Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents Competition in real estate…
10 Ways to Make an Indelible Impression
How many times in your life have you tried to persuade someone to do something that would be good for them, but they wouldn’t budge? And what happened when you tried to convince a homeowner to sell their house and use you as their real estate agent? A stubborn silence. And when you gave an inspirational speech at your club ending with grand applause, you discovered no one actually acted on your uplifting plea. Humbling.
To create change and build intent – you must overcome the prospect’s inertia and make a strong impact
And as we explore in this epic post on making impact, the impact has to be an extension of your value proposition to really make an indelible impression. Right now, your poorly designed, uninspiring, unhelpful website, lack of freebies, quality content, persuasive videos, and missing home and condo listings gives the wrong impression to visitors. That’s the other side of impact where you leave a crater of indifference.
The buyer doesn’t want to be sold; the buyer wants to be wowed – From Salesforlife.com
I’m not trying to be disheartening. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to make an impact and WOW a prospect. Everyone seems jaded and overwhelmed with limitations. And here’s the kicker, that just because you know how, doesn’t mean it will happen — it will take money, expertise, hard work and action.
Think about the reasons you’re not phoning me right now to hire me to create a boatload of leads for you. Why? Because I haven’t made an impact with my brand image and unique value proposition. You’re aware of a certain set of solutions from providers you understand. It’s my job to open your mind to new possibilities and insights. Until I change your mind, you will never respect me as the top, free, organic lead producer. Whether it’s clients in Los Angeles, Toronto, Boston or Vancouver, they all want to be wowed and have a great experience with you.
It’s very competitive and some of our competitors have $20,000+ websites, huge PPC budgets, content strategists, writers, videographers, and big money partnerships that simply blow us out of the water. 6 years ago, our current approach would have dominated. Today, we look like we’re driving an old Ford Model T down a Dubai freeway. Our pride takes a hit for a while but when you read this post, you’ll begin to see how you can upgrade your approach to fascinate your prospects. My goal is to make you so unique you won’t have to be concerned with competition.
Impact, Convince, and Move to Action
Getting people to do things is not easy. Sort of like pushing a 50 ton boulder off of your front lawn. The ground and the weight conspire to keep things as they are. That’s why so many bosses prefer to use threats when they want to “inspire” action. It’s a time-tested method that’s still popular in these enlightened times:)
Breaking static inertia is one of the top tasks of sales conversion – treat it like a science that you must apply with artistic flair — your words, stories, imagery, tone of voice, and facts are your paint brush.
Your goal and vision: you need to increase sales and more importantly to build and sustain your career as a realtor, broker, or mortgage agent. But don’t expect to convince with a single need or tactic. I’m going to help you see much deeper and give you the 10 best ways to generate impact on your prospects. None of them want to budge, which is why pretty pictures of homes, and trite descriptions of the wonderful neighborhood never work. But with knowledge and insight, and the best 10 levers to apply force, you’ll get the boulder moving as fast as you want.
The first thing to do in this process is to clear your head. Forget what you know or don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Stay away from people who are stuck with their head in the sand and lack motivation, and associate with people who are progressive and have few limits. This will get you in the right mindset, and mindset is important. You can’t sell progress and lifestyle unless you truly believe it.
What is Client Inertia Anyway?
The power that keeps your prospects stuck is called inertia. It’s the result of a lack of confidence, fear of loss, and a lack of goals and vision about the future. People stay stuck because they believe they’re better off where they are. It’s simple pain/pleasure stimulus. They’re avoiding pain even if there’s decreasing pleasure in their lives. They could be bored, unfulfilled, and their neighbourhood or city just doesn’t do it for them anymore yet they stay in their comfort zone. How about you moving their comfort zone by using well placed emotional levers?
