The 10 Most Common Mistakes Property Agents Make

While there is a tremendous potential to augment your income and work with a flexible schedule, a real estate agent needs to develop awareness of what is improper in his professional conduct. The success of a real estate agent gets enhanced when he avoids committing the common mistakes.

Communicate with clients

Many clients hold this grievance: agents are not prompt in responding. Text updates have made client communication easier and less time-consuming. Agents should develop the habit of opening up channels of communication to ensure greater transparency. Return phone calls from clients. Call them back within a reasonable time if you are busy with another client. Make them your priority – do not take them for granted.

Learn to refuse

Trying to please clients all the time is not the right approach. Summon the courage to say no to the overpriced listing that will lead to wastage of time and effort. You should choose clients who respect you as a professional and politely decline the domineering clients who want to deprive you of what you deserve.

Learning something new

As the real estate business is changing fast, it is a blunder if you are not ready to learn and adapt. Your strategy – learn more and earn more – should make you a student for life. For instance, Internet marketing techniques should be used to grow your business instead of banking on listings in newspapers. Not using them Internet means you are missing out on a lot of exposure.

Build relationships with fellow agents

You must build strong professional relationships with other agents who represent buyers if you want to succeed. Not having other reliable agents in your network means you lessen your scope of cracking a deal during negotiations.

Hire an assistant

Hiring the right assistant is an investment that pays rich dividends. Focus on what the agent delivers. Your stress level goes down, you spend more time with family and you get more business.

Say Thanks

In our hectic lives, we forget to thank those who help us to achieve success. Send a thank-you note to someone who referred you or someone who gave you business. Be grateful. Value their assistance. When you show gratitude, your attitude and the attitude of others will also improve.

Listen to your client

Many clients complain that the agent does not listen to them. You need to hear what their goals are. You need to know the payment mode and schedule they prefer, their terms and conditions, and their flexibility limit. Failing to listen to them is a critical mistake. After all, you are dealing on behalf of your client and he should have the satisfaction that the agent is operating according to his guidelines.

Professional pictures of the property

Not taking professional pictures of the property and the surrounding location affects its sales prospects. Posting reallocation and real site pictures of the property create a better engagement and generate more views. Highlight the features along with the property in order to get more queries.

Lack of funds

Like any other business venture, you need funds to survive and build your business. A funding source helps you stay afloat for a few months. It makes perfect sense to do a part-time job or seek a small personal loan before you decide to become a full-time agent. Unless you have financial support, the prospect of surviving in a tough, competitive market becomes a tad difficult. Moreover, it takes time to get your first big break. Dreaming of success overnight is not being realistic.

Business plan

Most property agents do not chalk out a business plan when they join this business. It is important to identify short term and long term goals and have a rubric and a timeline to achieve them. There should a proper outline of how to spend resources and derive maximum benefits.

Turn the situation in your favour with careful planning – by fixing the common mistakes most agents make in their business.

The Personal Brochure: A Real Estate Agent’s Most Effective Tool

“What’s the one thing I should do with my real estate marketing to build my personal brand and generate leads?” I get asked this question all the time. New agents or agents who are struggling with a marketing budget will ask this question and I always preface it by answering: Marketing is a holistic endeavor and, unfortunately, real estate agents being salespeople are always looking for the next big thing or the silver bullet to solve their client attraction problems. The best approach is a holistic one where marketing is approached from a big picture strategy that blends marketing channels, tools, activities and sales integration that align to collectively achieve objectives.

And then the agent will say, yeah but if I only had enough money to do one thing, what do you suggest?

With my caveat out of the way and being pressed for an answer, I would still, even in today’s Internet age, say the personal brochure is the most important tool a real estate agent can develop.

Even with the emergence of the Web as the most powerful tool in real estate, the individual agent is still engaged in a business of building relationships on a community basis through trust and credibility. The average agent without a sufficient marketing budget is primarily engaged in traditional farming and networking. In the traditional scenario, the agent is meeting people at networking events, open houses, broker opens and through contact with family, friends and sphere of influence. These are the highest quality leads that can be developed. The problem is making a positive, memorable impression.

