In today’s market, having a great presentation will advance your impact on your market share. Any aspect of your business plays a significant role on how you present in your community. Clients want to be represented by a solidly-skilled negotiator. Offers need to be presented in a tactful and persuasive manner to benefit the consumer. And you, as a real estate agent will gain respect and recognition from your fellow colleagues when your presentation demands attention.
How would you ultimately benefit from mastering your presentation? What will happen to you and your business when you present yourself as an expert in your business? How confident would you feel when you will be able to present your marketing materials with the certainty that everything is part of a plan that YOU designed for yourself. How about when your clients call you up because their perception of you is that of an expert? Imagine becoming an expert of your local market, a solid negotiator, a master connector, a source of up-to-date information.
In my meetings with the agents on my team or outside of my office, I discovered that the roadblocks are all the same: “I am new at this business and no one will believe in me.” Or “I don’t know how to do this.” Or “I am not an expert because I haven’t sold anything.” Or, “I don’t have any money to spend now.” And most common one, “I don’t know where to start and what to do first.”
When I first started my real estate business, I was in the exact same position. I had some of the same road blocks. But soon thereafter I realized that time was running out. I could sense how the market was approaching a down slope and my opportunity to make an impact on my business was right there and THEN. I came to realize that I could not afford to wait and see. Nike’s tag like – “Just Do It!” – was resonating in my head. Except that it needed to do it sooner rather than later. So I told myself, “Do It NOW!”
Just like so many agents new in the business without any guidance or support, I too tried so many things at first. Some of them worked, some did not. I would get frustrated whenever things did not work the way I wanted and I was spending money on all the “shortcuts” – my main goal was to get my name out there in any way I could. So I was spending every single penny out of my already soon to be empty pocket. I couldn’t keep up with my expenses. I was getting even deeper in debt than I was when I started. It had to stop.
Then I asked myself. Who did I want to be? Who did I want to become? What did I have to contribute to the community? Who would listen to me? What was my message? I then started analyzing the market from every perspective. I knew the numbers, I was finally understanding the behavior of the market, I was in the market and even able to predict it. I was keenly aware of what the experts were saying and who the major players were and was learning from them. Soon after that, I became more confident about my knowledge of the market. I was gaining an understating of how I could help my future clients and how to address my audience.
My peers in the industry started to notice my presence in my market. My clients’ perception of me was in alignment with who I was becoming: an active player in my market, an expert. Some of the agents in my community were were actually flattering me on my marketing – I was providing valuable content in a non-traditional presentation – and on my negotiation skills. They wanted to do business with me. And the same my clients were seeking my advice and representation because they were feeling supported and taken care of. My services and presentation of what I was going to do for them was “magnetizing” them.
I am by no means bragging about my success. It is simply a way to show you that if I could do it, so can you. It does not have to be difficult. Real estate business is not easy, but it can be simple. We all look at the same numbers in the multiple listing system, don’t we? It is just a matter of how we interpret the numbers to our clients. My first broker was very young bright woman who actually got me into this business. She successful at influencing a lot of developers to work with her. She was much younger than me, and I kept thinking to myself: Wow I wish I had her success and her money to have the things that she had, and I caught myself daydreaming and wishing for things. So I said to myself: “Stop wishing and start working.”
NEW SOLUTION – 12 Engagers
If you look up the word engage in the English dictionary, you will see that its meaning is in perfect alignment with what it is what we do:
1. To obtain or contract for the services of: to employ: engage a (realtor).
2. To pledge or promise.
3. To attract and hold the attention of.
4. To win over or attract.
5. To draw into; involve; engage a person in a conversation.
6. To assume an obligation; agree.
This is the majority of your job description, right? To pledge? To attract? To engage in a conversation? So based on the fact that your job is to engage people and attract leads that you can turn into clients, I came up with a list of 12 Engagers that will charge your business to be able to stay charged and present in your market. Think of these engagers as “drivers” or “must do’s” or if I may, the “do it NOW-er’s”
So let’s take a look at these 12 Engagers.
1. YOUR MESSAGE. As I previously stated, your message is paramount. Who do you want to work with? What is your audience? What are the things that you what to achieve for your clients? What are your market’s needs and wants? Who are you going to attract? What type of niche market is going to give you maximum impact on your business? How can you contribute to your audience’s needs? What kind of impact can you have on your clients’ lives? And how can you be of service to your audience? The most important thing is to look back at the reason you got in this business in the first place. You must be passionate about what it is that you do. Passion is the number one driver in your business. The more you engage your passion, the more present you’ll be in your business. If you have the answers to these questions you’ll then become competent. And when you are passionate about your future, your message will be your pilot.
