If you’re trying to market or sell a service or product to a real estate agent or broker, it’s crucial to understand the factors that set your target audience apart from others.
After working in the industry for nearly ten years now, I’ve learned a great deal about what makes the real estate (and mortgage) industry different from other industries.
Many of my clients hire me specifically because they have great products or services but have many questions about the industry – from the lingo (i.e. differences between a Realtor and a real estate agent) to how franchises and brokerages work, what are some of the key industry events, and so much more. Navigating this industry as a newbie or even a seasoned pro can be overwhelming!
To top that off, because there are so many new products and services introduced each year, many real estate agents and brokers are slow to trust and skeptical with it comes to new companies entering this space. So, how can a tech company or service provider clear some of these hurdles and win the trust of agents and brokers?
Here are some of the traits that underlie a successful real estate agent’s personality:
- They are a self-motivated entrepreneur who is eager to control their own professional destiny and thus have a high level of drive and smart decision-making.
- They have a lot of hustle and tenacity, along with a great work ethic. This doesn’t just mean putting in the hours. It means working smart and doing whatever is needed in order to seal the deal.
- They have an engaging personality – after all, they’re not just selling real estate, but they’re selling themselves. Personality, honesty and confidence are key elements here. Not only that – but they understand that real estate is personal and many times they make their business decisions based on a personal connection and trust level.
- They are detail-oriented and attentive to their client’s unique needs. They also value this in others.
- They are knowledgeable and keep up-to-date on market conditions and trends. They’re always looking to sharpen their understanding of the industry and make themselves stronger professionals.
With this in mind, here are the seven things you need to know when you’re selling to anyone in the real estate industry:
- Stay focused. This includes limiting your target list to a manageable amount of contacts and updating that list on a regular basis.
- Approach with purpose. Make sure to provide value with each and every method of contact, whether it’s direct mail, email or phone calls. Set up formal appointments – don’t just stop by.
- Seek opportunities for evolution and expansion along with your customer. That means constant re-evaluation to make sure you’re providing that customer with the best service possible. Invite agents and brokers to try your product and service, elicit feedback and then listen to what they have to say. They could be your biggest cheerleaders!
- Don’t just sell, sell, sell. Know what the customer wants and remember that you’ll also need to focus on communication, service issues and post-sale fulfillment if you want long-term customers.
- Let the customer lead. Don’t tell them what they want or how to achieve it. Listen with the intent to understand. Make sure you are not doing all the talking.
- Don’t close too fast. Understand that the ‘sales funnel’ for real estate is much longer than other industries. Many times a ‘not right now’ is not a ‘no’ but simply it’s a matter of getting them to know, like and trust you.
- Remember, it is business and it is personal. Many agents and brokers make business decisions because they have developed a relationship with the company or have connected with the executive team. This is where social media can be extremely powerful. By having key people involved in conversations in Facebook Groups or on Twitter can be extremely effective in building trust.
When conducting business, keep in mind some of the traits of an excellent salesperson. These include discipline, motivation, honesty, a consultant mentality, people skills and confidence.
Real estate professional recognize and respect this not only in themselves, but in others as well. If you know who you are and what you have to offer, you’re already a step or two ahead of the game.