A Product Called You: 4 Ways To Stand Out For Real Estate Agents

Have you heard of ‘A2’ Milk?

Well last night anyone watching Seven’s Today Tonight Show will have.

This milk ‘product’ has broken away from the pack, it’s different and it’s getting a lot of attention (not to mention sales of ‘A2’ are booming).

‘A2’ Milk offers a really cool lesson for all would be TOP 5% REAL ESTATE AGENTS.

Here’s what we can learn from this…

Firstly, you’ve got to see your personal-brand as a product.

When you look at yourself in this way, the immediate realisation should be, hey if I’m a product so is every other real estate agent. And that’s either a good thing or bad thing in terms of you standing out and being noticed by your marketplace.

It’s a bad thing if ‘product-you’ is perceived by your marketplace to be no different than all the other ‘agent products’ out there.

It’s good, no, it’s spectacularly great if ‘product-you’ is perceived by your marketplace to be different and not only different but actually delivers them a better solution than the others.

So how can you become the ‘A2’ of your real estate marketplace?

Well, let’s take a few queues from the new milk success story, ‘A2’:

#1 – An Unfamiliar Name: The first clever thing about ‘A2’ from a positioning sense is its name, that is, ‘A2’ milk. It’s unfamiliar. Now I know I’ve said in my book and elsewhere that the ‘familiar’ win, and that’s true. But when it comes to a name or a label, often the use of an ‘unfamiliar’ in the description of something that is generally very familiar (e.g. milk) helps it to stand out. It ‘interrupts’ your thinking – when you see it for the first time you say, “What’s ‘A2’?”. That’s the first step in engaging someone.

How can you incorporate something interesting and a little unfamiliar to grab people’s attention?

HOT TIP: Here’s one way, change the term “Free Appraisal” which is very familiar and boring, you can do that by adding in an adjective. If you do, you better make sure you are offering something different to all the other agents who offer “Free Appraisals”. You’ll create more problems for yourself if you get people all hot and excited about your offer when they discover it’s the same old thing all other agents are doing.

#2 – Story: There’s a story behind ‘A2’ milk and it’s a pretty interesting one. As it turns out there’s this protein in some milk that originates from only some cows. ‘A2’ cows in fact. This protein is really good for you apparently. And to find the right cows that produce the ‘A2’ protein milk, cows undergo a DNA test, that’s right, all very CSI, haha. It’s this story that delivers on the promise of the ‘unfamiliar name’. The story engages the consumer. Tells them it really is different than all the other milk brands on offer.

What’s your unique story that makes you different from all the other agents?

HOT TIP: Come up with a 10 Point USP (‘unique selling proposition’). It doesn’t matter if several of your USP items are the same as others; you just need 3 or 4 that no one else is doing in your area, then claim them as your unique points of different and tell the world about it.

#3 – Controversy: A2′ milk stands out for another reason other than just the promise of a healthy protein. ‘A2’ have brought to our attention that the other protein that’s found in all other dairy milk products, that being ‘A1’ may be really bad for us. This is how they separate themselves from all other milk products. It’s controversial. It’s riled the likes of Dairy Australia, the peak industry body. They say the science is insufficient (and the consumers who buy ‘A2’ cynically think of course Dairy Australia would say that). ‘A2’ can’t lose. Doesn’t matter what their opposition throw at them, the more they try to undermine the ‘A2’ story, the more support ‘A2’ receives.

How can you be a little controversial?

HOT TIP: The easiest way is to know your ‘BIG Why’. When you know your ‘BIG Why’ it’s easy to make a stand for something. When you make a stand for something, there will be people in your marketplace that will support you and choose your side. That’s what we humans do. We like to choose the side we’re on.

WARNING: don’t be controversial just for the sake of standing out. That’ll back fire on you. You must only be controversial if it matches your ‘BIG Why’ and specifically your beliefs/cause/purpose/mission.

#4 – Consistency: ‘A2’ is going to great lengths via DNA testing to ensure the purity of their product. This aspect of their story alone is super powerful. In the minds of their consumers it provides certainty. They can feel confident that every bottle of ‘A2’ they buy has actually come from ‘A2’ cows. ‘A2’s consistent approach to testing creates certainty in the minds of their consumers and it’s this certainty that has built trust and loyalty.

How can you construct a system for doing what you do so that you’re consistent and so that your marketplace can feel confident you’ll deliver every time?

HOT TIP: Create your own ‘signature sales system’. It may well be auction. Or it could be private treaty. Doesn’t matter. Just break it down into steps. Explain what those steps are and help people see that your system is bullet proof and consistent.

The bottom line is, when you see yourself as a product, you can start packaging yourself up so that you stand out.

My final word on this is, and even though I’ve already said it, it’s worth reiterating… what ever you do follow your ‘BIG Why’ and be authentic with all of this.

Authentic agents win!

Four Advantages of Real Estate Ownership

The following key factors are commonly accepted as the major reasons real estate continues to be a good investment. For the majority of real estate participants, these factors are the most critical issues in a real estate venture.

1.) Real Estate is a Necessity: Real estate is at the very core of human existence. We all have three important basic needs: food, clothing and shelter. Our world continues to expand as more and more people are being born every day. In addition, there continues to be larger migrations of people from rural areas to more populated locations. Therefore, people will always have the need for temporary lodging, permanent shelter and places to conduct business.

