For most companies, 70% to 80% of their value may come from hard-to-assess intangible assets such as brand equity, intellectual capital, and goodwill. While company reputation might be seen as intangible, it can still have a significant impact on the value of a company.
It is no different with realtors. If you have a good reputation and are seen as somebody that offers more value than most, you are less likely to build more business. Your customers will be more loyal and will call for advice on a broader range of topics. You will also receive more referrals from both past clients and existing business partners. All these things increase your value.
A good reputation is built over time, so there is no time like the present to start taking steps to be seen as the go-to realtor in your town. Here are eight steps you can take right away:
1. Know Your Audience
Like any company that is trying to market themselves, you must know as much as possible about the audience you are trying to reach.
Who Are They? – Most realtors would say current and previous clients, current and long-term prospects and leads and business contacts from the local area like real estate attorneys, mortgage advisors, builders, and contractors. The truth is, everyone is part of your audience, from the person you meet at the cocktail party to the person you run into at your daughter’s basketball game. Everyone offers a new potential opportunity that can turn into a business relationship if you are seen as the leading expert.
What Do They Value? – People typically value others that are both authentic and knowledgeable. Nobody wants to do business with somebody who has a forced smile, (yes, they can tell), or who is more concerned with a pay day than being helpful. To build your reputation you need to be sincere about your desire to help people, you need to be knowledgeable while being friendly, charismatic, and communicative. You want to be somebody who cares more about helping people than just getting through a transaction.
2. Be A Resource
Continue to learn. The more you know, the more you are going to be able to offer insight and assistance to others. Your goal is to be viewed as the leading authority on real estate, the go-to person when somebody is looking to purchase or sell a home. You want people to be confident in your abilities and see you as somebody who knows what they are doing.
3. Participate in Community Events
Whether it be committees, community events, bowling leagues or your daughter’s basketball games, it pays to be involved. There are numerous ways to meet people. Try to do it in a way that shows you care (i.e., supporting an event, coaching a team, organizing a league etc.). Pick out a few things that interest you and offer your assistance. You’ll be surprised how much people appreciate it.
4. Align with a Cause
Let people know that by supporting you they are supporting a certain cause (Habitat for Humanity for example). Perhaps you offer to give a percentage of what you make from each transaction to the cause or align yourself in another way. People care about what you know, but they want to know that you care.
5. Deliver on Your Promises
If you are trying to build a good reputation, the worst thing you can do is fail to deliver on something you promised. Think before you make a promise and say no, or that you need time to investigate further, if there is doubt on your ability to deliver. Don’t lead people on only to disappoint at the end. It is better to under promise and over deliver than have the reverse.
6. Help Other Agents
You want to be somebody that others want to work with. If other agents have a limited number of showing times you want your client to be able to get a spot. If they have multiple offers you want them to know that you can get the deal to close. You want other realtors to like you and have confidence in your ability. To facilitate this, you should:
Communicate effectively by returning calls and messages in a timely fashion.
Show support when working on transactions together and always be professional.
Share information that others might find helpful
If you find good training classes, books or other resources share them.
Don’t talk down about another agent. When you do this people tend to wonder what you say about them when they aren’t around. It reflects worse on you than the agent you are talking about.
7. Stay in Touch
You are trying to build relationships. The best way to do this is to, again, show people that you genuinely care. Personalize your messaging, use a CRM or some other system to stay organized and timely and strive to offer insight and value in all your communiques. Stay in touch on a regular basis, it is only through repetition that you build a brand. Additionally, use the phone. A recent study by Cultural Outreach showed that buyers prefer phone calls 2 to 1 over other methods of communication. Using a phone also makes it easier to build a personalized relationship verses emails or text messages.
8. Strong Online Presence
An estimated 97.5% of buyers turn to online research to prepare for the home buying process. You should be sure you have a strong online presence. Third party reviews are one of the most influential ways of shaping perception so make sure you collect testimonials from past clients and look to partner with services that can help you collect and manage online reviews and feedback. Include these on your site, along with pictures of past houses you have sold and any statistics - such as awards won or dollar volume of deals closed – that can enforce your reputation as someone who is knowledgeable, caring and trustworthy.
Realtors, Refer Your Clients to EMM Loans!
At EMM loans, our loan officers know that by referring a client to them, you are putting your hard-earned reputation on the line. We know we have a responsibility to uphold this reputation, a responsibility we take very seriously. To talk to a loan officer that is just as concerned about their reputation as you, feel free to contact us.