Some scientists say inertia is a physical force, but it isn’t. It’s the simply gravity, the weight of their lives with responsibilities, values, concepts, experience, and self-doubt. Sometimes this boulder doesn’t move because there are smaller rocks or shims stuck underneath that further prevent movement. People are like that too with all these little things preventing growth and commitment to a better life. So how do you create forward motion when the inertia seems overwhelming? You use levers to apply against each of the reasons they’re stuck. So let’s look at their excuses/reasons:
- I’m comfortable right now and contented
- My kids and wife and extended family prefer that things stay as they are
- My workplace is within reach
- Our home is perfect for us
- I have many friends and acquaintances in my neighborhood
- My knees hurt from the stairs but another 5 years won’t kill me
- I understand this neighborhood
- I can’t see any reason for changing
- We make enough money and we get by
- We’re waiting for the kids to leave school in 14 years
- This is the best neighborhood in the best city
- Other homes are too expensive
- No one would want to buy this place
- The economy and housing market is going to tank soon
- We’d rather buy some new, prestigious luxury cars
- Our kid’s school is the best in the country
- We don’t like starting over with nothing
- Moving is a big chore that we can’t do
- We don’t need a big yard with room and freedom
- We can’t afford to move
- Our kids are struggling at school but they love their friends and activities
Finding the Right Leverage Points is the Key
Getting any forward motion or commitment is good, but it may not be the right power source.
There are hundreds of reasons (excuses) why people will stay put and not do what they should do. So inertia is a multidimensional defense against change. You could solve a bunch of things and they still won’t budge.
To get over inertia, you need impact. Impact is an emotional response that creates immediate intent. When Wow a prospect, it fills them with a need to do something and they jump off the fence and begin a process to improve their lives.
You’ll inspire fascination, awe, surprise, joy, confidence, belief and intent that creates motion. If you’re good at this you’ll get immediate action. Sometimes, they’re just waiting for you to Wow them. Other times, they’re unknown strangers you can’t reach. (That’s why your SEO and social media outreach are so important. Have you heard of social media listening, and predictive analytics? There’s plenty happening in the digital real estate sector you need to open up to).
The Basic Causes of Client Inertia
But before you go ahead and stimulate that intent in your prospects, you should know what the inertia factors are and what actions you need them to take to choose you as their realtor. The end goal isn’t to sell their house, it’s to hire you. When you solve several problems, they begin to see you as the only realtor who could help them. You’re making impact through multiple contacts and successes and that’s good branding that will get referrals and repeat business.
And by the way, this is a battle requiring strategy, tactics, resources and other tools of persuasion. We don’t just want to persuade. We must convince and generate motion. Get out a big notepad and start jotting down all their characteristics and the excuses they gave about why they’re not doing what they should do. Excuses are a gold mine of information (e.g., our lives are great here and there’s nowhere else we’d rather live).
What makes people willing to listen to you and commit to forward action?
- You give information that confirms their doubts about them staying put where they are
- You give information they’re missing that causes them to reevaluate something
- You give information that makes them uncomfortable with their status quo
- You make them realize they could lose out on a significant opportunity to gain wealth or a better life
- You make them aware of something that will make them feel happier and more secure
- You present something that could make them look smart or create more wealth
- You make them aware of that their loved ones aren’t doing so well where they are
- You make them aware that their neighborhood and schools aren’t so great
- You present an issue that has a deadline they must deal with
- You create an inspiring image of their life as it could be
- You were transparent and open talking about how such changes have benefited your life
- You impressed them with the importance of having something they don’t have now
- You shared stories of people who are respected because they acted and progressed
- You presented images/stories of people who are happier because they sold their old house
- You made their old house sound undesirable with a downward value and high upkeep
- You made it seem important to keep up with everyone else and your story about the ones who fell behind had certain details they could immediately relate to
- You painted a beautiful picture of their new life that has everything they need so there’s nothing to be afraid
- Your story about how the status quo creates ill health, lower income, stale relationships, increasing stress and how only progress creates security and happiness
Avoid Activating the Left Side of Their Brain
Blatant, direct anecdotes and statements will fail. Instead, as you know because you’re a sales pro, that stories and analogy are better. Only details that backup the stories are used. Appeal to the right side of their brain and bypass the critical left side. Develop your stories and keep away from details because details activate the critical left side of the brain which is rarely your friend. Treat the left side of their brain like an undesirable associate of theirs who is crashing the party. Big picture clarity, humor, fun, and proof of successful outcomes will keep the cynical part of their mind from ruining the party.
Advertisers believe constant repetition and persistence are keys to sales success. They aren’t. The better your strategy the fewer face to face meetings you’ll need to get their wheels turning. If it takes you 15 meetings to get the sale, your technique is not good. You need upgrading or a very good website to help you out with better qualified leads.
