The following article is Part 3 from a series entitled "Social Media Won't Help If You Suck" that I presented at the recent Seattle RainCamp.
You can find Part One at "Social Media Won't Help If You Suck" - 7 Ways to Suck-Proof Your Business, and Part Two at 5 Common Misconceptions about Social Media.
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7 Be-Attitudes to Suck-Proof Your Real Estate Business
Differentiation - is the process of distinguishing a product or offering from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. The objective of differentiation is to develop a position that potential customers see as unique and where one creates a greater sense of value.
Never before, in the history of our industry, has there been a better time and opportunity for us as real estate professionals to differentiate ourselves from the masses of under-achieving, under-performing agents/brokers.
If we were to analyze the overall level of customer service being offered in our industry today, would you agree that mediocre would be a reasonable assessment?
Let's be honest, for the most part, we're surrounded by a sea of mediocrity or normal at best. The overwhelming majority of agents/brokers in our business offer a lackluster level of performance.
So the Million Dollar question is this, How do we become 'remarkable' in today's challenging market? How can we set ourselves apart?
Here's a recent video from Portland OR real estate agent, Mike Rohrig, that helps to illustrate that point:
With the growing reliance upon social media for much of our business marketing, many of us have had the tendency to ignore or abandon the time-tested traditional marketing methods and practices we used to employ - the ones that made us successful before social media came along.
What we're finding is that social media and effective Internet marketing have come full circle. We're seeing a renewed focus on the core basic, fundamental strategies, principles, and practices that produce what Seth Godin calls 'remarkable' products and services. This is also the emphasis that Gary Vaynerchuk makes in his new book, The Thank You Economy.
So, without any further ado, here is the first 'Be-Attitude' to Suck-Proof Your Business:
Be-Attitude #1 - Be There
1. Be There (Just Show Up!)
Though a big part of your Internet marketing strategy should be to show up on the 1st page of Google and to rank well on the search engines, the realities are that 80% of our success comes from simply showing up, period.
What happens when you don't show up?
I want to share with you an email I received recently from one of my Seller clients:
"Rich, we had a call for a showing today. We received the call last night for a 12:30pm showing today. The Realtor called as a courtesy this morning and said her client's flight was delayed and that the time would shift to 2:30, no problem.
We were out of the house until 3:30 and no one had arrived. My wife called the Realtor and reached her husband as she had made arrangements from home. He said he would call her and return our call. By 4:00, no call, so my wife called again. The husband claims he left her a voice message. At 4:20, the agent called and said it would be 10 min. before they were at the house.
We left and saw that they arrived at 4:40 and left about 15 min. later...
Now, this is my rant: We have a house for sale and expect some inconveniences and don't want to do anything to hamper a sale, however, this is just common courtesy that these Realtors need to understand. EVERYONE has a phone... use it and call the scheduled appointments with an updated time for showings... don't show up 2 hrs after a scheduled appointment and expect to walk in! If the schedule shifts, or if the clients don't want to see the property, CALL... simple really!
If you have an industry forum, please feel free to share my rant, it is giving the local industry a bad name!"
I sent this broker a follow-up email, suggesting that a phone call of apology would probably be a good move on her part. And her response was "I'll think about what you suggest, but honestly I felt like we did our very best under the circumstances."
Well, guess what? Many times what we think is 'our best' just isn't good enough! And what's a sad testament to our industry is that consumer expectations are exceptionally low as a result of such behavior.
So how can you 'Suck-Proof' your business? How can you differentiate yourself from the poor-performing masses?
Well, to begin with, Just Show Up!
TODAY'S TECH TIP
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, SoundBiteBLog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org