The average real estate agent sells 8 homes a year. How do they even pay bills?
If you want to make a living working in real estate, you need to be much better than average. Considering the large amount of competition in real estate, this presents a challenge. Follow this guide, and in no time you’ll be working with as many home buyers as you want.
First and foremost, working in real estate doesn’t mean your personal life comes to a halt. Many agents make the mistake of thinking the more time they put in at the office, the more successful they’ll be.
It doesn’t matter how much time you put in if you aren’t doing the right things in the right order. Positioning is where you start. Positioning is the difference between chasing clients and your clients chasing you.
To achieve this, you need to differentiate yourself from the competitors. You have to inspire loyalty in clients, and this means that you have to stand out. Differentiation is the way to go if you want to turn from a faceless realtor to a trusted advisor.
What’s Your WOW Factor?
Do you dress professionally at meetings? Do you have a friendly attitude? Do you offer presentations and promise help with getting low mortgage rates?
So does EVERYONE else! What you need is your own, personal, WOW factor.
You need to get your home buyers to say something like “Wow! I’m so impressed, I wouldn’t work with anyone else!” If you reach this stage, you’ve achieved every realtor’s main goal, obtaining loyal buyers.
Here’s the best part, though. Wowing your customers means you’ve got an army of clients spreading your name like wild fire. So, your marketing expenses drop dramatically. It also means that, in a few years, they’re coming back to you to sell their house AND using you to buy the next one!
Seems like an agent’s dream come true, right?
Achieving it can be tricky, as you need to establish this coveted WOW factor that will actually work. Most agents tend to consider this an impossible task. They don’t see anything extraordinary about their business that would generate that “Wow!” factor.
This is where they are wrong. I you’re an agent, you already have all the tools you need. You just have to learn how to use them the right way.
There are two things that are important for your differentiation success:
As the word ‘motivation’ is so popular now, many people assume that this factor is most important. But, no amount of motivation will make you fly if you’ve never learned the skill of piloting a plane. You can be the most motivated and enthusiastic agent on the planet. But without the skills to charm and wow, you won’t build loyal customers.
Developing smart real estate practices and doing them over and over is your route to success. You need to have an effective plan for each conversation with a prospect, from your first talk on the phone to the presentation.
One of the most effective strategies to achieve results is to conduct a home buyer counseling interview. This will provide you two essential benefits:
- You learn everything you need to know about the home buyer to tailor your presentation and make it completely irresistible.
- You get a chance to differentiate yourself from other realtors by pointing out the benefits that YOU can deliver.
For this interview to be successful, you’ll need to ask dozens of questions. And they have to go much deeper than “how many bedrooms do you need?” A good strategy is to ask “what’s important to you in the home buying process?”
This question gives you the opening to start establishing your differentiation. For example, you can suggest that you can ease this process by:
- Offering the buyer an access to ‘coming soon’ properties.
These are the properties that aren’t on MLS yet, so the buyer won’t have to compete in a multiple bids situation. This is especially important for seller-oriented markets of today.
- Offering help with acquiring lower rates.
Money is always an important factor in real estate, and offering the buyer to cut down their expenses even a little is sure to get them interested.
Giving Home Buyers A Smart Home Buying Strategy
The trick to making your home buyers devoted to you is establishing yourself as a true expert in the field. You need to make the buyers believe that you are more than a person opening the doors. Focus on making them think of the things that are important about the process, not the house itself.
There are over 80 variable in the home buying process. Mismanaging or overlooking even one can result in the buyer not finding the perfect house or overpaying for the property. To make your buyers loyal, you need to explain this to them and prove that you are capable of accounting for every single one of these variables. You don’t actually have to talk about all of them, just focus on the most important things.
Here are some tips that will help you accomplish this:
- Inform your prospect about the buyer-agency disclosure agreement.
90% of home buyers aren’t presented with this agreement, even though it’s their legal right. Start your conversation with explaining what the agreement is and allowing them to study the terms. As agents are legally bound to inform the seller about everything the prospective buyer tells them, forewarning your client is the best way to earn their trust. Explain how if they say things like “this house is perfect and I’m ready to pay full price and even more”, they will lose a chance to negotiate better terms. Disclosing this information from the start shows that you care about the home buyer’s best interests.
- Offer expert advice.
This is where you need to do prior research of the market. The buyer counseling interview will provide you with the information you need. Use this information and gather market intelligence to present your buyer with a detailed, custom-tailored plan that will help them buy the house of their dreams. Prove that you are an expert by providing detailed information about the current market tendencies and explaining how their shifts affect the buyer.
- Explain the future homeowner’s responsibilities.
This is another chance to differentiate yourself. Get the buyer to understand that there is more to being a homeowner than mortgage payments. Focus on taxes and utilities. Offer to provide them with utility bills so that people can see if they can really afford the property.
- Provide top-quality home inspection.
Let the buyer be confident that there would be no unforeseen expenses in their future.
- Talk about home equity swaying.
Explain how even the smallest change in mortgage interest rates will affect the buyer. For example, +1% on a $300,000 deal will lose the buyer $30,000. Make them think about whether they would be able to afford the property they want when such a change occurs, as it definitely will. Then, promise to hook them up with a lender that will allow them to buy down the rates when the inevitable growth occurs.
- Discuss tax returns.
Offer the home buyer a strategy of paying off the mortgage faster by making the 13th payment every year from the money they get through tax returns. Think of other viable solutions that could help them get the property they want.
- Teach your buyer how to negotiate their offer from the position of strength.
In this seller-oriented real estate market, making a competitive offer is the key to buying the perfect house for your client. There are more ways to achieve this than simply offering more money. Tricks you can use include:
- Adding a personal touch.
Include a ‘Dear Seller’ letter that will appeal to sellers on the personal level. Including a few family pictures will be a plus.
- Make a “Zero Repairs” announcement.
If the home inspector discovers some serious problems with the property, you can always back out.
- Get a lender to underwrite your offer.
Prove that you are ready to pay right away.
- Adding a personal touch.
- Get a clue report.
Offer your buyer a report that highlights potential “landmines” with the property (high-flood areas, power lines, etc). This helps prove that you think about the buyer’s best interests and are ready to go out of your way to ensure they don’t overpay for the house.
If you can provide the buyer with any other kind of assistance, be sure to mention it and highlight how much of the stress your help can take off their shoulders. Don’t forget that there are two most important motivating factors for a person: Pain and pleasure.
Pain is infinitely more powerful, so always start with focusing on the negative. Say something like “Imagine you will lose $30,000 in interest rates alone”. And then offer a solution that will help the buyer escape this nightmarish scenario. Be sure to mention things that an average buyer won’t even think about. This way, the prospects will see you as a trusted ally who actually cares.
Implement these things in your business, and you’ll be on your way to creating an army of loyal buyers who can’t wait to spread your name. Not to mention, you’ll be the first person they contact next time they need a real estate agent too.