I have seen variations of a real estate marketing campaign on social media channels several times lately. It’s a picture of Uncle Sam, finger extended, somehow implying that the patriotic thing to do in a low inventory market is to sell your house.
I have also seen several recent emails and Facebook posts from agents right here in Denver with headlines like “We Need Inventory” and “Realtors Need Houses to Sell”.
A great cleansing is coming soon in the real estate world, and it will start with agents who don’t understand that none of this is about them. Real estate is about the consumer… the first-time buyer, the downsizing retiree, the family selling an estate home after a loved one has passed.
Looking at this business from the Realtor’s perspective is like looking backwards through a pair of binoculars. It distorts reality, and even worse, it makes the big things (your clients and their needs) seem small when they should be at the center of everything.
In the old days, like three years ago, much of the value Realtors brought to the process was simply through access to data. Access to the MLS, access to past sales history, access to neighborhood comps.
In the post-Zillow world, that advantage is gone.
If your value proposition consists of knowing what Mrs. Smith’s home sold for down the street, you’re done. Today, everyone knows what Mrs. Smith’s home sold for. What you had better know, if you want to remain relevant, is what the finishes were like inside the home. Why she chose to sell it. How many offers she had. Whether or not permits were pulled for the basement finish. If there were structural issues.
If you are going to bring value to this process, knowing the basics isn’t enough.
I’ll say it again. If MLS data is your value proposition, you are done.
Now, you need to know how to market (starting with yourself). You had better be able to demonstrate how you are a skilled negotiator. You need to know how to create value. You must have a strong network of vendors who can help you solve problems. You must connect people to others who can help them.
Clients expect you to sell their home for top dollar, or find value on the buy side. You need to be able to demonstrate proven results. You have to be able to show (not just tell) somehow what sets you apart.
15,000 agents in Denver have signs in the back of their cars. Yet 1,500 do 90% of the business.
Third party endorsements are huge. Reviews matter. A lot. When someone Googles your name, you need to make sure they find you. First.
You need to save your clients time. Millennials, in particular, value time. They have grown up as digital natives in an “on-demand” world. They embrace disruption. They like efficiency. They want results. They don’t care about how things used to be done.
Adapt or die. Especially today. Especially in Denver, the hottest real estate market in the country. Millennials are now the largest demographic group in Denver. Many work in tech-based fields. They make their living disrupting.
How are you going to create value for them? What makes you relevant?