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Friday, June 22, 2012

Why would anyone list their home with you?

Why would anyone list their home with you?

You used to ask yourself this question all the time.

You’re a proven real estate agent with a resume and a track record. You’ve been in the business for a few years, hit solid numbers each year since beginning and feel relatively confident in your knowledge.

You’d consider yourself somewhat of an expert in the area, you’ve sold dozens of houses and people seem to like you.

Still, you just couldn’t pinpoint what it was that set you apart. This became more evident when, meeting after meeting, your potential clients walked out seemingly unfulfilled.

You used to have them signing on the spot. You used to begin listing their house the next day. But this began to diminish.

Sure, you’d get listings here and there. But most meetings didn’t seem to carry the same spark they used to. Your clients walked out without giving you a definitive answer. They didn’t seem overly impressed with your pitch, and you knew they’d turn to another agent for another meeting.

You didn’t change anything. You weren’t doing anything different. In fact, with each meeting you brought more knowledge and experience to the table with you.

But customers didn’t see it that way. As you grew more confident in yourself, they appeared less confident in you. It was starting to worry you.

And that was just it, you came to find. Bringing the same things to the table was your downfall. The market had changed. Your customers had changed. The economy had changed. And with it all consumer confidence changed, and so did the amount of research people conducted before trusting you with possibly their biggest financial decision.

You needed to change to stay up with the times. You needed to provide your clients more information, more satisfaction and more confidence that contacting you was the best real estate decision they could make.

You began researching ways to personify this. You realized the market had turned toward the Web, but you weren’t sure the best presence to establish there.

You began hearing murmurs from consumers that your website was difficult to use. They weren’t comfortable using it, and they often turned to other sites to collect the information they needed, even when they listed with you.

You started to realize you didn’t market their listing well online. It wasn’t just your website—other sites in the area portrayed your listings poorly. You didn’t provide good photos, and the home appeared online to be only a fraction as good as it was in person. You even wrote in your comments, “Must be seen in person to appreciate!” Then you told yourself, “I would prefer they talk to me to get more information on the home than feel they’ve found it all online.”

But less and less people reached out to inquire about those listings. Your homes began sitting on the market longer, and you had a few contracts expire.

Each time it happened, you blamed the market. You told your clients that things were difficult in this economy. You felt the listing would have easily sold two years ago, but homes just weren’t moving the same way any longer. You encouraged clients to renew their contract with you, and promised it will just take more time.

But you felt uncomfortable each time the words passed your lips. You felt like you were lying to your clients, even though you felt what you were telling them was true. Deep down inside, you just couldn’t accept that was the real reason. And it didn’t help that you saw a few other real estate agents moving house after house quickly. You couldn’t tell what it was they were doing to boost their business.

You started doing your own homework. You looked at their real estate website and saw it was superior to yours. You viewed their listings online and saw that they were better portrayed, with more information than yours. You realized they helped sell themselves, while yours had the opposite effect.

You began asking around. You wanted to know what else the agents were doing that you weren’t.

You even reached out to the real estate technology company that built their websites to find more information.

When you did, they treated you right. They told you what their services provided. They explained how they worked in this economy. They taught you Internet marketing strategies you had heard about at conferences and felt you had done, but realized had never been right.

You started looking at the Web differently. You invested in the service and began to feel it was one of the best decisions you had made. Your listings were better portrayed online, you had more digital marketing tools and you had new selling points to bring to your seller presentations.

The real estate market had changed, and you were finally beginning to understand what it took to change with it.
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