4 STRATEGIES TO ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS IN REAL ESTATE’S CHANGING MARKETPLACE

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 01 May 2018 20:39

Originally posted as a two-part series on Experience.PingZing.com, including access to the complete infographic.

The below is a consolidated version of the articles for easy viewing.

Are other REALTORS® or real estate agents attracting more clients than you? What are successful agents doing differently? Similar personality, listing services, and social media. So what is it that they do differently? We at PingZing™ want to share one of our little marketing secrets. We have put together our 40+ years of real estate experience to come up with our top four tips to successfully attract more clients in a sustainable and long-lasting way. Learn what could be foiling your efforts and how to fix your professional reputation with a few simple strategies designed to bring your marketing into the modern age so you too can attract more clients.

First of all, you are not alone. Professionals everywhere are struggling across all industries. Across the world, within all niche markets, businesses, brands, and professionals have become stressed out and overwhelmed by the growing need to change, adapt, and comply with an ever-changing technological and psychological landscape. Many industries have successfully propelled themselves forward, making the key adjustments to stay ahead of their competitors and provide for their target audiences. In the realty sector, those who have mastered how to ignite homebuyer bliss from the beginning of their client-agent relationship are already striding ahead.

As the Millennial generation comes of age, we see them taking on chief roles within companies, starting families, and buying homes. However, this generation does not respond to the former traditional marketing that once lured the Boomers. They are internet savvy with a preference to do things themselves. Given that access to information is an endless supply, and learning new skills are not restricted to taking time off from work to attend school, the Millennials have a freedom that the Boomers never had.

With this freedom comes the difficult task of figuring out how to attract these younger generations as clients of your real estate business. But how? The methods you are so comfortable using are no longer effective, and it is becoming more difficult to attract more clients. In fact, your outdated strategies are being ignored, overlooked, and have collectively contributed to the negative stereotype haunting the real estate profession the world over.

Even social media is becoming lackluster; difficult to obtain consistent results. Soon they will begin demoting posts containing self-promotions and propaganda, even commenting baiting. You can read more on that rollout here.

4 STRATEGIES TO ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS IN REAL ESTATE’S CHANGING MARKETPLACE  [No. 1] PingZing™IMPROVEMENT NO. 1: LOSE THE EGO OR LEAVE IT AT THE OFFICE

Unfortunately, real estate agents have been dusted with a negative public image akin to that of used car salespeople. No one likes a ‘spruiker‘. They are self-promoting, narcissistic, braggers, with a discerning preference to natter on about themselves.

PEOPLE

are not impressed at all with whatever real estate agents are doing (or rather, have done)!

Where Boomers are of the spruiker’s era, and therefore more accepting of advertorials and self-promoting conversations, younger generations are less receptive. As marketing evolves, industries are discovering that clients prefer entities and professionals who are transparent, communicative, empathetic, and respectful.

So, what is the fix?

GREAT REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Believe in their skills, but they’re also modest about it. Successful [agents] check their ego at the door.

In essence, this can be as simple as turning on that ‘active listening’ skill that all great leaders exhibit. Truly listen, hear what your client is saying and asking. Be present in that moment, attentive, mindful. Use your body language, posture, and non-verbal queues to let the client know that you are there for them, with them. This moment with you is about them, not you. They will be far more keen to work with someone who is interested in them wholeheartedly, and willing to provide them what they ask or desire. A truly outstanding article in the Journal of Financial Management addressed this very topic:

MINDFULNESS MAKES US MORE

sensitive to the present moment. It generates an energy that empowers us to actively notice new things, take advantage of opportunities as they manifest, and be able to produce more positive outcomes.

Remember word of mouth is extremely powerful. How you make others feel is the memory they will relay to others. A great way to attract more leads, yes?!

4 STRATEGIES TO ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS IN REAL ESTATE’S CHANGING MARKETPLACE  [No. 2] PingZing™IMPROVEMENT NO. 2: ENGAGE EMPATHETICALLY – PEOPLE RESPOND TO AUTHENTICITY

Building upon Improvement No. 1 above, and extending the topic of active listening, this section takes a look at 3 concepts to perfect in order to become a great real estate agent in this modern age and attract more clients.

1. LISTEN

When you are listening to your clients, truly listening, hear what they are telling you, the stories they share, and remember to ask questions. This does two things, it lets them know you are attentive, and secondly, that you are clarifying the information so that you get it correct the first time.

