Last week I had the honor of speaking at the Region XI conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What an event, put on primarily by Cathy Colvin, 2018 Region XI Vice President; and my NAR colleague, Nobu Hata.
The beauty of the event was its simplicity – each speaker had 20-30 minutes to provide an engaging, Ted-talk style update on their area of expertise. Of course I was there to encourage everyone to look for the global business opportunities, of which there are many, in Region XI. Did you know that Utah is the most linguistically diverse of all the U.S. states? Or that Wyoming’s tourism department led six international trade missions last year, attracting business and travel investment from all over the world? And Nevada has over 200 foreign companies employing 40,000 workers in their state!
Words matter, actions matter more While the topics spanned a variety of subjects, the speakers who discussed working with clients presented a common theme: words matter, but your actions matter more. Every agent has a pre-written listing presentation, a “track record of proven success”, and a passion for real estate. What can help you stand out is showing your current and prospective clients that you are passionate about people, your city/town, and that you remember them and what matters to them – even after you’ve helped them find the home of their dreams.
You have the opportunity to reach prospective clients each and every day – in the grocery store, at the dry cleaner’s, picking your kids up from school. This is not to say you need to be in sales mode everywhere you go. But just by being genuine, authentic, you; you can show people you care and you know what matters to them. That is the part of a real estate agent that people remember and refer business to and from.
How to stand out Whether your next client is from the U.S. or far away, they are all looking for that comfort factor with a real estate agent that gives them the assurance that they are in good hands, and that you can offer them more than a list of houses to look at. For clients who aren’t from your area, the way to stand out is to help them visualize themselves living in your city. What are the grocery stores like? What parks can they take their young family to? What amenities are nearby for them to live out their retirement comfortably? What’s your favorite restaurant when you just need good ol’ comfort food?
Each state, no matter the region, geography, or topography has its own unique attributes making it attractive to foreign buyers. With over $200 billion in foreign investment coming to the U.S., there are foreign buyers in your neck of the woods. Make sure your web site has videos, photos, and information about the area that only a local can provide: “There is a grocery store within a 5 minute drive of every neighborhood!” or “Tired of Starbucks? We have the best boutique coffee shop with a bakery inside. Tell [insert barista] I sent you!”
Consumers are doing the research on what homes are for sale in the market long before they reach you. They are likely even shopping for real estate agents – make sure you stand out from the crowd by offering that “something more” that they can’t Google.
Cindy Fauth (RCE, AHWD, CIPS, ePRO,) is Director of Global Marketing & Business Development for the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial & Global Services team. She joined NAR in September 2009, helping real estate agents and associations "go global" by promoting the programs and tools of NAR Commercial & Global Services.