For some reason, as an industry we are very good at replicating and duplicating what we see or perceive to be a good idea or concept.
I can understand why that is, we are real estate agents and not marketing gurus, we tend to use the same print houses throughout the country that produce marketing for us.
There are also only a handful of software houses that provide us with technology and unless you belong to a franchise network that develops their own software you are limited by what they develop.
Here are some examples of what I mean in regards to replicating and duplicating:
• DL drops throughout Australia more often than not will have the agent’s picture and details at the back with success and results on the front.
• Just listed and just sold DL’s pretty much all look the same.
• Promotional ads in your local papers have same or similar messages and far too often we see the same images used by different agencies.
• Window displays on the front of majority of real estate offices are the same
• How we run open for inspections is almost identical
The problem with this is that very quickly we all start to look and sound the same and to make it worse the experiences, regardless of which agency we deal with, is also the same.
Why not create some disruption in your market place? Do things differently that will make people look twice, talk about you, share the difference online and in the process you will displace what has been the status quo for a long time.
What do I mean by disruption? Well it’s the ability for business to innovate and improve on products and services in a way that the market does not expect; enabling you to provide service that is different and has better value. Being disruptive also means that you will continue to improve on products, services, customer experience and efficiency.
Did you know there is a list of the top 50 disruptive companies in the world? Some popular names you may recognise are Audi, Amazon, General Electric, Google, Samsung, Apple, Face book.
So here’s the thing, if you don’t start to think differently the danger you run is that you will become extinct. Remember Kodak!
So start thinking outside the box and most importantly stop copying other agents and agencies. Look at other industries, what ideas, concepts and services can you bring into real estate that will cause disruption.
If I was an agent in the field today I would assess every touch point I have with a client and the service or products we deliver at each. We also know that pretty much across the board our competition will be delivering same or similar service.
Select the key touch points you know will make the most difference to your clients, work out what you can deliver that is going to be different and memorable, train everyone in your team on how to deliver it and then go out there and disrupt your market place.
Assess your marketing strategy, success marketing is important however more important is marketing that the consumer connects with. Marketing that makes them feel – you know what this agent has an idea about what our needs are today.
Do some market research on why people rent, buy or sell homes and then create some marketing based on this research.
Technology is the one area you can cause the most disruption. Most agents in your market place are not using all the tools available to them. Assess what is available, how will it impact your productivity and the client experience and implement. Ensure that you regularly review results and what else is available.
Being disruptive is actually very easy in real estate. Just don’t do what everyone else is doing, look outside the industry for ideas and make them work for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sadhana Smiles is chief executive officer of Harcourts Victoria, the state division of one of Australia’s leading and well respected real estate brands.
She is also a popular speaker and presenter, and is regularly asked to speak at some of the industry’s most prestigious events, including ARPM, AREC, AREL, RELC, the REINSW Women’s Conference and the Harcourts Conference.
Sadhana is also a regular contributor to a number of national real estate journals and publications.