Most people are conformists, not contrarians. When we’re children, society drills it into our heads to “fit in,” “follow the crowd,” and “avoid making waves.”
This may work when you’re in grammar school, but when it comes to selling real estate the opposite is true. Being a contrarian is your key to big money because it helps you to stand out from the crowd, which is much more important than fitting in.
This is also true in all areas of life. The truly successful people in all businesses have learned to carve out special services they provide that NOBODY else does. This is the essence of a contrarian—a true leader, not a follower.
You too can be a contrarian—a big moneymaker—in your business. All you have to do is follow a few steps to get started.
First, analyze not only what everyone is doing—but also how they’re doing it. Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of your competition. Write down everything you see them doing in your community.
Then, put yourself in the mind of the consumer and ask yourself, “What kind of experience would be ten times better than what’s being offered? How can I take what’s currently being done and add to it like nobody else is doing?”
Next, take a good hard look at your own business. This is an extremely important step. In real estate, there are so many activities that can so easily be defined and analyzed for improvement. Yet, most agents don’t take the time to analyze the flaws in their own business.
Let’s take Open Houses as an example. How could you be a contrarian at Open Houses? Well, most agents put out three or so signs, hold the Open House for two or so hours, and say the same things over and over again to everyone who visits.
As a contrarian, you could do more. You could provide drinks and food. You could provide an area map showing the house in relation to the area—with recent sales figures written in. You could provide a neighborhood analysis. You could provide a five-year appreciation analysis of the area. All of these items are contrarian activities because very few agents provide this level of service at Open Houses.
How about your marketing? This is a great area to highlight your contrarian methods. You could become custom-branded. You could implement a custom follow-up system with communication items tailored to you and your personality. You could place ads that are fundamentally different than all the other ads in your local paper.
Most agents use the generic materials and ads provided to them by their company. But being a contrarian is all about being non-generic. You want to stand out, so stop relying on the generic ways of conducting business.
How about working with buyers? When you take a buyer on a buyer’s tour, do you aimlessly drive them around all day? As a contrarian, you could give them a detailed package of everything they’re going to see. You could give them a clipboard with paper to write on. You could have a cooler in the back of your vehicle so that when they get thirsty or hungry, there’s something there for them. You could provide a photo tour package that you send out later to remind them of everything they saw that day.
If you’re not doing these contrarian procedures, then you need to start right now. When you do, you will be amazed at the impact you have on your clients. They will see you in an entirely different light than your competition.
You may have heard the phrase in your life “It’s the little things that count.” This is exceptionally true when it comes to contrarian selling. All these little add-on services that you do will make you stand out from the “same-old-same-old” boring crowd. They make you unforgettable in the minds of your clients.
What happens when you become unforgettable in the minds of your clients? They talk about you! This is what you want. You want a word-of-mouth army out there singing your praises to the entire community.
So, make sure that you’re giving people something to talk about. Trust me, people will NOT talk about you if you just put a sign on their lawn. They will NOT talk about you if you just create a flyer for them. That’s what everyone else does. Stop doing what everyone else does.
Think about it. What are the special things you do when you list a home? Do you do custom photography? Do you hold “agent only” luncheons? Are your brochures full-color? Are they four to eight pages?
In today’s competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever to be a contrarian. It truly is the way to stand out, get referrals, and make the big money in real estate.
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M.