In 2010, 57 percent of licensed real estate agents were self-employed. That percentage should give you an idea of just how important it is to market yourself well. If you are trying to make a go of it without the backing of a nationally-recognized agency, you better get creative when it comes to self-promotion. Here are ways that you can make sure you get hired before the competition:
1.Don’t Be a Wallflower
If you’re shy, it’s time to get over it. You aren’t going to gain listings by plastering yourself to the wall. If you want to beat out the competition, you’ve got to be bold. Do things that other listing agents don’t do; find your niche. Maybe your open houses will be amazing affairs that everyone will remember. Perhaps you can take out multiple page ads in the local paper. Look for things that you can provide for your clients that no other agent in the area does. If there are 200 houses for sale in your region and 400 agents, you better make a name for yourself.
2.Do It Differently
Let’s face it: There isn’t much that is different about selling one house over another. You have to fill out the same paperwork, secure the same inspections and deal with the same banks. Look for something that you can do for your clients that makes you a stand out. Everyone returns phone calls; return yours within the hour. Everyone answers emails. Make it a point to check yours on the hour, every hour. Real estate agents provide information; put together a booklet. No matter what it is that you do differently, do it in an exceptional way and tell people about it. You’ll instantly earn free word-of-mouth marketing.
3.Spend Your Last Dime
When you’re the new kid on the block, you can’t be afraid of spending your last dime on marketing. How else will you get your name out there? If you market yourself correctly, you’ll get a return on your money and then some. Develop an app, put together mass mailers, make a creative video and help it go viral, hire a professional photographer for your photos; do whatever it takes to make yourself recognizable. The goal is for people to think of your name when they think of real estate. Find the top-selling agent in your region and look how he markets himself. This person is a fabulous one to emulate.
4.Be a Pioneer
Are there things that you would like to see change in the industry? Have you sold a home of your own and noticed all of the things that your agent did incorrectly? Why not be the change that you want to see? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you don’t have to do things like everyone else. Set up a Facebook page and ask people what they would like to see change and affect those changes. Be the people’s agent, not the agent’s agent. If you can stand out from the crowd, people will start talking about you, and that’s the best marketing you can hope for.
Today’s real estate agents need to do more than hand out business cards. There are more agents than there are listings, and competition is fierce. Once you find a way to stand out from the other agents in your region, you’ll pull in more listings than you can handle.
Author Sheila Madison just bought her second home and used agentharvest.com to help her find a realtor.