2. YOUR MISSION STATEMENT. You want to create a successful business, right? In order to have a successful business, you must have a mission statement. Now that you have your message, how can you let your audience know what it is that you stand for? Having a statement engages your audience in your vision, in what it is that you believe and wish to build for them and for your future. If you don’t know how to create a mission statement, then google it and you’ll find all kinds or services that will do it for you. My suggestion is that you go through this exercise on your own because you are the driver of your business. It is your passion that leads you to your future. So sit down with a blank piece of paper and write the words that speak the most to you. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It has to be meaningful to YOU! And to your clients. Here are some examples of mission statements from some of the Fortune 500 companies. These companies remain tightly focused on delivering quality in a competitive market. If you want to learn from the best, there are plenty of lessons waiting in these mission statements:
To combine strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers.
We will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
To be the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
I’ll share my mission statement from when I was selling real estate in Philadelphia:
Cristian David, Realtor
My mission to fulfill the dreams and meet the needs of any qualified buyer and motivated seller, according to their lifestyle.
3. YOUR STRATEGIC ANALYSIS OF YOUR MARKET AND ITS BEHAVIOR. This is a constant engager. It never stops. What are the numbers that you look at? Evaluate the volatility of the market. Historically, how has the market evolved and what are you predictions for its future. How has the economy affected the market and where do you see it moving towards?
4. YOUR MARKETING PLAN. You have your message (know your audience), your mission statement and you now you’re engaged in the market and its activity. Next you must develop a plan on how you are going to engage your audience. How are you going to “address” your audience? What are the tools you are going to use to “involve” your clients in a systematic and continuous way? How are you going to “occupy” and claim your farming area? This plan should be your pledge to your consumer that you are going to deliver the real facts and keep them informed of your market. Enlist the most logical ways to deliver your message through the most innovative and effective ways for the consumer to engage in your content. Be specific in your presentation of your content.
5. YOUR OVERALL PRESENTATION. I am not talking your listing or buyer presentation only. This engager refers specifically on your entire “package”: are you a good fit for your audience? Is your audience able to relate to you? We all attract and are attracted to those who we relate to and inspire us. No one wants to be in business with someone that has a negative energy or a sloppy presentation. You must aspire to look and be the best that you can be. I remember the day when one of the most successful agents and someone I highly respected in my market area told me once that he always opened up my marketing materials (open house announcements, new listings, etc.) because they were clean, concise, unique, elegant, stylish, and branded. He knew that when my name appeared in his inbox, he would expect to see something positive, consistent with my brand and in alignment with my overall looks and presentation. Having a consistency in how we present ourselves is crucial in any business, let alone in the real estate business. We must be aware of how we are being perceived by clients and our fellow industry peers. Presentation engages you in effective collaboration with others. It guarantees great results and constant referral base with your clients. You will attract that what you who you desire to be. So if you wish, for instance, to work with high-end clients and developers, then you must present yourself not only as the expert, but also enlist in an exquisite presentation of your deliverables: marketing materials and your overall appearance. This may be a tough subject for some, but I must address it. You don’t always have to be wearing an expensive suit (and tie, for men) to attract a high-end client. Unless that is your target audience. However, your appearance – the rhythm of your speech (if you have a thick accent – I know what that’s like, trust me – you might want to enlist in a speech course that makes your speech more suitable for your audience), the style of your dress code, the speed at which you move, the tonality of your voice, the overall energy that you give out. Remember, you are “holding the attention of” others with whom you wish to be in business with. If you wish to be selling high-end properties then stop wishing and start working on your appearance. And if you want to know more about how you can establish or improve your looks, speak to a consultant that would be able to assist you with helpful tips.
6. YOUR PROMISE. I am bringing this back because I do believe that it is important to me to remind you of this Engager. What is it that you promise to your clients? Can you deliver this promise? Are you confident in your ability to be the expert in your area? Do you have the right systems in place to make sure that you practice your business at a high level? When you get engaged to someone, you make a whole set of promises to them, primarily that of marrying them, right? And thereafter, every day of your life is guided by those promises to make sure you stay married and that you go above and beyond for your spouse. When you make a pledge to a consumer, you stay true to your mission statement and to your message and to whatever standards you set for yourself. A promise IS an engagement!
