In a world that is being driven and overrun by online advertising, Google searches, and social media ‘noise’, it’s no wonder people are wanting and expecting more from their agents.
- Agents are doing too much online advertising
- Online advertising is now why consumers expect more. Online advertising is making consumers rethink the value of the agent
Problem: As real estate agents continue to pay for advertising, they are becoming more transactional and therefore, less relevant and less respected by their clients.
Addressing the 76% failure rate amongst real estate agents.
The fact is, most agents don’t know how to create a sustainable and profitable business. Most agents have ‘bought ‘ into the idea that ‘If I send enough emails, post the latest market trends on social media or do an expensive mail out to homes in the area, then my phone will ring!’ Right? Wrong.
So what’s the solution?
Target local business owners not home owners. Most agents focus on the end user, in this case, the homeowner, afterall, they are the ones buying and/or selling. One problem with this methodology is that no one knows when they will be ready to list or buy, so how do you find them at that exact moment? Well, you don’t. So, turn the table around and consider the following.
Relationships. Relationships. Relationships. Agents need to focus on fostering relationships to get clients. The key to becoming the agent of choice in your neighborhood is to add value to your community members.
So how is this accomplished? Simple. Get involved.
By being front-and-centre, your networking with locals will pay off in dividends! Here are some ways you can get more involved in your community to create a new group of people you didn’t have access to before.
- Create Community Events. As an expert in your marketing area, you can sponsor and be involved in numerous events. This list can be endless, but a few of the more popular ones are as follows:
- Community Gardens. Organize a group of people to help create a garden area for all to enjoy. Each family or cohort can care for an individual garden box. As a realtor you can post signage indicating your sponsorship. Create a buzz using local social media groups, such as Facebook.
- Neighborhood Garage Sales: You can use your local community association to help market the event. Get local business owners on board. They can help volunteer or set up a booth at the community hall. Create a win-win for them.
- Arts and Crafts Festivals: Again, get your community involved. People can display their artwork in their windows for people to enjoy as they walk by. So too can business owners. Create a contest and have community members vote online. Host the virtual event at a local restaurant or flower shop. Create fun videos to share on social media. This will increase your exposure on many levels and most importantly, your community members will get to know you better.
- Mini Outdoor Trade Show: As physical distancing is still being enforced in many areas, create a mini outdoor trade show in your local commercial business area. Each business owner can display their wares outside their store front. Another win-win. You are adding value to local businesses and now homeowners can peruse them for deals. Keep in mind, social distancing measures may be required.
- Create and Use Blogs and Videos. The use of blogs and videos is paramount in today’s marketplace as both sellers and buyers are starting their search, looking to consume content to learn before they start the process. As clients demand more from their agents, agents have to move with the trends or they will become irrelevant. The savvy home buyer/seller will know more about you and your business before they actually meet you. The content you provide on your website and social media is what will make your phone ring. Always provide value first. Educate your ‘audience’ with what is going on in the community. For example:
- You can create an informative blog about the best parks in the area. Add pictures or a short video with highlights.
- You can create an article about home buying and point out the ‘5’ hidden fees people should be aware of.
- Another helpful tool would be to write a blog listing the pitfalls to be aware of when hiring a house inspector.
A common mistake real estate agents make is they talk about themselves and believe people will respond to their slick messaging. The truth is you must give people information and educate them first. People prefer to work with people they know, like, and trust.
- Interview People. Nowadays, all you need is a smartphone and a willing participant to create a compelling interview that will attract people to watch. This process accomplishes a few things.
- It gets you out from behind your desk and getting to know people in your area.
- You become the neighborhood ‘connector’ that people will naturally migrate towards.
- It increases your database exponentially.
But who do you interview? Again, the list is endless but here are some good ideas.
- Local Small Business Owners. They could use your help to promote their goods and services and rarely are you turned away.
- School Administrators/ Council Members. One of the top questions people ask before considering buying a home is, “How good is the school district?” School quality has a big influence on people’s choices when considering which neighborhood to move into.
- Community Associations: People who are involved in their community associations tend to know a lot of people and are good connections to have. They also host various events throughout the year that you can be involved in.
For a comprehensive list of people you should contact, click below for a free ebook:
You might be thinking right now, ‘But I’m only one person, how can I do it all?’ One solution- A one-stop-shop website centering on local news, local events, and locally-driven by real estate agents.
By example, two CEOs have created a unique alliance to help local agents increase their bottom lines and they are offering it for free! Dragos Ruxandu of eXp Realty Quebec recently partnered with Grant Findlay-Shirras of Parkbench.com, a company that has created an online platform for real estate agents to easily use to create a community of their own.
“The law of reciprocity is strong!” confirms Dragos, “ I am excited for the opportunities this partnership will offer my real estate team. My goal is to bring value to my current agents and anyone who wants to join my team and now I have something to offer them that will help them get clients without them having to pay anything upfront. By utilizing the Parkbench system, my team will grow and we will be giving back to the neighbourhoods that we serve! It’s a win-win!” Ruxandu adds.
Parkbench has created “the local broker program” that allows a brokerage to get exclusivity to the city that their agents cover, for free. In return, the brokerage helps Parkbench offer a “pay-as-you-earn” model to agents. This way, agents don’t have to pay upfront for Parkbench’s service – the current model that alienates agents who don’t have the cash flow to pay for it. Rather, they can now pay for the service after they make money!
Parkbench has created its own Blue Ocean StrategyⓇ, differentiating itself from the competition. No other platform does what they can do. Apps like Nextdoor and Tribe offer their users a way to connect to each other, within a certain geographical radius, but they are user driven and so the content is sporadic, at best. Also, these are not designed with real estate agents in mind, so the use is limited.
“The average agent who uses Parkbench grows their income by 22% year over year, and better yet, they have a more profitable business since it’s built on relationships and referrals versus advertising. But exclusivity to our platform isn’t cheap. So lots of great agents that we know we could help couldn’t get started and because we’re not a brokerage, we don’t have the ability to take a percentage of their future commissions. However, a brokerage partner can help us do this and because we’re so confident we can help an agent make money, we created this program for brokers that align with our values and philosophy, and we’re so excited to be working with Dragos Ruxando and EXP Quebec”, Grant explains.
In summary, working directly with business owners will help you create a database of people who will refer to your business for years to come.
Are you ready to learn more? Do you want to be a community minded broker?
Maybe it’s time to rethink how you have been doing business. If you want to become the local market expert and increase your exposure within your geo farm community, reach out to Grant Findlay-Shirras or Dragos Ruxandu for more details and become a Local LeaderⓇ.
If you’re an agent in Quebec, contact Dragos to get access to Parkbench at no upfront cost to you.
If you’re a broker owner or team leader who wants to give their agents a systematic and predictable way to create high quality leads in their geo farm, that doesn’t cost you any money, then contact Grantfs@parkbench.com to learn more about “the local broker program.”
Do you want to know the top 30 local professionals who refer the most business to agents?
Download this free ebook and learn who they are and how you can connect with them. Also, you will learn how to add value to business owners so that you can build referral generating relationships with them.