I love perusing the blog posts at ActiveRain. The agents that post there are typically more active than their peers, utilize technology more and thirst for new ways of working and new ideas.
It never ceases to amaze me, however, how lacking in original thought many agents are nowadays. I knew that to be true when I was an active agent and I’m shocked to find it still so prevalent.
If you are basing the marketing of your business on assumptions of who you think your typical client is and where he or she will come from, this tip is for you.
Don’t “Think,” KNOW! (That’s the tip)
This morning, while performing research for my E-book, I came across an older Active Rain post about why real estate agents “suck,” written by a real estate agent, for real estate agents.
The author offered an engaging look at most of my pet peeves about real estate agents. The responses, however – over 300 of them – were by far the most entertaining reading I’ve done all day. Some of them, in fact, contained so much irony I thought perhaps Jonathan Swift came back from the great beyond and opened a school for real estate agents.
“I absolutely hate the stereotype we fall under,” bemoans an agent in a thread riddled with stereotypes about potential real estate clients.
See if you can catch the biggest, most dangerous stereotype of the day:
“I think the baby boomers are still going to pick up books in the grocery store but everyone else is looking online first, researching second and then picking up the phone,” posted an older agent.
Then, the following, from the new face of real estate, an up and coming young agent:
“The agent who uses the technology is the agent who gets the sale. Bottom line. Since they’re really going to have to start catering to us twenty-somethings coming into the market during this recession . . .”
While the irony is rich, the stereotype is one of the issues the author of the post was talking about. This continued, blind reliance on outdated assumptions about who your prospective client is will kill your business faster than anything else, and is the reason why many consumers think you “suck.”
I live in Las Vegas, where there are well-known statistics about Blackjack. Don’t hit on anything over a 17, always split 8s and aces and always double down on an 11 are some of the most common. These statistics help the player even the odds in a game well known to give the house a huge edge.
The smart player researches these statistics before hitting the table and goes into the game grounded in facts, not assumptions.
While all of the agents in that Active Rain thread professed a reliance on and a certain amount of savvy when it comes to technology, few of them apparently use it to get the edge in their business.
Where did the idea come from that young adults are more Internet savvy than baby boomers? It’s something I, myself, have never heard yet not one, but two agents let it so readily slip off their tongue, or keyboard.
Like Blackjack statistics, real estate client research is common. From the National Association of Realtors to independent university studies, there is no shortage of information about who is buying real estate, how much money they have and how they shop. These statistics are not at all difficult to find online and invaluable information for the real estate businessperson.
Had those two agents spent a little time researching statistics they would both have known when to double down — that the folks you want to cater to are not “twenty something.” In fact, the folks you want to cater to haven’t seen 20 in over 30 years: Baby Boomers.
Since 96 percent of homebuyers check the Internet first, and most internet users are over 50, and 50 percent of folks over 50 plan to sell and buy a home and older adults have far more money to spend than those in their twenties, doesn’t it make a whole lot of sense to “cater to” them?
So get that picture of the cute young couple out of your head if you hope to be a more productive agent and always, always, always stay on top of the latest consumer research.
Just as you’ll never walk away from the blackjack table with money in your pocket if you base your play on assumptions, you are not going to be more productive in real estate basing your marketing on what you “think” or “assume” to be true.
That is why rule number one in becoming a more productive real estate agent is “Don’t Think.” Don’t assume. Do some research and find out exactly from which “pool” your next client is likely to come.