The pushback is usually, “But the Internet is changing the real estate business. 80 percent of the people start their search on the Internet.” Yes, this is absolutely true (and remember I was asked about “one” tool). In my view, a real estate agent without a custom created, personally branded website, strong search capabilities, a commitment to search engine positioning and social media and the dedication to provide valuable information and content is missing a huge holistic component of the big picture of marketing. Again, I am answering the question, “What’s the one thing you would do with a limited marketing budget?”

A well-written and professionally-designed brochure should be the cornerstone of your brand-building efforts.

There’s a problem with an agent who creates a website as his or her “one thing.” While most people do begin a home search on the Internet (or conduct research about their pending home for sale), the vast majority of people do not engage with a real estate agent solely from Internet engagement (with the exception perhaps of second home markets). The best Internet marketing agents are great marketers in general, who are active in networking, print/TV advertising, public relations, direct mail (at the very least to their sphere and past clients), and client and sphere follow-up.

How do you build your business with a personal brochure? First, it gives you a way for people to remember you. The business card is wholly ineffective in accomplishing this. It would be great if you could get the people you meet to your website, but what are the chances of that early on? And there’s no immediacy of connection. Handed to someone you just meet, the personal brochure gives that person a storytelling device through words and pictures to place you and to remember you. It’s PR and Marketing 101 and is essential.

So, if it’s down to one tool, I recommend, with a caveat, the personal brochure as the foundational tool for the real estate agent who wants to proactively increase his or her business. First, let’s assume your brochure does what it needs to do, which is tell a memorable story, create a marketplace niche or unique selling proposition, and demonstrate credibility and trustworthiness through high quality graphics and printing. That’s job one. It needs to be well executed to achieve desirable results.

The next key is distribution. And if you’re on a limited marketing budget, I don’t mean mailing it to a farm area. I mean hand-to-hand combat, looking for ways to get 30-50 brochures in the hands of people you meet pro-actively on a weekly basis. Networking. Open houses. Broker opens. All of your real estate activities. Even door-knocking if it’s come to that. People you meet at restaurants, gas stations, dry cleaners, on the golf course, at kids’ sporting events. The vast majority of agents hoard their brochures and/or are too shy to pass them out. The real estate business does not pay the meek or reluctant personal brander.

What’s the one tool? I still say the best real estate marketing engages a variety of communication platforms to develop relationships and attract leads of varying quality. But if you’re going to play the “one tool game,” the real estate personal brochure is your best bet.

Positioning Strategies For Real Estate Agents

Just recently I was asked to do a talk for my good friend and co-author

of our best-selling book in Singapore titled Get Rich Now: 15

Strategies from a Self-made Millionaire, Dr Dennis Wee. (Dr Wee is one of

Singapore’s most celebrated entrepreneurs. Despite not having completed his

high school education, he managed to start and build up his own real

estate company, Dennis Wee Group, to become of Singapore’s leading real

estate companies generating S$3.8 billion worth of sales in 2006.)

He wanted me to share some marketing secrets with his real estate

agents and I was more than happy to do so because I believe there’s so much

more that agents can do to position, brand and market their services.

Sadly, most agents, whether in real estate or financial services

(insurance) or any other industries, tend to see themselves just as a

salesperson. This perception of themselves is limiting their growth and income!

By thinking that they are just salespeople, they don’t see the

possibilities of growing their careers into full-fledge businesses. There are

so much more benefits for someone to think big and build a big business,

compared to just existing, and making a living. Donald Trump said: “If

you’re going to be thinking, you might as well think big.” But that’s

another topic for another session.

Here, I’m going to show you some detailed examples of how an agent can

differentiate himself using some simple positioning and branding

strategies that I have used with other clients to great success.

Many people perceive that being an agent in any industry is like being

a salesperson. Someone who is always competing with all the other

thousands of salespeople in the industry. To a certain extend it is correct.

