“It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” - Tom Panos
With almost 17,000 registered real estate agents in New Zealand and 65,000 in Australia, you already know the importance of having a strong agent brand.
But have you dug deeper into your own brand to work out what your unique service proposition (USP) really is for buyers?
Lots of agents or agencies can say they’re honest, trusted, reliable, faster or deliver better results, what matters to potential customers are the things about you that are different, that you can prove, and that meet their needs.
Ultimately your USP is important to clients because it helps them solve the problem of finding an agent and deciding whom to trust in a sea of otherwise unfamiliar agents.
Having a defined USP also means you know what you bring to the table for clients. you’ll be more confident, assured and focused on what your potential clients need in cold calls and listing presentations.
So where do you start?
Define your parameters
The first step in developing a USP is to ask yourself some broad, general questions.
- Who is your competition? You can’t stand out from them if you don’t know who they are. Write a list of everybody working in your area competing for the same business as you, then research them. Do they have a USP? How do they describe their unique proposition? What have their recent results been? Do they have marketing collateral or concepts that really seem to be working for them? What makes you different from them in a way that’s useful to your customers?
- Who is your target audience? You can’t be all things to all potential buyers, but knowing who makes up your main audience will help you identify problems you can solve for them better than anybody else.
- Think carefully about your experience, personality and knowledge to start identifying what you do better than others. Go beyond ‘ a good price’ or “a quick sale” and think about how you deliver key requirements like transparency, honesty, and value.
Filter and refine
The next phase of defining your USP is about digging deeper and refining your qualities so they are specific to you. How do you like to work? What do your previous work and life experiences bring to your approach as a real estate agent? Do you have an area of expertise or personal interest?
What is your personal story, and what is compelling about it? What is an under-served market in your area? Do you have anything to offer that market? Consider all these things in the context of how they intersect with your potential clients’ needs.
Talk to colleagues and former customers for their perspective on your strengths and unique attributes as an agent.
Once you have compiled all your research, refine your findings and thoughts into qualities that are really specific to you.
Perhaps you have a paperless processing system that makes the process easier. Maybe, you have an amazing track record for selling homes that you list.
Maybe you are particularly successful in how you managed digital marketing. Maybe your parents ran the local dairy for years and know everybody in the community. Maybe you tutor kids in maths or music and have unique insights into local schools and clubs.
Maybe, your website gets way more visitors than your competitors and you can show this value to the buyer. Maybe you have sold more houses in a single street or block in the past year than anyone else.
Demonstrating the things you say in your USP are true is the most important part of defining your brand.
Anyone can say they are better at selling houses than the competition. The important part for your audience is being able to prove or demonstrate that is true. Case studies, sales data, and customer testimonials are the vital tools that support your USP.
Closely analyse your own data and results for interesting trends or sales features; that make you stand out for your audience.
Remember, you don’t need to compare yourself and your USP with agents in other regions or sales areas. Look closely at what your figures and data say that makes you different for your audience in your market.
Live it and use it
The key things to remember about your USP are:
- It should be authentic; don’t pretend to be you’re not, or know something you don’t.
- It should be relevant: demonstrate how you are uniquely placed to help your clients.
- It isn’t set in stone. As you grow your business your USP can adapt and evolve with you and your successes.
It doesn’t mean you will pigeonhole yourself and miss out on other customers; Just because you specialise in something, doesn’t mean you won’t be helpful to others. It’s better to demonstrate specialist knowledge and specific successes than try to appeal to everyone for everything.
Ideas to get you started
- I have lived in this area for [XX number of] years. I understand this community, what it offers potential buyers and how to translate that into timely sales with good results
- In the past six months, I have sold [XX number of] properties in this suburb, with an average time on the market of [XX number of] days.
- In my spare time I like to play chess. What that’s taught me is how to analyse a situation as it changes and adapt a strategy to win.
- I have in-depth knowledge of the latest digital advertising tools and understand how to use them to get your property in front of the buyers most likely to be interested in your property.
- I’ve been part of [XX number of] transactions in this suburb in the past year. [XX number of] of those sold for [number]% over the asking price.
- I have [XX number of] years of experience in this area. I have seen the market rise and fall. I can adapt sales strategies to meet current market conditions and know what the market will offer.
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