Their names are legendary in your market: the superstar real estate agents with a penchant for attracting red hot leads, closing deals, and cashing huge commission checks. Admit it: you’re more than a little jealous of their success.
Whether you’re just getting started in your sales career or you’ve been in the business for a decade or two, you want what your local market leaders have – the prestige, name recognition and proven results that comes from being in the trenches and closing more deals than anyone else.
I routinely work with top producers as well as real estate agents who want to rise to that level – and beyond – to develop marketing plans and strategies for success. The reason top producers produce so much is because top producers, well, produce. It isn’t necessarily because they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on coaching and other career enhancement services (although the right coaching program can help put you on the right track).
It isn’t because they’re luckier, better looking, or more outgoing than you are.
Here’s what I’ve found: The thing that sets top producers apart from everyone else and enables them to hit numbers that turn other real estate agents green with envy is because they do a few things better than anyone else in their market. Then they show up, do the work, and reap the rewards.
The good news is, you can do the same. It’s easier than you think.
Pick Your Superpower, Then Use Them Wisely
Most of the best, most successful real estate agents have staked a claim to a superpower – a niche that they own. You should do the same. There are a lot of ways you can do this:
- Property type
- Geographical area or
- Working with specific type of client
- Being the property management expert
- Internet buyers
- High end, exclusive luxury properties
- International buyers
- Hybrid strategies (combining specialties to create something uniquely you, see below)
When you specialize, you can establish credibility as the go-to expert in ________ real estate in _________ (your real estate market). Fill in the blanks, then get to know more about your superpower specialty than anyone else in your market.
You’ll legitimately be seen as more knowledgeable, experienced, and credible than other real estate agents who can only say they want to be all things to all people.
Master Personality Marketing
Have you noticed that the world is filled with a few larger than life personalities who dominate their space? Look around. They’re everywhere. Steve Jobs. Grant Cardone. Love them or hate them, it doesn’t matter. What matters is these individuals have mastered the art of personality marketing.
While you’re a mere mortal and don’t have the name recognition some of these larger than life types have (in the case of Steve Jobs, had), you can begin changing this today. Buyers and sellers value authenticity.
If you’ll just be yourself in face to face interactions, social media posts, videos, etc., you’ll gain genuine fans. People will love you or hate you – for what you say, what you believe, or the way you look at life.
There’s only one unforgivable sin in personality marketing: being unremarkable, bland or boring. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives, you have to stand out from the crowd.
Personality marketing is how you do it. When you master this, your fans will follow you, not the firm you represent. Don’t lose any sleep over people who don’t like you for being you.
You’ll have haters or people you just don’t like you. The flip side of the coin is that your fans will be sold on you and almost nothing you do or say will change that.
Attract the Right Kinds of Clients
Attracting the right kinds of clients is an art that is developed over time. In terms of client acquisition, the most successful real estate agents recognize that attracting the right kinds of clients also means repelling clients who won’t be a good fit.
Get to know who your best clients and prospects are, then develop effective strategies for attracting them to you while repelling everyone else.
The reality is, the only clients you should ever work with are those who you are best aligned to help. If you go outside of this sweet spot, you’ll be less effective or completely ineffective. Then nobody is happy.
Make a Stand Where You Are
I have a client (let’s call him Mark). He and I have been working together for about five years. In the first three years we worked together, he switched jobs 11 times. He constantly needed me to update his marketing materials because of these changes. I finally asked him why he kept switching jobs.
“The grass is always a little greener on the other side. If I think I’ll make more money somewhere else, I make the leap,” he said.
What I’ve found is that in most cases, a real estate agent starts thinking about making a change when they aren’t making enough money. This isn’t usually because of anything their brokerage has done or hasn’t done.
It usually comes down to activity. If you aren’t meeting people and making presentations, you aren’t closing deals. Top producers are usually happy where they are and wouldn’t consider making a change barring a major issue.
Before making a change, look in your own backyard. Ask yourself if you’re really doing all you can to succeed where you are. Will a change in location really change your circumstance? Or will it just give you a different view with the same result? If you reach the conclusion that it’s time to make a change, carefully explore your options. Then make a change only if you’re convinced that the change makes professional and financial sense.
Don’t Fool Around: Master Your Finances
How much do you need to earn each month to meet your personal and business financial obligations? Do you know? If you’re winging it each month, you’re playing with fire.
Top producers are well aware of how much they need to earn to meet their expenses, then they go out and get it. It’s vital that you have a detailed breakdown of all of your expenses, so you can compare them to your income (or anticipated income).
Take the time to get in tune with these numbers. As a real estate professional, your income will fluctuate from month to month and season to season. While it’s a good idea for everyone to have an emergency fund, it’s even more important for you. Set aside plenty of cash to cover your expenses anytime there’s a seasonal shortfall.
If you have a great month, set aside the excess. You can use these funds to tide you over until your income bounces back. You’ll have ongoing business expenses. And of course, Uncle Sam expects to get in on the action so set aside enough cash to meet your tax obligations.
Master your finances and you’ll be in a better position to focus on maximizing your earnings and not stressing about keeping food on the table.
Market and Advertise Intelligently
Top producing real estate agents invest a lot of money in marketing and advertising. This might be one of the biggest differences between top producers and everyone else: they spend more on marketing and advertising and they do it more intelligently.
I had a client once who knew he needed to invest in marketing and advertising. When I asked what he had in mind, he said, “I want to spread it around. Let’s spend some everywhere.”
I gently suggested a different strategy, one used by many of my top real estate clients.
Instead of throwing money in many different directions, I suggested he slow things down. We worked out his overall marketing strategy, then selected a single marketing channel. Once he was getting consistent results, we added another, then another.
The key to advertising and marketing isn’t spending money.
It’s investing money intelligently when there’s a good chance of success. It won’t come overnight. But with tweaking and modification – and making some mistakes along the way – it will come.
Remember, advertising and marketing aren’t simply line items on an expense sheet. They are investments that should be carefully planned to maximize the chances that you’ll see a return on your investment.
When you get it right, your marketing and advertising dollars will help you reach your goals and rise to the top of your market.
Be the King or Queen of Follow-up
The average real estate agent is average because he or she doesn’t treat sales leads with the respect they deserve.
Whether the source of your lead is a referral, cold traffic, comes from direct mail or another form of paid advertising, or is someone you met in a social setting, have a system in place for reaching out to leads right away.
Today’s buyers and sellers are smart, savvy people who don’t have the patience to wait around for you to get to them.
Many of them will reach out to multiple real estate agents at once, knowing that they will work with the one who gets to them first. You can grind your teeth or complain about the injustice of it all, or you can get serious about playing the game with today’s unwritten Real Estate Rules of Engagement.
Regardless of how your leads come to you, develop a workable strategy for following up with them right away. If you’re too busy to follow up with leads this quickly, get a member of your team to do it.
That’s All There is to it…
Becoming the most productive, highest earning real estate agent in your market is achievable. It’ll take a lot of initiative, some creativity, and the investment of a great deal of time and energy.
I can’t guarantee that implementing all of these strategies will miraculously turn you into the most successful real estate agent in your market.
Here’s what I know for sure: If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Follow some or all of these strategies. You’ll be a better real estate agent for it.
Ken Speegle is Realty ToolKit’s resident real estate industry expert. Every week he writes insightful, in-depth articles about topics related to real estate marketing, each designed to help make you a better, more profitable real estate professional. Ken is the founder of therealestatewriter.com and has been a real estate copywriter since 1994.