Industry needs to change mindset on self-promotion

Looking through your local newspaper, you’re bound to see real estate agents shamelessly promoting themselves and their agency. This raises the question: As an industry, are we inadvertently pushing a stereotype that paints a false picture of the ideal characteristics of a good agent?

Rather alarmingly, real estate agents featured in the bottom three of the recent Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey. This, then, is not a case of ‘any publicity, is good publicity’ – especially when the consensus points towards real estate agents as having generally low ethics and low honesty.

Hence, the tendency for agents to overtly promote themselves doesn’t appear to be doing the job they hoped. Rather, it’s only creating false impressions by disregarding much of the good work agents actually do.

This zealous self-promotion has been the norm for years, so changing the mindset of an entire industry is nigh-on impossible – but we cannot continue to ignore consumer feedback. We desperately need to abandon these outdated methods and if we want to be seen in a more positive light, then we should look to reinforce the positive impact we have on the sales process.

These days people are not interested in how amazing you think you are, or whether you were born and bred in the local area. They want to know what you can do for them, what you can offer them – and, above all, they want to know why they should pick you over the competition. This is where real results rather than marketing lingo are really important.

As an agent, why define yourself by following the standard self-promotion template? You’re likely to sell yourself short and this is hardly going to push you to the next level. Consumers also see through this veil, since they are entrusting you with their biggest life asset.

I have always been a strong believer in having clear, consistent and bold marketing messages and tactics. Whether you’re promoting a new or a current service, you need to showcase your results in a way that separates you from the crowd.

How do you do this? The trick is to be relatable, by representing your agency as a valuable asset to the consumer. While you certainly should know analytic detail on the local demographic, it’s critical to know what marketing tactics your local market will respond to on an emotional level.

For agents looking to make a positive impact and break the self-promotion stereotype, I recommend the following five tips as guide:

  1. Make the house the hero. We are employed to sell the house, not ourselves. Your mantra should be 'to serve, not to self-serve'
  2. Be creative and think outside the box
  3. Look at other industries for inspiration
  4. Be aware of what the rest of the market is putting out there and steer clear of repetition. When the competition zigs, you should zag
  5. Get out there. Face-to-face interaction is the best way to build a positive rapport with your customers
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Michelle Pejovic

Michelle Pejovic

Michelle Pejovic is the marketing manager at Starr Partners, which won the Innovation category at the REB Awards in 2013 and 2014, and is a finalist in two categories at this year’s event. Michelle is responsible for the conceptualisation and implementation of all marketing strategies across the Starr Partners group.

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