Are Real Estate Agents A Commodity? How To Stop Consumers From Choosing Based Upon Price.

How To Compete OnlineTell me if this sounds familiar. You are working with a buyer, or maybe it’s a seller – and its been awhile. You’ve shown the buyer multiple homes (with no buyer broker of course), on weekends, after hours etc and gave the seller tips for getting their property ready for sale. Then it happens. The buyer or seller chooses another real estate agent.

Maybe the buyer walked into an open house and purchased a home with the sitting agent, or maybe the seller chose a family friend – either way, you are out of luck and you’re pissed. Buyers are liars! You think. Well, maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself this one very important question: Are You A Commodity?

You know commodities, not the kind traded on Wall Street necessarily but the kind you buy at the grocery store. Like Bacon and Orange Juice. The kind where you shop based upon PRICE and not necessarily QUALITY. You know what I mean. One Sunday at the grocery store you choose Tropicana because it’s cheaper than Sunkist. Next week it’s Minute Maid because it’s on SALE. We all do it. Why in the world would you pay $1, $2 more for a product that appears to be exactly the same as the others? Well, you wouldn’t. And neither do buyers and sellers.

You see, when things look the same, when we can’t tell the difference between one product and another, one service and another, one real estate agent and another we often resort to shopping based upon price. Which is cheaper? This same principle, one you use every day when you shop in the grocery store or online, is often the same one buyers and sellers use when choosing a real estate agent.

But not all products and not all services are the same are they? Why does one consumer choose Lexus over Toyota? Infiniti over Nissan? Acura over Honda? They are essentially the same exact car. The difference is perception. The difference is often what we feel Lexus or Infiniti or Acura says about us. Is it really a better car? Sure it has leather instead of cloth, parking sensors, Satellite Radio, blind spot awareness sensors, maybe a back-up camera but is it really a better car?

Apply this same methodology to real estate.

In my experience, most real estate agents say and do the same exact same things. “Search the MLS like a REALTOR”, “Call for a FREE CMA” “Get a FREE home warranty when you buy with me”. But what makes you different than other agents? What makes you better? Do you even know? When I was a sales exec in title I met all kinds of real estate agents. Big ones and little ones, the top of the hill and the up and comers. The interesting thing is, many real estate agents have no clue what their value truly is. Meaning, they have no clue how they are different and better than their competition. If I was a buyer or seller, why should I choose you? I’d ask them. Most would talk about their brokerages “Well, we are one of the top…..” or even better – they would list intangibles. I have integrity. I’m passionate. I love helping people. None of these are tangible or even measurable. And do they really add value for the consumer? That is a commodity.

Let’s look at a real world example. Let’s say you found out you were getting divorced, and you have children. A long road is without doubt ahead. What would you do? Would you look for the least expensive divorce attorney you could find or would you seek out the very best? One that specializes in working with men or women? I bet you would not try and find a divorce attorney that just started in the industry. You’d want the very best you could afford. The stakes are just as high when comparing the scenario of a divorce and buying or selling a house aren’t they? Both can result in huge losses without the right professional guiding them through the process. This is where EXPERTISE and EXPERIENCE come in.

Most buyers and sellers have NO CLUE what services, guidance and experience a professional real estate agent can provide for one simple reason. You are not talking about it. You’re saying the same things as your competitors and forcing the consumer to choose based upon PRICE. And both parties are paying a heavy price because of it.

You can help the consumer FIND you, CHOOSE you and ultimately HIRE you by talking about the content they look for online. Stop saying and doing the same things as everyone else. Pick a niche and leverage it. Educate consumers on the communities and markets you serve. The building styles, new builds, market trends. How? Write articles like this one, make targeted community and property videos and optimize them so your ideal client can find them and begin to see you as the go to, like the divorce attorney scenario above. As luck would have it – you just found the video marketing equivalent of the divorce attorney above. We can help you leverage video to educate and inform your target audience to help them choose you over your competitors. Fill out the form below. Let’s talk.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113

Stephen Garner

Hub Media Company is one of the few media companies dedicated to real estate video marketing. We create beautiful cinematic real estate video tours, lifestyle, community/subdivision as well as green screen video. We have over 13 years experience in the real estate space working with some of the top agents in the Phoenix Metro area.