2.) Hedge Against Inflation: Inflation is the invisible force eating away at the purchasing power of our dollars. A dollar, however, doesn’t buy today what it once used to. It is also evident that the quality of goods our dollars purchase is also diminished. For instance, the McDonald’s “Big Mac” has become progressively smaller year after year. Plus, when we purchase a box of our favorite breakfast cereal, the bag inside the box is practically half empty.

From the tenant’s perspective, rent seems to go up constantly and anyone on a fixed income may find it difficult to keep up with the cost of living increases. The owner of the property also feels the effects of inflation in the form of increased property related expenses, taxes, utilities and maintenance costs. As property costs rise, owners typically pass these costs on to their tenants in the form of increased rents and fees. Furthermore as inflation increases so do property values; owners will often benefit from the property appreciation.

3.) Production of Income: The most attractive and lucrative reason for owning real estate is in its ability to produce passive income for the property owner. Rent is accruing daily while payments made by the tenants pay down debt balances and produce predictable profits. Once the property is free and clear, the portion of income that was once used to service the debt payments now goes into the owner’s pocket.

4.) Appreciation in Value: Due to inflation, property appreciates in value. Usually, this statement is generally true. While there are no guarantees, if care is taken with regards to timing of the acquisition and trends in the overall marketplace, real estate tends to perform well when inflationary conditions are flat with some moderate expansion.

How Do You Know If Your Real Estate Agent Is Doing A Good Job?

Many home seller’s hire a real estate agent either from a referral from a friend or relative or from a piece of the real estate agents advertising. Once the seller interviews the agent many times they are hired on the spot. After this how as a seller do you know if your home is getting the exposure that it deserves or know if your agent is doing a good job on your home sale? Many times this is hard to distinguish especially when you as a seller have many other concerns and other items to worry about I.E.: work, imminent move, other normal things going on vs. your real estate agent and the job they are doing for you.

Here are a few tips for you to know exactly what type of job and representation you as a seller are getting from your agent/ brokerage company. The first is how often does your agent communicate to you updates and market conditions about your home sale? A good rule of thumb should be at least once every 2 weeks and preferably once a week at least a call to you with a detailed update, for number of showings, sign calls, and other measurable ways to see how the marketplace is responding to your home. I would also recommend that agents should complete at least one open house during the first 30 days your house is on the market many times this will help get neighbors, and others that live close by to see the property which in turn sometimes makes a sale because someone that they know gets told about what the relative or friend saw at the open house down the street. As a seller you should also try to ask all questions about the transaction as you think of them so that your concerns can be taken care of ASAP, this will also help you to determine how much knowledge your agent truly has.

Agents that also seem to be exceptionally knowledgeable about every aspect of your sale should also be given more room to operate then someone who never really has an answer to your questions quickly. I say this because many times as a seller you will have questions about the transaction process as it evolves, the agent that does not give you answers right away and feels confident in the answers given should be watched very closely. There’s nothing worse then an agent that does not give you confidence as a seller that the right things are being taken care of correctly for your transaction.

A real estate agent as everyone knows is typically well paid to obtain a buyer and handle the transaction of your home sale, which for most locations is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more. The reason agents are so well paid is simple they are in charge a large sums of money and only when they get a property closed do they get paid for their services, having said this I would only consider a real estate agent or brokerage that was going to market and advertise my property in several areas. For me as an agent I know every marketplace is different and what works for a single family home here in Tucson Arizona may not work for a large farm property in the center of Ohio, but the general advertising that works for most properties IE: Internet advertising, newspaper, and home magazines should all be considered by the real estate agent you employ. I employ a very sophisticated and complete internet marketing portfolio for my sellers and it works for them because in this part of the nation many people move here from across the nation and the internet is the best way to expose the property to those buyers who would not know of the home any other way. I would suggest that regardless of what advertising avenue your agent wants to use that the advertising is a complete and solid plan to give your home exceptional exposure. If they say they are going to run newspaper ads make sure you get the run dates and then buy a paper that day and look up the ad yourself to see what it looks like. A sloppy written ad or an ad with a poor picture of your home should set off alarms that maybe your agent is not doing a good enough job representing your home, and your interests. This is extremely important don’t think because your agent maybe “works for the largest brokerage around” or “Has been in the business for 20 years” means that they do a good job, I cannot tell you how many agents out there do the absolute minimum for their sellers and nothing more and only you the client suffers.

Hopefully these quick tips help you to select a highly competent real estate agent to represent your home. Many people have “bad” experiences with real estate professionals and think they (real estate agents) in general are horrible and the clients themselves could do a better job of selling their home. Well unfortunately they are probably right, but not because all real estate agents do a bad job BUT because they happened to hire the wrong agent to represent them. It’s a fact that 90% of the real estate sales are completed by the top 10% real estate agents in the local marketplace. DO yourself a favor when hiring an agent and get a top producer that knows how, and has the track record to get your home sold and get you top dollar. If you need help selecting an agent I have an extensive amount of contacts across the nation and will have no problem recommending one for you, just send me an email to moliver@SellingTucsonRealEstate.com and give me some details about your home. Also if you live in the Tucson or Phoenix Arizona or surrounding areas please consider my team in your choice of representation to get your home sold.