Those other agents are also looking for the same deals that you are. It

is a matter of who gets the deal first. So they are relentlessly going

out there to cold prospect.

Now, I am not a fan of cold prospecting. To me, cold prospecting is

like bashing your head against the wall, hoping it will crumble before you

start bleeding… most people just end up being very disappointed. Why do

you think new agents don’t last long? I strongly suspect it’s because

they realized that their heads can’t go against the wall.

But there are ways to turn the table around. In my talks I like to ask

the audience: Would you prefer to work hard and look for prospects, OR

would you prefer to let your prospects seek you out?

The answer is obvious.

But more than just having less work and an easier time, there are

deeper psychological advantages to being able to let your prospects seek you

out instead of you cold prospecting them. Simply said, when you seek

someone out, you will be open to the person’s ideas, advice, expertise.

That is the reason you seek him/her out in the first place–to get expert

advice.

There won’t be the wall of resistance you’ve grown accustomed to when

you cold prospect. In fact, now it’s them who are jumping over hoops to

seek you out in your domain. Man, it’s always exciting to talk about

this!

Believe me, it’s a whole new paradigm. Imagine you becoming a celebrity

overnight and people are just doing everything they can to get in touch

with you. Think of stars of reality shows like Survivor and American

Idol… It is that powerful!

So how can you achieve that?

Let’s look at a typical scenario:

You have probably have opened your letter box day after day only to

find it stuffed with piles of flyers from various real estate agents. Just

take a closer look. You will realize that all of them claim to be the

“specialist” in the area. Now if everyone is a specialist, then does it

matter who you call? Absolutely NOT!

“But I’m different from the rest. I have more experience, quality,

etc…” you protest.

Let me be upfront. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your

background is. If the prospects don’t recognize that straight away, you are just

like everybody else. No matter how different you think you really are.

Repeat after me: If you are like every-body else, you are a no-body.

Remember: It’s all about their perception, not yours.

So instead of being just another area specialist, be different. So far

I’ve not come across any agent who positions him/herself as the

specialist to serve “first-time home buyers”. Do you think that is powerful?

Absolutely!

First-time home buyers are inexperienced. They don’t know what to

expect, what the whole buying process is going to be like, how long will it

take, what possible hiccups might occur, etc. They are in a place where

they don’t know what they don’t know. Do you think they have different

needs/concerns compared to those who have bought a house before? Of

course! If you are able to gain their trust, do you think they will look

for someone else?

The point is this: you have the information that first-time buyers are

looking for (in fact all real estate agents should know these

information). But by letting them know that you are the expert who can guide

them through the whole process safely, will in itself, earn you a closed

deal.

You might need to make some minor changes in the way you do things,

such as explaining the buying process more thoroughly, going through the

nitty gritty details that you won’t normally need to with experienced

buyers, etc. But all these will help to cement your positioning and

branding as the expert to serve first-time buyers. And once your branding

gets out, you will be busy with so many referrals for other first-time

buyers. Is the first-time buyers market huge enough for you?

Once you have established your branding, it is easy to market your

services. You can easily get the publicity that once used to be impossible

for you. If the media wants to get an opinion on what first-time buyers

think about a new housing policy, who do they look for? They will

interview the expert (you). And after appearing in the media, you will have

gained even more credibility. Can you see how this will snowball into

your profits?

It all starts with creating a powerful positioning, branding and

marketing strategy that is suitable for you.

What other positioning can differentiate you? How about:

o The property investments expert (investors love to work with those

who understand their investing needs, someone who is not just another

agent); or

o Divorce cases specialist (they definitely have different needs as

compared to the usual buyers); or

o Downgraders or upgraders; or

o Serve only those looking for luxurious, high-end houses worth $XX

amount and above (your service must of course reflect that); and

o Many more!

As you can see, it is critical to create a powerful positioning to get

your prospects to start looking specifically for you. I assure you I’m

not an expert of the real estate industry. But I’m an expert in

positioning, branding and marketing. These same principles can be applied in

other industries, such as the financial services industry, perfectly

well.

So start positioning yourself today!