US News & World Report, a very well respected media source, staff writer Marty Nemko authored “Overrated Career: Real Estate Agent.” The report has such perception crushing lines like:
“Because it’s an easy field to get into, there’s a real estate agent on every corner.” This idea challenges the reality of the “professional Realtor” a person dedicated to the industry with valuable experience and even better connections to the market–exactly what every consumer wants when they are making the biggest transaction of their lives.
Perception: the majority of Realtors are know nothing bored housewives or worse yet “trophy” wives, retirees with nothing to do, or part time entrepreneurs who figure they can wing it and make a few bucks.
“And demand for agents is declining, since the Internet makes it possible to buy and sell property with little or no help from a professional.” This is simply false and stupid information. Unless you are an attorney or former agent, you best not try to go it alone and buy or sell property, without consultation, online to save money.
If you are a Realtor and reading this you SHOULD be outraged! In fact you should be ready to challenge these perceptions. But sadly the majority of Realtors and their brokers do not have a blog that would help them defend their reputation, defend the perception of their industry ie job description, or provide rebuttal commentary thwarting the continued misconceptions that are being falsely ingrained in the public consciousness one media article at a time.
Task #1 Perception Is Your Best Weapon and Your Worst Enemy
Timing and Opportunity: Today’s housing market crisis is the greatest single opportunity for outstanding professional Realtors to ONCE AND FOR ALL distinguish themselves while locking out their competition–forever. By staying in business, selling homes, representing clients, and continuing to practice at the highest ethical levels you will set in stone your reputation and create the perception that is reality.
Substance Factor: Create a completely transparent profile of your business practices as a Realtor, your educational background, your complete career track record of sales, your involvement within the community(s) you sell or represent, and list any awards or honors you have received for your work both professionally and volunteer. You do volunteer within your community right?
Tone: Advertising in newspapers, radio spots, or even television is perceived as “a blatant sales pitch” something consumers will scrutinize rather than evaluate. The “tone” Realtors use is akin to a used car salesman’s pitch and so outdated it can be painful to watch. Stop selling yourself as the most reputable, most experienced, most intelligent, hardest working, or best of everything! Nobody believes these self ingratiating claims because they are coming from you the Realtor–they have no credibility with someone who has never met you.
Your mantra should involve GIVING AWAY VALUE WITHOUT ASKING FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN.
Action Plan Perception to Reality
1. Start blogging today and write about your community, schools, small businesses, market, weather, and everything that makes up the areas you serve.
2. Speak in front of every civic group, rotary, grassroots organization, Kiwanis Club, association, and consumer lead groups you can convince to have you present. GIVE them valuable information with NO sales pitches–just information each group can use.
“State of Your Market” free weekly Town Hall meetings where you present and then allow the community to give feedback live.
3. Newsletter circulation begins with exposure so write about your State of the Market address, recent helpful homeowner tip, speaking engagements and groups you addressed, or a new development within the industry. Keep people informed and they will consider you an expert and perceive you as a professional Realtor.