One saying that you hear a lot in the real estate industry is:
People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
So we spend a lot of time training on how to make sure people KNOW us. We learn various marketing and advertising techniques so that we can generate leads and build our sales pipelines. We teach new agents how to host open houses to meet potential clients. We show agents how to door knock and cold call to meet potential clients. We advise them to pass out their business cards to everyone they meet and we encourage them to “work their database” at least 2 or 3 hours a day.
New agents implement these techniques (and others) and get frustrated because these efforts may not result in any leads and Closed deals. They wonder what they are doing wrong and no one is telling them that just because someone KNOWs you, it doesn’t mean they LIKE you. And even if they KNOW and LIKE you (your friends and family), that doesn’t mean they TRUST you with their largest financial investment: their home.
This is why so many newbie agents complain about their friend or family member who DIDN'T hire them to buy or sell...that person didn't have TRUST as a real estate expert.
You may meet a new prospective client and get them to like you enough to go on a home tour. But when they start asking you detailed questions about the houses and neighborhood, you're going to lose them if you can't answer their questions like an expert. Continually responding with, "I don't know, but I can ask my broker," does not inspire TRUST!
Even worse...you get under contract but the deal falls apart before Closing because you didn't have enough expertise to see that the roof was too old to be insurable. Or your deal falls apart during inspections because you don't know how to negotiate repairs properly, because you don't know enough about HVAC systems (as one example). Failed transactions is not the way to build your reputation and referral system!
As real estate agents, we need to ask ourselves, “How do I get people to TRUST me to be their real estate agent?”
Consumers no longer need real estate agents to FIND houses. They can search the Internet all day long for lists of houses. However, they still choose to hire real estate agents to buy and sell houses because we have (or SHOULD have) knowledge and expertise that they don’t have:
We need to understand: What do clients want? Clients do not want to hire real estate amateurs, they want to hire real estate experts. They want to hire real estate agents who know more about houses than they know. They want to be able to rely on their real estate agent to protect them from buying a “money pit.” Or they want to rely on their real estate agent to help them prepare their house to sell quickly while avoiding potential inspection issues.
Consumers are not interested in hiring open house experts, door knocking experts, or cold-calling experts. They want to hire local area REAL ESTATE EXPERTS.
Clients only need ONE house. They want to hire real estate agents who know more about the local area (neighborhoods, schools, amenities, etc.) than they know. They don’t want to become location experts themselves…they want to hire someone who already knows the area very well, so that person can help them find the best house for their family.
The sooner that you can provide both housing and location knowledge and expertise, the sooner you are offering value to your clients. This means, you need to start your career by methodically learning about houses and your area. Not superficial knowledge, but deep knowledge that your clients perceive as being valuable to the process.
This is what separates experienced real estate agents from newbie agents. Experienced agents have acquired this knowledge and expertise through working many years in the industry. To effectively compete with those experienced agents in the marketplace, new agents should do whatever it takes to get their knowledge of houses and the local area up-to-speed as quickly as possible.
All agents in your area probably use the same real estate contracts, as established by your state’s real estate laws. All agents in your area have the same access to the same MLS and the same set of houses. What is differentiating the long term successful agents from the brand new or rookie agents is product knowledge. What is our product?: Houses and Location
So becoming a local area real estate expert as quickly as possible is so critical to your success. This is what is going to make people TRUST you as their real estate agent. This is what will motivate people to hire you as their real estate agent.
If you want help on the best and fastest way to become a Local Area Expert, then check out Chapter 4 in the JumpStart for Real Estate Agents book.
Or, for in-depth training on this topic, sign up for the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents online training course where you will receive step-by-step videos on how to become a local area expert. Plus, you will learn how to DEMONSTRATE your knowledge in a way that builds your credibility and leads to sales and Closings.
Helpful resources for real estate agents:
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