No one likes to have to go back to a client to retrace the conversation simply because the agent didn’t listen the first time. How embarrassing, right?! But worse than that, making assumptions about what you heard your client tell you, and providing homes, seller advice, or other property information that is not aligned with their goals or desires is a far worse situation. Why? Because this makes you look incompetent, and incompetence is not attractive. One can overcome embarrassment, one rarely overcomes looking like an idiot.

MOST PEOPLE

do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, on Shut Up & Listen – the Secret to More Listings by OpenHouseID

2. CONNECT

Real connects are more than mere talking and shared interests. In psychology studies, it is shown that people often mistake the nature of having a feeble conversation about the latest news report or sports event as forming connections. Worse still, people often mistake discussing their own stories, issues, or having a mutual gossipping session about others as connecting. However, these things are rarely connective at the level where trust forms. Nor do they form honest, reliable, sustainable connections. Where someone talks about themselves a lot or monopolizes a conversation, this can be a sign of neediness, and is more often than not, viewed as an unattractive trait to exhibit towards potential clients.

Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) famously wrote: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” To attract more clients focus on conversations about them, their interests, stories, ask questions and listen to what they do and do not tell you. Be compassionate, empathetic, and hear what they are looking for in a real estate agent, a home, an investment. Key attributes, as described in Forbes, of being a great human being, not just an agent, begin with being genuine, helpful, attentive, connective, and unforgettable.

Another valuable tip to remember is that while you might want the job desperately, you may not be a good fit for this particular client. However, there is nothing more humble and attractive than an agent who can sincerely and openly express that they are not the right person for the job and then refer to someone more suitable. This not only shows consideration and nurturing, traits that are admirable in everyone’s eyes, but it shows that you are prepared to help and not leave them in the lurch. And someone who is willing to step down with humility while still offering a helping hand gains the benefit of word of mouth advocacy, and from advocacy comes leads and referrals, not to forget always be remembered in a positive way.

CONNECT WITH PEOPLE

– it’s not rocket science! Before you start any kind of sales pitch, you need to connect on some other level. Create a lasting impression … Clients will definitely shop around but if you stand out due to that initial connection and they like you, then you will keep winning listings.

3. COMMUNICATE

It is repeated time and time again, the real estate business is a people business. Without people, there is no one to buy or sell homes. How you communicate will determine the level of success achieved. Looking for a way to retain clients? Be the referral of choice? It begins and ends with communication. And no, we are not talking about spamming them with junk mail or sending them updates on your latest property sale, we go above and beyond these superficialities that are nothing more than conversation stoppers. You are in the realty profession to help people buy and sell homes. This relies heavily on great quality customer service skills. Your attitude and ability to communicate in meaningful ways with your clients will either leave them with a positive experience, or a negative one. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Like all aspects of psychology, understanding your client’s communication preferences is a key to succeeding in two critical areas; the first shows you are willing to listen and understand, and the second is to show them that they matter. While you may have a preference for using email or to speak over the phone, other people prefer text messages, instant messaging and even social media. Never be afraid to step outside your comfort zones to accommodate your clients. You will be a force to be reckoned with amongst your peers if you are tough to beat in the communicate race.

Last but not least, we come back to responsiveness. A not so simple word that means a lot of things. But when it comes to responsive communication, remember, the early bird gets the worm. If you are quick to respond to queries, reply to questions, and meet and greet on demand, you will outrank any real estate agent whose premise for winning clients is solely on based on how many sales they have successfully completed in their lifetime. People LOVE a responsive communicator, so go on, try it… find a way to make it work for you even though your schedules are busy. It can be guaranteed you will find more time for the things you love when sourcing clients become as easy as being responsive to their needs… remember, good impressions are lasting impressions, and lasting impressions spread your reputation like wildfire.

TO BE SUCCESSFUL AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT

you must first realise that it is a people business not a property business. The houses stay the same. It is the people who move into them and move out again who decide what to buy and the agent they will appoint. It is about people. … We were born with two eyes, two ears and only one mouth. Great agents spend more time listening and watching than they do talking.

4 STRATEGIES TO ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS IN REAL ESTATE’S CHANGING MARKETPLACE  [No. 3] PingZing™IMPROVEMENT NO. 3: Stop spruiking! Socialize instead.

