Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.
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44 March 2017 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Smart agents understand the ur- gency to make simple, high-impact changes that create true unique- ness. Here are a few ideas to create a top-value experience that makes you stand out from the crowd: 1. From dull to dynamic In his book "The Collapse of Distinc- tion," author Scott McKain emphasiz- es the need to go beyond differentia- tion to distinction. Distinction sets a higher standard than differentiation, so take a minute to assess what you offer now and how you can ramp up specific services to take them from dull to dynamic. Start by taking a piece of paper and drawing a big "T" on the page. On one side, write down what ac- tivities, programs, strategic partner- ships and lead programs you cur- rently offer, but by today's standards are old and dated. On the other side, list how you can update those systems and part- nerships to an impressive level far above standard service. Address ar- eas where you can incorporate new, measureable initiatives, like the use of automated lead capture and con- version platforms, web-based video marketing and upgraded lead-gener- ation platforms. 2. Define what your customers get now, then go for 'wow' Smart selling requires listening to what the customer really wants. Highly successful agents under- stand how to interpret the value their customers and clients want, rather than adding items the cus- tomer doesn't necessarily value. Start by identifying areas in the process where the customer needs specific counseling, like inspec- tions, testing requirements, and more. Set up expert counseling with your loan professional to walk them through the mortgage process, in- cluding how to weigh the many op- tions for getting the transaction to a smooth closing. 3. Define your process At every opportunity during the buy- ing or selling process, prepare your prospects with a checklist of servic- es they can expect from you. Define how often they prefer to connect with you, and confirm their preferred plat- form: email, video email, text, phone, chat, etc. This connection will help them through one of their biggest fi- nancial decisions, so being informed is an important part of the process. 4. Brand yourself before the appointment Few agents take advantage of a pre- appointment system to set up a dif- ferent experience from the get-go. Connect the client with your manager, your client care coordinator and your lender partner before the actual ap- pointment to begin their experience of care and endorsement. Success- ful agents understand the power of such positioning to get the attention of the seller in an uncommon way. 5. Go customer-centric, and crush it Today's consumer is uninterested in your awards and ratings. They are in- terested in what's in it for them. What they look for is a good real estate experience from a trusted advisor, so think through what you can do to shift the focus in your service model from features to targeted benefits. Use the seven types of differentia- tion* to search out ways to exceed standards and position yourself as a resource that resonates with their preferences. When you shoot for exceptional, you can expect to build long-term re- lationships and endless referrals. RE *Contact Terri for a report on the 7 types of differentiation. Terri Murphy is a communication engagement special- ist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of MurphyOn- RealEstate.com. Contact her at TerriMurphy.com, MurphyOnReal- Estate.com or Terri@TerriMurphy.com. From Differentiation to Distinction by Terri Murphy W hy is it such a challenge for an agent to really stand out in their marketplace? The answer is that many of us continue to perform the same way as everybody else. Without a uniqueness to "how we do what we do," it's easy to understand why the consumer has reason to question our value, when it seems that we all provide similar service.