Here’s a little bit of theory for your new prospecting and sales persuasion strategy:
The 10 pillars of the status quo and where you’ll need to make an impact:
- Security – reliance on current friends and family
- Convenience – time management and access to resources
- Familiarity and idealization of their current situation
- Fear of the unknown – uncertainty about the economy and other people
- Lack of confidence – insufficient self-directedness and belief in a better life
- Lack of resources – insufficient money, connections, and information
- Lack of inspiration and vision for their future – no goals or wish for a better life
- Lack of energy and enthusiasm – a life wrapped around inertia
- Pessimism, conventional thinking, and strong belief in limits
- Fear of loss which reduces their self-esteem and self-respect
What are the top 10 best ways to make impact and generate immediate intent and action?
Refer to our list above and apply an action you can take to remedy each. Don’t stop with just one because you may need to nail all of them to get action. Find out what their most important desire/need/wish is and present something awesome that blows them away. Your conversational skills will get a workout and you’ll enjoy the power you get from leveraging every persuasive asset possible. You’re going to move mountains.
Security – Interest them in a neighbourhood that’s closer to family and friends yet provides potentially more good stable friends and opportunities for family gatherings where relatives can visit. No negatives, just more positives.
Convenience – a home that’s closer to their work, recreational activities, kids schools, shopping, and highways. Tell them how much time and money they’ll save and how that will ease stress to give them more quality time.
Familiarity – highlight all of the similarities of their new neighborhood/town to their old one and emphasize where it’s better with the features they really like (parks with walking paths). They idealize their old situation, so they’d have to agree that this new location is better and just like home. Show them a drone aerial video of the new neighborhood including some of the recreational facilities or other relevant attractions there.
Fear of the unknown – prepare research on home values, schools, job trends, migration and demographic trends, neighborhoods, and include books, websites, and discount offers from businesses in the new neighborhood so they’ll visit it. Tell them what’s compelling about the people in this new neighborhood.
Lack of confidence – learn of their accomplishments, what they changed and overcame, and what things might be limiting them. Take them for a drive to the neighborhood. You can talk casually and discover why they’re insecure, or lack belief in themselves. Just having someone to listen might loosen them up to new beliefs about themselves. Ask non-threatening questions and let them talk themselves into it after seeing a picture of a more confident successful person in the new location.
Lack of resources – if the new location offers better access to jobs, information, connections, and other key resources, they will be compelled to agree that it could provide new resources they value.
Lack of inspiration and vision for their future – tell stories of other people who are living inspired, meaningful, exciting, and accomplished lives and who realized them by pursuing and striving for important goals. If they have little motivation, you need to present a credible goal for them, perhaps something they weren’t even aware of, which will surprise them.
Lack of energy and enthusiasm – when you challenge their beliefs about limitations and show how others achieved their goals by moving toward the things they truly want, you’re lifting the oppressive weight of limits they’ve written in stone. The more they hear about or read about others who are doing what they want to do, their spirit will come back to life.
Pessimism, conventional thinking, and limits – learned and self-imposed limits are hard to overcome so you need to shock them into awareness of how they’re their own worst enemy. Ask them about their past and how they progressed to where they are now, and ask them about alternatives they could have chosen and whether they believe they’re living their ideal life. Connect their conventional thinking to the worst part of their current life, and demonstrate how people who live without limits are more secure, happy and optimistic. Pessimism is painful, so give them a reason to let go of it.
Fear of loss – change means letting go of something that doesn’t work anymore for something that will produce more happiness, value and comfort. If the relevant vision of the future you help them create is strong enough they will begin to let go. Tell them they’re just moving and their old stuff and friends are still nearby and that the move will make them a special new person to the old crowd.
You’re not really selling a house or buying one, you’re helping them change the quality of their lives. That means finding the right home or condo in the right neighborhood so they can easily see they’re transitioning to a better life.
Now if you’re a smart realtor who has already developed a database system that matches up all these characteristics of prospects to houses and neighborhoods that suit them, I want to hear from you because you’re on the ball. That’s one powerful resource that would make all the other selling tasks much easier.
If some of the above impact tactics are not for you or can’t be done, put more effort into the ones that can work for you. 3 of them might work well enough, but once you get some movement in the client, you’ll likely find you can use the others well too.
Here’s WOW marketing expert John Dwyer with his views on how to attract more clients using Wow factor.
I hope I’ve loosened up some of the self-imposed limits that are stopping you from really ramping up your sales effectiveness. And I hope I can help you apply these principles on your website and social channels. A new IDX website, convincing informational blogs, and engaging social conversations are key resources online and you’ll become more confident with them as you use them. And you’ve got my help giving you awesome presence on Google!
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I bring them in and you convert them. We’re a team.