Give the Consumers What They Want!

What does the consumer want?  Through my experience highly successful real estate agents have figured out that consumers today want an agent the provides them with solutions to their problems.  They are not looking to solve the real estate agents problems.  Agents who are “outcome” oriented will always fail.  When the agent provides benefits and solutions to the consumer, everyone wins…

So why is it so difficult for most real estate agents to grasp this simple concept?  I feel the “traditional” system of real estate sets agents up for failure.  Think about it, the first marketing or advertising piece is the business card.  Agents  copy what other agents do and put their picture on their business card.  Yes, this is branding, and the agent is the “CEO and president” of their own domain, but what if there was no picture?  Would the agent loose business?  What if the agent had two types of business cards. One for buyers and one for sellers.  What if the business card offered links to the agents website that could help “YOU” the consumer.  This is just a small example, but an important example since it the beginning of the real estate agents marketing to the consumer. 

Next the agent puts advertisements in the “Sunday” paper. Real estate agents are now taught that only 1 to 2% of all sales come from a magazine ad or newspaper.  So why advertise? Brokers and agents advertise for many of the wrong reasons.  They advertise to compete with their fellow brokers as they want to be perceived as the biggest and best. Agents love to see their face in the newspaper and home owners love to see their home advertised. It is pride and ignorance all in one. For sellers, they need to think like a buyer and understand that more than 90% of consumers are starting their home search online.  When the agent engages in too many “self centered” advertising, they forget that the only person that matters is the Consumer. Agents who steal the show will always be defeated in the long run.  An example of this are found in these funny but rather accurate videos. 

So lets get into what I feel the consumer really wants…

Consumers looking to buy a home wants to see pictures, video tours that do not make your head spin, descriptions about the property with complete sentences, and most importantly they want to price to be at market value.  Consumers looking to buy want a real estate agent that will not “SELL” them on a home.  They want to know the property history, taxes, and any property disclosures that will have a negative effect on their purchase.

Consumers are looking for market data and want the real estate agent to provide them with an “Exit” strategy when they are ready to sell the home. Consumers are fed up with agents that can only communicate by cell phone.  They want and agent that is accessible by email, phone, or text.  Consumers do not want to be treated as a “Lead” or the “Next Deal.”  They want to know that the real estate agent is listening to them and empathetic to their situation. Consumers want you negotiate on their behalf and not for your commission. 

Consumers looking to sell a home are looking for many of the same things as buyers, but most have been “brain washed” by the real estate industry, agents, and their friends and neighbors to what really sells homes. So, they want an agent to be honest.  They want and agent to be direct but not too pushy.  They want to have the power to set the listing price.  Consumers want an aggressive agent, but sometimes they mistake “aggressive” with “passive” as most sellers want the traditional marketing approaches such as newspaper advertising and open houses.  They want “feedback” and they want it quick.  They want “good offers.”  They want communication. They want to feel that they are part of the process.  And the list goes on and on… The most important thing that sellers need to understand is what “buyers” want and focus less on what they want, since without a buyer the house can not be sold!

In conclusion, real estate agents, buyers, and sellers all need to undertand that they all need one another to complete the real estate puzzle. Agents need to adopt better systems to work with buyers and sellers.  Buyers need to understand the complexities of the real estate maze and find a professional agent that can guide them down the right path.  Sellers need to understand buyer behavior and listen to their real estate agent when it comes to the market, price, and effective marketing. 

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