Does this statement haunt you?
“Real estate agents are all the same. They just stick your house on MLS and show it until it sells. Why hire someone, when it’s that easy?”
I’m not sure where this idea came from. Anyone who’s ever tried to FSBO a house can tell you it’s not easy. Sure, it’s possible to sell without an agent… if everything goes smoothly.
A Realtor® is there for when things don’t go smoothly.
You are not a salesperson! You’re a highly skilled consultant who helps you clients close the biggest deal of their lives. Your skills are honed with hours of study, market research, pricing analysis— not to mention dealing with the crazy situations they don’t cover in your license course.
So how do you prove to people you’re more than a tour guide? Even better, how do you avoid clients with this “salesperson” mindset?
Don’t act like a salesperson.
Niche Marketing – Not Just on the “Nice to Have” List
Niche marketing is nothing new, and certainly not unique to real estate. (You may notice I’m doing it right now!) But a real estate niche is a powerful tool. It can improve your career, change the type of clients that come to you (notice I said come to you?), and get you out of the rat race of expired listings and desk duty.
Building a real estate niche establishes you as a market expert instead of a salesperson.
And it can help you live the life of your dreams.
Okay, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but if you establish a niche based on work you love, you’ll end up doing far more of it! You’ll become the go-to person for your market segment (no matter what it is) and prospects will recognize you as the best person to help them get things done.
“Oh sure. Just crown myself the Emperor of New Construction. It’s that easy!”
Well, it’s not THAT easy. But it’s not far off, and it doesn’t take years. It just takes some specific tactics that get you noticed within your chosen area of expertise.
Where do you start?
Targeted Blogging – Give the (Right) People what they Want
I love tips about cleaning grout as much as anyone. But they have no place on your personal brand website.
Your blog and your social media should reflect your niche—rich with information and keywords of interest to the clients you want to attract. Instead of relying on pre-fab blog posts pulled off your broker’s swipe file or purchased from a content mill, commit to carve out two to four hours a week to create a truly useful, targeted post that will improve your search rankings and get eyeballs pointed in the right direction!
It means extra work, yes, but it pays off. When someone uses search to find information about their particular situation, those focused blog posts will get them to see you, and then to trust you!
Bonus tip: If you can’t create, curate! One caveat here: don’t just plop something on your page and call it a day. People love sharing their two cents, so use platforms like LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Houzz to ask your audience their opinion. Stay involved in the conversation.You might find out more about their needs, or kick-start a good brainstorming session for your next custom piece.
Niche-Focused Case Studies - Show You’re A Pro
If you already have some experience in your chosen niche, skip the “blurb” testimonial; wring every drop of value out of that success with a well-written customer case study. Use those powerful messages to grab the attention of clients with similar problems or needs.
You may be thinking, “What’s a case study?”
A customer case study, also known as a “featured client story” or “client success story,” is a testimonial that’s been turned into an exciting short story. Think of them like an exciting news piece where the action is all about your client, and the hero of the day is you!
The best part? You DON’T have to toot your own horn in these pieces (shameless self-promotion is awkward, right?) A case study is created from an interview of the person or people at the center of this epic tale: your happy client!
Niche Networking – Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe
No man is an island, and no Realtor should be, either. While it’s common to get in the trenches and stay there (especially during the busy seasons when you’re not thinking about your pipeline!) you have to remember to schedule face-time with people who work in your niche.
This goes beyond making some mortgage officer friends in the hopes of cross-referring work (although this is great, too!) You should be cultivating relationships with other industry professionals who intersect with your niche, and networking with organizations where you’ll find like-minded folk.
It’s okay to get creative with this! The bigger your sphere, the more opportunities you can find to work with professionals and clients who share the excitement for your speciality.
Want to work in new construction? Make a coffee date with local builders to discuss what they’re seeing in trends and patterns. Don’t just say, “Can I represent your next development?” Just make the contact and stay in touch in an organic, friendly way. When the time is right, if you gel with your new builder buddy, you’ll get the call.
These networking opportunities can get results in a few ways—beyond just the hope of direct referrals.
· Making friends with others in your niche is a great way to broaden and deepen your market and industry knowledge—making you a more valuable resource to the clients you want to serve.
· Talking shop with other pros is awesome brainstorming fodder; you can develop special reports, marketing tactics, and article ideas based on these conversations. All of these are great tools for turning prospects into clients!
· Getting to know industry professionals means when you have a lead on a new client or a relevant event, you can genuinely help them. If you love a good referral, you BET your contacts will love one too. They’ll remember who helped them out when they have a lead!
You’re On Your Way!
When you focus your efforts on areas that support your long-term plan, change will start to happen! Naturally, you can’t ditch your other lead-generating activities—this is all part of a well rounded, after all. But when the opportunity to assist a buyer in your niche arises, knock it out of the park (then rinse/repeat with a case study featuring this NEW super-happy niche client!)
If you make these practices part of your overall marketing plan, it won’t be long before you see your reputation shift from salesperson to specialist!
Could you use some help getting the best clients and projects? I’m currently booking consultations and projects for December 2018 and Q1 2019.
Email Belynda@belyndacianci.com or call me directly at (978) 697-2422. I love to talk shop!
I’m a New Hampshire freelance copywriter specializing in content marketing for the real estate and construction industries. I help builders, architects, Realtors® and designers take their business and profits higher with carefully crafted messages and solid content marketing strategies.