Agent Talk: 3 Biggest Challenges Facing Realtors TodayDec 15, 2022
Earning a living from selling real estate is hard work, and it's not like they portray it to be on television. Who wouldn't want to show fabulous homes, drive luxury cars, wine & dine with high-profile clients, and then cash in huge commission checks for deals that took days to pull together? The reality is that getting your real estate license is just the beginning of becoming a small business owner. Not only are you learning how to best guide clients through a real estate transaction, but you quickly learn that you'll need to market yourself, generate leads, sell your services to your new leads, create business goals for yourself, keep impeccable records and then be your own accountant. All of these tasks can lead to an incredible amount of overwhelm and busy work. Plus the time freedom you get from being your own boss means you are in charge of what you focus on, and for so many, they focus on the wrong things. Focusing on the wrong things leads to a lot of work without a whole lot of return which is the number one reason why more than 85% of agents fail within the first 5 years.
What to focus on?
If you are a newer agent, you might recall that when you first join a brokerage, your manager will likely tell you to email and call your "sphere", and let them know you are a new real estate agent and you are ready to do business with them and their friends. These are the people who already know, like, and trust you, so it shouldn't be that hard to generate some leads from your friends, right? Not so fast! Most people already know several agents they know, like, and trust, so what makes you different? Why would someone refer a friend who is thinking of selling their home to a brand-new agent that has never done a transaction before? This isn't like buying something at a retail store, it's a house, which for most people is their largest asset. So it's safe to say most people want some proof that you can sell it fast and for top dollar. This is why many new agents get their business from meeting buyers at open houses or referrals for first-time buyers instead of home sellers. So if you are struggling to get leads and referrals, don't be discouraged, there are some things you can do to start generating some business for yourself.
3 Biggest Challenges Today
First of all, it's important to understand the three biggest challenges facing agents today.
#1 Today's buyers and sellers are super informed
Today's buyers and sellers have Zillow and Realtor.com apps on their phones, and if they are in the market for a new home, believe me, they are very self-educated on the homes for sale. Likely, they will already have researched availability, sold prices per square foot, and have gathered any free information you can find readily online before they speak to you. In the days before Zillow, agents were the only ones who had this information, so even as a newer agent, you knew more than the client. Today, you could run into someone who knows a lot more than you about a specific neighborhood in your zip code or city you do business. And so the problem is that people want to hire professionals that know more than they do. If they suspect that they are more knowledgeable than you are about something, it's likely they will not value the service you are providing and may decide to work with someone else.
What can you do?
- Get to know the area that you serve: spend time going to the broker caravans to know the inventory so you can speak to specifics attributes, features, and facts that clients may not be aware of, like how a floorplan of a home is better or worse than pictured or how the street is a wonderful street for kids because many of the neighbors have school-age children, etc.
#2 You don't understand what differentiates you or WHY someone should hire you
When someone asks you what you do for a living what do you say? If your answer is "real estate agent," then you are truly missing out on a golden opportunity to gain an instant follower. Using the simple answer is a mistake because everyone knows an agent already, so when you say "realtor" or "agent" then they will immediately lump you into the category of all the agents they already know and assume you are the same as them.
Don't let this happen to you! You must understand what your strengths are and highlight those to people in a one-liner so they recognize how you are different. Once you do this, ask them to follow you on your social media and let them know the benefits they will receive by doing that. I've created a free 18 page workbook to help you with this called: Turning everyday conversations into followers and leads for your real estate business.
#3 Focus on the wrong things
As I mentioned earlier, being a small business owner means you are in charge of how you spend your time all day long, every single day. This can be great if you are very organized and block out time on your calendar for income-producing tasks and leave busy work for last. The problem is that most people get pulled in many different directions throughout the day and so just getting through a to-do list can feel like an uphill battle.
So what are the income-producing tasks? I'll tell you what it's not first:
- It's not joining tons of groups and then never talking about real estate.
- It's not posting and ghosting on social media
The answer is: To simply have more engaging conversations about real estate with more people.
Most agents will tell you that it's making calls to people you know or have met and simply asking for referrals. They may also tell you to join groups and connect with people so you can ask them for referrals. The problem with this for most agents is that unless you are a natural "salesperson", it feels so awkward to call people to ask for something without giving something first. It is in our nature to want to provide value before we ask for something; in fact, it's called the law of reciprocity, and it's very powerful. The law states that if we do something nice for someone, they will likely want to return the favor or do something nice in return.
So, what value can you give someone before you ask for a referral? People might say it's a home buyers guide or a home sellers guide or a neighborhood guide or something similar. I think that may have worked in the era before Zillow, but not anymore. You need to provide value that is unique and someone is interested in, so they will be engaged with what you have to say. This is actually much easier than it sounds!
If the thought of asking for referrals without providing value makes you cringe, then you will LOVE this simple strategy I have for you to provide value first, and allows you to have more engaging conversations about real estate more often. Download my free 18 page workbook that will help you identify your strengths and help you with creating a one-liner so that you feel more confident about having more conversations about real estate with more people!
Learn more about Wellness Real Estate and how you can start engaging your audience with real estate related topics that is easy as copy & paste!