How to Get More Buyers in Today's Tough Market

Written by Posted On Monday, 03 March 2008 16:00

I've got three words for you when it comes to securing buyers in today's tough market: Sell Yourself First.

In other words, don't tell the buyer how many great listings you have and how they're going to "absolutely love this next neighborhood." And don't tell the buyer about all the great deals builders have for "qualified homebuyers."

Sure, getting a good deal is important, and yes they want to feel comfortable in that neighborhood, but that's not the main reason people are going to work with you.

Why is that?

Because every Realtor they've met is saying the exact same thing.

Everyone is talking about the great rates. Everyone is talking about the super builder specials. And everyone has more listings than they know what to do with.

Instead, why not focus on something you know everyone doesn't have. Something that is so unique, it only exists with one person in the entire industry.

Know what that is? You guessed it: You.

And not "you" in the traditional sense of how you look or talk (although that is important), but the overall value proposition you bring to the table.

The level of professionalism you bring to bear. The amount of knowledge you possess. And perhaps most important of all, your ability to communicate and problem solve within your buyer's specific set of circumstances.

Not only will that help you stand out, but it will have buyers gravitate towards you as they realize you're someone who knows what you're talking about and can help them navigate this "topsy-turvy" market.

So how do you do that? How exactly do you "sell yourself first" without coming off as too salesy?

Well, here are a couple of ideas to try out.

Always remember the 12 x 12 x 12 Rule. Now if you've never heard of the 12 x 12 x 12 Rule, quite simply it states that whenever you meet new people you're judged by:

  1. The first 12 feet away. Do you look the part?

  2. The first 12 inches away. Do you look as good up close as you did from a far? And,

  3. The first 12 words out of your mouth.

What we're talking about here is perception vs. reality, and as a New Agent, this should be your Bible when it comes to generating more business.

Why?

Because unless you're wearing a nametag that says "Sally New Agent," no one knows your level of experience in the industry. All they know is what you say, and the perception they have when first meeting you.

And if it's a positive, knowledgeable, "go gett'em" type attitude with them being the focus (as opposed to the commission you stand to make from the sale), then that will go a long way towards securing them as a client.

Become the Knowledgeable Expert. This can be tough sometimes for people to get, since as New Agents our first thought is on how much experience we don't have in the industry.

And while that is a true statement, I'd submit that becoming the Knowledgeable Expert is something that actually transcends the days or weeks you've spent in the business. First though, let's define our terms.

The Knowledgeable Expert is the type of person who knows a good bit about a particular subject, but isn't stingy or preachy with the information. A conversation with you on real estate needs to be like talking to your neighbor about the lawn.

"Boy your lawn looks great," you might say to your neighbor. "What are you using on it?"

"Well, I picked up a bag of Scott's last month and it's really doing the trick. I used to go with the cheaper brand, but it just wasn't working. Anyway, I've been using Scott's for a few weeks now, and it's got this lawn looking as good as new. And the best part is, it also gets rid of those fire ants."

"Really?" you ask.

"Yeah. It was $5.99 a bag down the street, and I was good to go. Real easy to put on too," your neighbor replies.

"Huh."

(Pause)

"So how do you keep all of those weeds back?"

"Well I ran across a product I'm really impressed with," your neighbor starts, and off he goes describing something else.

Notice how he provided valuable information without overwhelming you in the process? And if during the middle of the conversation he told you that he was in the lawn care business, you'd probably consider his company the next time your yard needed work.

Why?

Because he obviously knew his stuff, and who wouldn't want to work with an expert in their field?

Imagine yourself doing the exact same thing when talking to prospective buyers.

I call this person the Knowledgeable Expert, and they're an absolute pro in their field. They're the type of individual who knows a thing or two about their industry, and is happy to share it without the "What's preventing you from making a decision today?" type questions.

Nobody likes that. They're thinly veiled sales questions, and very few prospects ever respond favorably to them.

However, as the Knowledgeable Expert, you embody just what the name implies: An expert in your field, and you're able to demonstrate this in a couple of ways.

  1. Staying on top of the latest industry news, and

  2. Asking good questions of the prospects you meet.

You'll want to first get a handle on where they're coming from, and why they're thinking of buying in the first place. Then, relate your knowledge of the industry into something that adds value right away.

So as an example, if they say they want to buy a bigger home because they're getting ready to start a family, then ask a couple of questions and make the following point:

"You know, I'm not sure how long you're planning on living in this particular area. But I do know that the Gwinnett County school system is great from K-12, and as a matter of fact was recently voted one of the Top 5 school systems in the state.

"Again, it all depends on what you're trying to do, but that wouldn't be a bad start if you're looking at it in terms of your children's education."

You see how easy that was?

You see how if you were a buyer you'd automatically take notice of whoever said that to you?

And that's what I'm talking about when it comes to selling yourself first. It's not about rate sheets and specials, but rather expertise and professionalism. It's how you relate to people and problem solve within their specific set of circumstances.

If you'd like a list of other ideas for getting more buyers in today's tough market, then email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Subject: More Buyers in Today's Tough Market) and we'll shoot you a copy.

In the meantime, stay focused on these two things and you'll be well on your way towards getting more business -- even in today's tough market.

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