares how being an “inch wide and a zillion feet deep” as an industry expert pays off every time. You may “know” the general market and rely on current MLS-generated CMAs and company tools, which work well, but even the best statistics and data may be limiting the vision the consumer is craving. To really own your market, you must elevate your expertise from good to great—and here are the reasons why.
Today’s consumer needs real guidance in the home-buying and -selling process that goes beyond experience. While the latest tools, systems, platforms and data make it easy to get any information you want in order to determine the suitability of a property or location, consumers can get that same information from just about anywhere on the net. Although a good resource, it’s not going to be as helpful unless, as the professional, you know how to “interpret” that data as it applies to their needs.
The highest demand from consumers today is to go deep on smaller geographic areas using the guidance of a hyperlocal expert who is highly invested in the actual data and specific nuances of that marketplace. They want information about the neighborhood, or even street-specific details that require deeper legwork that you won’t find on the internet. Buyers today can easily access property information online to help them narrow down their preferences from a geographic viewpoint, or even demographically, but they can’t get the day-to-day “boots-on-the-ground” information that comes with really knowing and studying the specifics of a given area.
Becoming highly versed in all areas of your marketplace will help you craft a marketing message with specific differentiation to get traction with consumers who prefer to work with and pay for expert help. To accomplish this, focus on knowing “about” an area by walking through properties, visiting any and all open houses, studying the immediate neighborhood and covering local events to support the community involvement that makes you a “regular” participant in the neighborhood.
If you work in a more rural area, compile specific reporting on deep analysis that includes list-to-sale percentages and up-to-the-minute days on the market with specific examples that offer deeper content than available through searches. If a buyer wants to buy, give them as much local information as they need to make an informed decision. Go beyond statistics to sharing personal insights like the best local coffee houses, local events and customs they may find interesting. People don’t want to make mistakes when investing in a home or property, and the professionals that really “know” the area are their key to a successful transaction.
Choose to go from a “general agent” to hyperlocal expert. Be willing to become the “most wanted” in your area.
Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant and master coach with Workman Success. She is the author of five books, a TED Talk speaker and co-radio host on KWAMtheVoice.com. For more information, please visit TerriMurphy.com or email Terri@TerriMurphy.com.