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Where Do Your Transactions Come From? By Realty Times

“Why would a seller choose me to list and sell their home?”

You’ve worked hard over the years to earn the trust of previous clients, so they turn to you when it’s time to sell. After all, they know you and have seen you act on their behalf:

• Past clients and customers have first-hand knowledge of working with you. You’ve proven your value: you listened and concentrated on understanding what they wanted. Past clients are those you were contracted to serve through a listing, buyer agency, or leasing contract. Buyers or sellers you represented in a transaction are past customers.

• Those you had direct contact with were impressed that you often went beyond what they asked for. You anticipated what they overlooked or what they did not understand they needed before they realized this themselves.

• Your depth of local experience increased their flexibility in finding their ideal home.

But does serving past clients and customers generate enough business annually to consistently earn your desired, every-increasing level of income?

• Is it a scramble every year to reach your financial goals or can you accurately project your income as the year begins?

• Is working with past clients and customers challenging enough to hold your interest?

• Is it time to broaden or redefine your target market?

Why would a seller—who has not worked with you and may not have met you before—choose you from the mass of real estate professionals when they want to list their home?

If you don’t know why prospects should choose you, how can they know?

Saying you’ll get sellers a higher sale price than anyone else is what too many real estate professionals have promised. Not all of them can deliver. Is this your signature listing approach?

Key deciding factors are those often subtle differences that identify a professional who’s local, specific responses to every question reveal deep insight into neighborhood dynamics. This is someone who appreciates the value and pitfalls contained in the specific neighborhoods they target.

Don’t be discouraged by hot competition, learn from their mistakes and victories.

Expand Your Thinking to Expand Your Real Estate Practice or Business…

1. Do You Evaluate Advertising Value?

Do you track the marketing ROI stats for online ads, local advertising, and promotions like park bench ads? Exactly how many leads which transform into deals come from each advertising and promotion track? Do you know what holds specific value for you or do you just follow the leader—if “everyone” advertises there, do you jump on board?

Where and when do your target prospects shop for professional advice? Do you know what they read, watch, and subscribe to for the latest in real estate? What keywords do they use to search? Do you offer locally-oriented content when marketing to target buyers and sellers, not just ads about your sales success?

2. How Do You Gain & Hold Attention?

Gaining the attention of prospective buyers and sellers is one important goal. The key strategic goal, however, is holding that attention and eventually transforming it into a transaction. How effective are you at consistently turning leads into deals?

Do you examine the process from their first contact with you, online or off, until the deal closes to reveal which elements you can strengthen and build on for the next prospect? Are there ideas here for promoting your value?

3. Do You Stand Out Consistently With Targets?

Standing out does not mean being louder, more in the face, or more outrageous than other professionals. Targeting involves understanding targets so you are consistently on-point. Do you generate “you get me” target responses to your advertising, marketing, and promotion?

How close to your target market are you? Do you live near them, work near them, recreate with them, raise your children with theirs, walk your dog where they walk theirs, share similar financial and lifestyle goals, support the same community groups…? Where does common ground lie and what are you doing to effectively intensify your connections?

4. Do You Fan the Referral Flame?

What percentage of past clients and customers over the last three years are members of your current chosen target market? These individuals and families represent double value to you:

1. The present and future real estate needs of their immediate family and of their circle of friends and their families represent potential business

2. The present and future real estate needs of their neighborhood and workplace connections provide opportunities to broaden your business reach. 

How do you ask for this business without just repeating, “If anyone wants to buy or sell I can help”?

How do you raise your real-estate-as-investment profile and proven value with this diverse, inter-connected target prospect base? Some will fall within your target market. Some will not, because of the buyer’s desired location or type of property. For instance, have you built a referral network for prospective buyers whom you cannot service? For example, buyers of recreational property outside your work area or those who would like income property for children heading off to college?

5. Do You Work Effectively Instead of Chasing Deals?

In a sellers’ market, concentrating on listings makes five times more sense, even when it’s a real challenge:

1. The real estate sign, online profile, and all elements of a listing are 24-7 “silent salesperson” magnets for prospective buyers who may purchase something else with you if that listing does not suit. Importantly, prospective sellers search listings to find the right professional for their needs. While marketing listings, how do you also attract potential sellers?

Caution: Sellers are warned to “Speak Up or Lose Out: Ignorance of Loss Favors Double-Dipping (Dual Agency)”

2. An essential part of marketing is strengthening the network of real estate professionals who will show and sell your listings because they know your high standards are reflected in the accuracy of the listing and fairness of the offer presentation. These professional connections can also lead to referrals.

Caution: Pocket listings can be counterproductive for sellers and the professional since these practices “are intentionally excluding 70% or more of the most qualified buyers in the marketplace.

3. Every “sold” is an impressive “silent salesperson.” The more quickly your listings sell for high value, the more prospective sellers you attract. How do you continually expand on this referral network?

Caution: Be current. I saw my house, which I bought more than ten years ago, included in a local real estate person’s “recent sold” list. How do you think I reacted?

4. Sold listings are your “proof of value” and, along with testimonials, can form strong elements of your marketing, online and off.

Caution: Always ask for permission before you use past client and customer information in your marketing.

5. Chasing listings for buyers is exhausting, especially in low-inventory markets. Invest in signing up listings!   

Caution: Know the signs of burnout, and make staying in great shape your top priority!

Resource: “What’s Your Point?” By PJ Wade (2022)

Additional Insight:

Need a Place to Think? Consider PJ Wade’s latest post at What’s Your Point? for inspiration: “Where Does The Time Go?