Have you ever come across a billboard you thought was ridiculous? It may have made you chuckle a bit, or you may have thought it was corny. Regardless of your feelings, the fact that you remembered the billboard was an attempt to stand out from a business — and it did its job.
But doing something outlandish is not the only way to stand out in real estate. Yes, you can go the billboard route and do real estate parodies on Game of Thrones, the Lego Movie, or “Thinking about moving to Canada after the elections?” However, is that how you want local homebuyers and sellers to think of you?
This is where real estate business strategy comes into play. A new kind of consumer shops around and makes purchase decisions today, compared to consumers in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Google calls them “Gen C.” They’re a generation that relies on peers (and reviews) to decide on who to use in real estate. They use those same peers to decide whether or not they will buy the house they like. They constantly seek approval and a sense of community.
A lot of times real estate professionals will think about how they stand out in contrast to other real estate professionals. Instead, think about how you’ll stand out against Gen C, the type of clients you’re facing today. So, let’s dive into real estate business strategy a bit.
Introducing Business Strategy to Stand Out
The kernel to good strategy starts with a diagnosis. If you don’t understand what’s challenging your business, then how would you define a strategy to beat it?
Look at your market and identify the forces working against you. Most will probably cite the recent rise of the iBuyer movement. Companies like Zillow and OpenDoor are making huge moves. Others will mention a dominate real estate team in their market. Now, simplify that “competition” and how they are presenting value to a consumer, i.e. your clients.
The iBuyer movement is about the ability to sell quickly and have cash in hand. It’s about reducing the work to list a house and get it sold. Now identify the downside to their value. Are clients getting the most value for their property? How can you help them there? That’s an opportunity to stand out in your real estate market
Good business strategy (in real estate) also involves a guiding policy and a set of corresponding actions. Think about your approach to overcoming the challenges to your business. Then, design a series of actions to accomplish this approach. The actions must be coordinated. Link them. Tie them together!
By crafting a business strategy that focuses on delivering a different value to clients, you have a strong foundation to stand out in real estate. And oftentimes, all you have to do is look at the competition in your industry (or market) and ask yourself “what’s the weakness?” How can you carve an opportunity from that? But again, let me remind you, stay focused on the value to the client. That is key to success in real estate.
Define a Value Proposition to Set Yourself Apart
When you boil it down, a value proposition is the message you communicate to potential clients. It’s the marketing message that defines who you are. It answers what kind of business you are. Most people will know you are in real estate already, but do you specialize with a particular audience, like military relocations for example? Or first-time homebuyers?
A well-crafted value proposition is forged from a market analysis (i.e. what does your competition communicate) and from where you envision your brand. For inspiration, think about different products you like and visit their website. Pay attention to the headlines they use. Look at the colors they use. What kind of emotions are they invoking?
Now, think about the emotion and value you want to invoke? How would you put that into a few sentences? How would you illustrate that with your website and logo?
Example: Dollar Shave Club vs Gillette
Further reading: Harvard Business School’s Breakdown of a Value Proposition
Still Not Sure How to Stand Out? Consider “Operational Effectiveness”
If you’ve looked at the competition in your real estate market, and still aren’t sure how to create a “unique” business, there’s an alternative to think about. It’s called “Operational Effectiveness.” If your business positioning leaves you in the same boat as other real estate agents, then begin examining how you can improve your processes instead. This is a small way to stand out against competition.
Essentially, answer: “How you can do things better than your competition?”
An easy way to go about this is by assessing which technologies can improve your service to clients. Do you use the best real estate CRM? Are you using integrations to better power your tasks and accountability?
By looking at your strategic positioning and your operational effectiveness, you have two amazing ways to define your business strategy and stand out in a crowded real estate market.
Stand Out with the Best Real Estate Software
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