3 Key Ways to Stand Out as a Real Estate Agent in 2021
There are three big reasons as to why a particular real estate client picks a particular real estate agent:
- They know them. Maybe they’ve worked together before, or maybe they’re a friend or a neighbour.
- Word of mouth. They’ve heard good things. Real estate testimonials and referrals go a long way.
- Competitive advantage. In the client’s mind, the agent they want to hire has an edge over other agents.
The first reason is mostly about luck. The second reason is the result of putting in the work to get great reviews and client testimonials. And the third reason comes down to how well you stand out from the crowd of other real estate agents in your area.
Being successful is one way to stand out, of course. But it’s not the only way. And when you’re facing competition from thousands of other agents, in a hot market where demand is high and supply is low, it’s not enough.
You have to build your reputation and competitive advantage on a whole suite of elements — not just your track record.
Elements like the ones we’re talking about today. Keep reading for three key ways you can stand out as a real estate agent in 2021.
Speaking Frankly About the Market
It’s hard out there. Many areas of North America are facing a housing crisis. Affordability and supply are huge issues. Bidding wars are getting out of hand. Many people are being left out and left behind.
And yet many real estate agents don’t discuss these issues publicly. Instead, they keep on sharing listings and market statistics as if everything is rosy. Perhaps because they’re worried that admitting that there’s something wrong with the picture would reflect poorly on them and their business.
That concern is understandable. But what they’re not seeing is that being unafraid to talk about these issues honestly and openly is refreshing. It’s genuine, empathetic and real. And that will resonate with many a buyer and seller.
This doesn’t mean trash-talking the world of real estate, telling people to rent instead, or making fun of other agents. In other words, speaking frankly about real estate issues doesn’t have to be self-sabotage.
It just shows that you’re aware, tuned-in, and empathetic to the challenges that your prospective clients are facing — attractive elements to anyone looking for a good real estate agent.
Being Unafraid to Address Diversity, Inclusion and Social Issues
Up until fairly recently, the general modus operandi was to avoid sharing one’s own views and feelings about topics such as diversity, politics and social issues.
What if someone took offense, or found it preachy? The potential of losing leads was seen as too risky.
Things have changed. Today, publicly speaking out as a professional against injustices and showing support for the marginalized has become the norm.
How does this apply to real estate agents?
It means you shouldn’t let fear keep you from speaking publicly about an injustice or about a cause that is deeply meaningful to you.
This might mean expressing solidarity, vocalizing support or sharing in grief during big watershed moments (examples, past and present, might include Black Lives Matter and the discovery of unmarked graves at Canadian residential school sites). Or supporting charity work that’s important to you.
What this doesn’t mean is saying something at every opportunity, just because someone else is. Or rushing to say or share something without thinking it through, simply because you don’t want someone to think you don’t care.
If you’re sincerely expressing a thought, feeling or action that’s rooted in inclusion, fairness and doing the right thing, you’ll stand out to clients who want to work with someone who is socially aware and who shares their values.
Building Expertise on Climate Change and Housing
Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. It’s shaping our world, present and future. That includes real estate, and housing.
It’s a topic that’s on both residential and investor real estate clients’ minds as they consider developments, resources, location and building features.
Meet those clients where they’re at by building your own expertise and becoming a subject matter expert on climate change and the impacts on housing.
You can educate yourself on topics like risk, energy efficiency, valuations, the building sector, insurance, and future-proofing, and then share that expertise by:
- Developing real estate blog content
- Building content around these topics into your real estate social media calendar
- Finding opportunities for free media attention by becoming a trusted source for press
By being proactive (and not just reactive) in sharing this kind of content and knowledge, you can set yourself apart from other real estate agents and attract clients who are looking for climate change-related guidance.
What strategies do you use to stand out amongst other agents in your market?