7. YOUR PACKAGING. Now you’re focused on your tools that you have enlisted in delivering your message. There are tools (some of them are among the 12 Engagers) that you must decide on to effectively communicate with your audience. How do you want to package your deliverable is a matter of choice? However, there are various methods of deliverance that can be unique to your brand and your market. The most important thing is to be able to relate to your audience. Your marketing has to be transcendent. Your marketing has to teach and instruct your audience. Your marketing has to be emotive in the way it is presented. Your marketing has to be memorable and actionable – does it make them do something? Does it make them act now? And of course, your marketing has to be social and networkable.
8. YOUR CONTENT. Have you ever thought about making some of your materials more educational and deliverable through perhaps an e-book that it would be easy to read and downloadable. How about writing a short narrative of your clients’ market area and interpreting the numbers and the statistics for them in a 5-10 page e-book that is attached to your email signature, for instance? How about educating your first-time home buyers or sellers on the step-by-step process of buying and selling their homes, respectively. Include prior experiences, road blocks, testimonials, tips, list of vendors, etc. Or how about educating potential investors? I am not suggesting writing a novel. Simply, offer something of value for free, engage them in a conversation or process, and most likely that it will lead to a potential signed contract for yourself.
9. YOUR WEBSITE. I see so many websites that focus on the agent primarily and pictures of listings that they may have or may never have or will have listed in their careers. They all look the same to me. They all seem to dedicate a significant square footage of web design to the About Me/Us section. The consumer is looking for something that would benefit THEM! They somehow made their way to your website, now what? What do they get from visiting your website? Are they learning anything from it? Are they engaged in taking action? Are they going to come back to use it or will they refer it to others? Ultimately and simply, does your website provide content and is your content actionable?
10. YOUR VIDEOS. Videos are perhaps the most engaging way in following up with your consumers, in the absence of direct face-to-face meeting. It is time that we all get used to the idea that videos have made their way into our lives a long time ago. And yet, only some of the real estate agents take advantage of it. I am convinced that you will NOT be invading anyone’s privacy by sending them a video of yourself following up with them on a previous or initial contact. Remember when you made that promise to them that you were going to get in touch with them again? Well, seeing your face on their computer or phone will remind them of who you are. Not only that, but your video will remind them of your energy and enthusiasm and passion for what you do. And that’s who they want to work with and be represented by. So stop wishing and start working on enlisting these engagers in your ongoing marketing activities today!
11. YOUR PROVIDERS. Your providers are those business partners and allies that work with you directly and enhance your business. Make sure you engage them too in your message and your vision. They are part of your mission statement.
12. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA. I left this one for the end because I believe that it closes the circle of the 12 Engagers. Many books and articles have been written along with an immense amount of web space that has been used to emphasize how important and relevant social media is to any business. How can one be doing business in real estate and not be active on social media. Not surprisingly, not much – if any – has been written on the effectiveness of NON-social media usage.
Did I mention it is free? Did I mention it is social and networkable? Did I mention it is relatable to your “friends”? Did I mention it is actionable? And surely, did I mention it is emotional? The people who you friend or associate yourself with on any of the social media outlets share their own life changes, experiences with you. You and your audience – friends and connections and Instagramers – share what it is that interests them and they engage you in their experiences. They instantly – Instagram displays life circumstances that happen instantly, not later – and so you must be active and seek those experiences so you can relate to them. Your job is to connect and engage NOW. Your job is not waiting to see later if at some point someone that may have heard of you will eventually come across someone else that could potentially mention your name. There is no app called Latergram, is there? On LinkedIn you share your professional success on line with your connections. You link IN – not out – with others that can relate to you and your networks. Facebook is so amazingly easy and user-“friendly” that is practically part of our lives in so many ways, and yet a lot of agents choose to be private. If you want to be private in this business, then do not expect people to open up to you and relate to you. Being private means being silent. And being silent means being unengaged.
These 12 Engagers will surely improve your business and your presentation. I am sure that there are a whole lot more out there that you can be categorized as an engager and I would be happy to have you write or email me your suggestions. My goal here is to motivate you to implement. The difference between ideation and implementation is the same difference between success and failure in life. The more you act out, the more successful you will be.
In the end, make sure you have service in mind in whatever it is that you do. Always think of how you can service your audience most effectively and don’t sell. Come from a place of contribution. Come from a place of instruction. Be engaged. Start conversations. Get involved. Create a list of wishes for yourself and your business. And then…just stop!
So, stop wishing and start working!