Our prospects have access to more information than EVER.
Most of What Mattered to them 20 years ago relative to their expectations from a Real Estate Sales Professional (Or pretty much ANY service industry), comes “for FREE” these days with a few clicks of their mouse or taps on their pad . . . INFORMATION!
So . . . What DOES REALLY MATTER to today’s customer/client?
What characteristics must today’s service professionals exhibit to gain the attention (and loyalty) of their prospect base?
A few that come immediately to mind:
- Knowledge of LOCAL, State, Regional, National, and Global Industry Trends
- Effective communication skills (with appropriate tools)
- High touch
- Meaning – Something they “Stand For” – Culture – Community
Seth Godin touched this subject and specifically referenced the Real Estate Sales industry in today’s blog post – Hoarding Information
“The minute real estate listings went online was the minute that it was no longer sufficient that a real estate broker merely had information about real estate listings…
The alternative, while difficult, is obvious: provide enough non-commodity service and customization that it doesn’t matter if the ideas spread. In fact, it will help you when they do.”
I began selling real estate in 1993 when real estate listing information was sacred. We had BOOKS that were published bi-weekly, and there were VERY strict rules about the sharing of those books with “Non-REALTORS.” It was even taboo to tear out a few sheets (or run photocopies) and give them to clients.
When the internet came along, many REALTORS were certain that our entire industry was destined to wither and die . . . indubitably, we would all be out of work because Home Buyers wouldn’t NEED us any more to find houses for sale.
Some agents swore that they would NEVER use that computer and, in their desperation (denial) declared that computers would be a “passing fad” . . . a flash in the pan . . . and the sooner it died, the better – so we could all get back to our “normal” way of doing things . . . controlling ALL of the information thereby forcing the consumers to come to US.
20 years later, we now think this computer thing isn’t going to go away any time soon . . . and the value proposition for Real Estate Sales Professionals has necessarily changed.
Interestingly, what MATTERS most to the House Buying and Selling public hasn’t changed in those 20 years (or the hundreds of years prior) . . . They have ALWAYS valued the REALTOR’s expertise and professionalism and niche knowledge . . . It’s the REALTORS who were short-selling themselves.
As websites turned into “Lead generating machines,” the buzz was all about “Lead Capture” . . . REALTORS were using the internet like it was a mousetrap, and everyone was trying to build a better one . . . Attract the mice and get them to commit, and SNAP . . .
This internet world was ALL about SEO . . . Search engine rankings and placement were the game (and still are for many).
Yet . . . What REALLY Matters relative to what a Professional or Organization offers to the general public in the internet realm?
What NOW are the differentiating factors that cause Home Buyers and Sellers to choose THAT REALTOR over THIS REALTOR?
I believe that all people want to “BELONG” . . . They want to be part of something that matters.
Customers and clients identify with the places they shop and the Professionals with whom they associate.
Seth Godin was very right that each of us is building our TRIIIBE.
We serve best by honoring our own uniqueness and specializing in THAT.
(Of course, we’ve also got to have most of the bells and whistles that ALL of our competitors have).
Pareto Realty is ALL about the things that MATTER most to our clients and associates. We encourage specialization and niche practices because we understand the Pareto Principle and understand that most folks would rather be among (and identify with) “The Vital Few” (20%) rather than “The Trivial Many” (80%).
Whether you’re a Prospective Home Buyer/Seller or a REALTOR, we welcome you warts and all . . . and would welcome you into our tribe 🙂
THAT’S what MATTERS!