In a 2015 article by the National Association of REALTORS®, it was highlighted that the Gen-Z homebuying had begun. Marketers across all industries have been splitting testing traditional methods to determine what gets there attention. Generation Z are born after 1995, and at that time made up approximately 22% of the U.S. population.

Many studies and experimental practices have been born in the wake of this generation solely to discover how to get their attention, how to market to them in a way that appeals to senses, and interests. What was discovered, is the Gen-Z population is even more disinterested in advertising and anything ego-promotional then the generation of Millennials (1977-1994) before them. Also like Millennials, they love being online, transacting online, and using App technology to perform as many daily functions as possible. Kevin Cundiff shares three truths in the NAR article about selling to this demographic. Two that are significant here are the following:

Leave the pushy sales pitch behind.

This generation is used to being inundated with multiple messages at the same time, and they have no problem ‘changing the channel’ if they feel pressured by an inauthentic, over-the-top sales approach.

Attract them with technology.

These digital natives were raised by mobile technology, so it’s necessary to find a way to reach them in this manner. Make sure your marketing includes an app, online resources, or a way to use tech in some phase of the purchase or they won’t be interested.

National Association of REALTORS®, Gen-Z: What you need to know.

These key takeaways align with one of the top principles of modern marketing proclaimed and taught across every sector by leading marketers: the 80/20 rule, which is different to the familiar Pareto principle. The 80/20 rule in social media marketing has been a staple since the inception of using social media for business purposes. It clearly defines the limitations of what is considered acceptable quantities of content to post, or share, across your brand’s accounts. Eighty percent should be about what others, like your clients or associates, have contributed to the world wide web. While the other twenty percent is your allowable limit to spruik.

The 80/20 Rule

is the cardinal rule of social media marketing. It states that 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while only 20% should directly promote your business.

It is still considered, in some instances, acceptable to self-promote, to spruik about one’s self, stand on a soapbox and boast, however statistical data across industries suggests that there is less responsiveness from the audiences to these traditional forms of marketing. For the Boomer generations (Born 1946-1964), who became familiar with upselling themselves, talking about how good they are, and lacing their advertising with competitive slants which either belittled the competition or out-muscled them, the unlearning is proving difficult. Where once upon a time you could post something like “I just sold this home, would you like to sell yours through me too?” and not be penalized for it in any way, it is now viewed as being too pushy, too sales-like and completely un-human. These types of posts are proven to detract from the brand or professional’s reputation, sinking them, demoting their visibility across the web, and worse still, these post types repel most Millennials and almost all Gen-Zs.

According to HubSpot,

social media produces almost double the marketing leads of traditional outbound methods, but you can’t do this by simply creating a page and mindlessly posting updates.You need to have a two-way conversation with your audience on social media. You need to engage them not just as your buyers, but as people and really help them achieve their goals whether it be answering a question or finding a business partner.

So how do you get down to socializing in a way that both engages your audience and holds their attention without spruiking? One great suggestion is the Community page or Area page as it is otherwise known. This special page, hosted on your website or a tab on your Facebook page or even a group or community administrated by you on or your brand page on Facebook, GooglePlus or LinkedIn, can allow you to promote the communities you are an expert on. These pages are renowned for being engaging to audiences who wish to learn more about the areas they are searching for homes within, or where sellers can discover if you have the knowledge needed to sell their property expediently, and to attract buyers to view the home. Those under 40 years of age scour the internet for information about the areas they propose to buy within. According to NAR, 94% of millennials used various websites to search for their future home.

As much as your website should represent you

and your real estate business, it should also promote your region as a great place to buy or sell a home.

It makes perfect sense they would consider working with an agent who is best representing that community versus one who focuses on spruiking. Community pages are also fantastic places for agents to interact and socialize with potential leads. Use the commenting sections to hold meaningful conversations. Avoid talking about yourself and concentrate on demonstrating your knowledge rather than telling someone it exists. Be more proactive, more human. Think you don’t have time to perform this activity, try voice recording when driving, or videoing using your dashcam, and taking pictures of random things in between taking ones of homes and property or while you are out and about. Then, spend half an hour of your usual marketing time simply compiling, collating, and publishing it to your Community page. it is guaranteed to be a winner for you and your audience.

