A great deal of our time, money and personal effort goes into marketing our expertise and qualities to the public to build a client base. Once we’ve done a great job for them, repeat business and referrals will follow. But, first we have to do business with them. Marketing featuring the skills and qualities they value will give us a leg up in this area. As a general statement of valued skills:
Buyers can’t be lumped into a single market
There are differing levels of experience and requirements. First time buyers need a lot more hand-holding. Investors want lots of data. Most want transactional help, lots of interpretation of documents and help with decisions.
In a vacation or resort home market, buyers need even more support. It doesn’t matter what their experience level when they have no direct life experience in the market area. As I had a brokerage in a mountain ski area, I have a lot of experience in this respect. Homes were expensive, and my buyers professionals and business owners with plenty of experience. But, when they were buying in a mountain rural area with complicated septic system and other regulations, they understood that my expertise was important.
If your’re representing buyers in other specialized areas or property types, they will tend to rely more on your expertise and local market knowledge.
Even when it comes to condominiums, the condo rules and financial particulars are extremely important. I found that I talked more buyers out of buying a ski condo in the ski area proper than the other way around.
It’s also true that sellers are less likely to be overly reliant on their agents for help in the process. They want marketing, but know that the Internet has changed the game.
They are more likely these days to want to negotiate commissions and to go with the lower cost with roughly equal marketing options. This is less true at higher end property prices, but still a consideration when you’re quoting a full service commission.
From most important down, here are the to skills and qualities of real estate agents that actual home buyers and sellers said they valued.
Honesty and integrity
Knowledge of purchase process
Knowledge of real estate market
There are others, including people skills and technology skills, but those are the top items. In our marketing series, we’ve determined the value of the Internet, so why would technology skills rate low? Many times it’s how you ask the question. Note the importance of responsiveness and communication skills. If their entire first weeks of interaction with you was over the Web and email, then those items would imply a need for some technology knowledge.
Whether your marketing features these skill sets or not, it is important to your future repeat and referral business to concentrate on doing your very best in these areas.
I’m just hitting some high points out of 100 pages of critical information.