Learning to socialize with your consumers is not a new technique, it is merely one that is updated, revamped, and promotes the true meaning of adding value through the time-old-tradition of quality customer service.

4 STRATEGIES TO ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS IN REAL ESTATE’S CHANGING MARKETPLACE  [No. 4] PingZing™IMPROVEMENT NO. 4: Be Original. Afford Clients a Unique Experience.

We recently shared an article about the aspects of customer service that should never be automated. In response, our CBO’s insights via Illumines provided context: view here.

With some real estate companies subscribing to the iBuyer fad, there has been notable opposition from agents and sellers who have lost leads because of the program’s adoption, or who were offered a much lower figure than the estimate they had become accustomed to seeing on their listings. The greatest argument, of course, is the decline in customer service, and the value of the one-on-one relationship coveted by both realty professionals and the consumer alike. Compliments about real estate agents and REALTORS® from their buyers and sellers often circle around the psychology of quality, authentic, nurtured relationships. By removing this popular lead generating element of the industry via an automation such as that exhibited by apps implementing the iBuyer program, a decline in clients and word of mouth referrals is likely to ensue.

However, imagine if you provide your clients with a service that is unbeatable, unforgettable, and completely customer orientated. Would this not be operating in a niche that makes you unique? What is it about you that people love? Can you magnify this to attract more clients? Suppose you negate the automated processes being forced upon the industry, and instead you ensure that your clients become familiar with who you truly are (respectful, caring, considerate, attentive – not what you have accomplished in the past), and the value you bring to their table (yes, their unique table, not the value you take to everyone’s table). If your clients are unique, and we imagine they all are, then shouldn’t you afford them a unique real estate experience designed with them in mind?

Companies that create exceptional customer experiences

can set themselves apart from their competitors. […] Three-quarters of them, research finds, expect “now” service within five minutes of making contact online.

It is these expectations by the public that garner trust, forge successful relationships, and motivate customer loyalty. These relationships are sustainable, and more often than not, remain constant and true for many lifetimes. Whether you identify yourself as a business, a professional, or something else, your reputation is the most valuable marketing resource you have available to you. Your reputation solidifies your identity, your brand. It is your brand that invokes trust, or not, and attracts more clients, or not.

At the core of every brand is a reason for being

— its purpose. Purpose is the difference that a brand makes in people’s lives, the answer to a human need, and when strong enough, the catalyst for lasting relationships. When we analyze the massive change in our world today we find one great constant; people want relationships. Relationships… cannot be automated.

Branding Strategy Insider, Human-Centric Brands Cannot Be Automated

In a world that is obsessed with technology people still want human interaction. It is this humanistic need that drives purchasing decisions, trust, referrals, repeat business, and longevity for professionals. In order to attract more clients real estate agents and REALTORS® should aim to craft and nurture relationships with their clients, prospective clients, and to afford them every opportunity to connect on an authentic level with you. There are many habitual methods for developing leads, however, what if the way to your future success lay in the 4 strategies described in this two-part series? Would you be willing to make the necessary changes, to adopt new approaches, to adapt to each generation’s social needs?

We would love to hear about your successes using the tools provided these past 2 weeks. Please share them below, or on our social platforms. 

You can also get a copy of the complete infographic here.


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Tiffany Louise Ozherelyeva

Tiffany Louise is the Chief Branding Officer PingZing™. A thought leader with 25+ years of diversified experience, her specialties include relationships, socio-cultures, social responsibility, privacy, and reputation. As a corporate profiler, she has educated and transformed over 60 businesses worldwide. Her métiers in psychological profiling and law complement her holistic approach to magnetizing businesses and fostering inclusion. She is currently undertaking a Law Degree to bridge the gap between her prior studies in cognitive psychology and profiling, and professional career skills in business, branding, and web development; plus media and communications.

 

Prided on exceptional communication skills, Tiffany Louise carefully considers what experiences are conveyed by the entire brand voice, ensuring it resonates with the desired reputation. Creativity is critical for generating innovative ideas to reach consumers, and proficiency in office management, creative, cloud and web-based technologies and software are orchestral in copy and content creation as are high proficiencies and extensive skills in web development, social media, networking, media development, publishing, graphic design, and public relations skills. She enjoys sharing and contributing to the era of 'disruptive' business, law, technology, and innovation. Engagement is encouraged, Experiences are celebrated.

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