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Will Open Door Replace The Real Estate Agent? Hell No. (Here’s Why)

Niche Marketing
Niche Marketing
I walk in the door after a long day of shooting, editing, phone calls etc at Hub Media Company to an interesting email. It was from Active Rain. Normally I tune out the automated emails I receive but this one caught my attention. the title – “Are REALTORS headed Out The Side Door?”.

The article was about how technology, specifically tech startups like Open Door and most recently Side Door are replacing the real estate agent (at least that’s how the author saw it anyway). He went on to (and I am summarizing here) state technology has eliminated the buyers agent with consumers now going to third party aggregators or portals as they are commonly known like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor dot com instead of the real estate agent.

His tone in the article appeared to be one of fear.

“For those doubters – please take a look at what SideDoor is on the verge of accomplishing. Below are the two most recent SideDoor promotional videos. And even though we understand all the much-needed service we provide in a real estate transaction – the videos sure do a good job telling would-be sellers differently. More importantly – we are in big trouble if they figure out the secret sauce and make it doable for them.”

I’m reading the article and the comments of other agents obviously shaken by this new development thinking, where have you been? Technology has been eliminating the real estate agent, the travel agent, the local record store, video rental store and so much more for some time. But in my mind, this is nothing savvy real estate agents should worry about, in fact, they should embrace it. Why? Less competition.

Now before you think I am projecting the end of the real estate agent, I’m not. Far from it actually. In fact, these developments, which have been happening for a long time are something you should embrace and learn from. Here’s why.

Technology can’t replace you. Well, it can’t eliminate the savvy real estate agents anyway. It can however do away rather efficiently with the real estate agents that sit on the sidelines and attempt to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. But I’m betting most of the agents reading this would want that – again, less competition. How many real estate agents are there in Maricopa County?

Technology CAN replace the real estate agent that merely opens a door or writes a contract, we’ve seen that. BUT it can’t do away with the real estate professionals that make themselves valuable, or rather INVALUABLE to the consumer. So how do you do that? Well, if you are one of the agents that merely opens doors or writes contracts, your days are numbered. Technology will replace you. Sorry. But if you are a real estate agent that has a niche, Luxury Properties in Paradise Valley or Scottsdale, First Time Home Buyers, Veterans, Golf Course Properties, Second Homes, HUD Homes, Ocotillo, DC Ranch, Augusta Ranch, Silverleaf, Sun Lakes, Vistancia etc the consumer will not only pay for your expertise, but seek you out. Look at the Amy Jones’, the Walt Danley’s, the Brandon Howe’s, the BJ Katz’, the Frank Aazami’s, Jason Mitchell’s, Andrew Bloom’s, Lisa Roberts, Wendy Walker’s, Bill Ryan’s, Kenny Klaus’, Becky Kolb’s, Nate Martinez’s, Jennifer Wehner’s, George Laughton’s, Tim Cusick’s, Scott Grigg’s etc – they all focus on a geographic area or specific niche and own it. Remember, less than 20% of the agents do over 90% of the business. That’s not an accident.

But this means you need to have a niche. I see so many real estate agents trying to be all things to everyone and ending up being nothing to no one. The most successful companies do one thing and do it damn well. Look at Apple. How many smart phones do they make? ONE. How many does Samsung make? Over 60! And yet Apple leads the smartphone market. Why? Because you either fit in their box or you don’t. Apple can put all of its resources into making one product better – for the consumer. You and Me.

Take Apple’s example and work on developing a niche. And OWN it. Learn as much as you can about Niches you want to serve and leverage it. Make videos about it, blog posts like this one about it, talk about it on social media, email, direct mail, PPC, etc and make your brand synonymous with it. Take classes, learn from the top real estate agents, improve your value proposition and Unique Selling Proposition to the consumer, make yourself indispensable to the point no one would EVER consider not working with you when buying home in DC Ranch, Sun Lakes, Chandler, Paradise Valley (because it would COST them dearly) and you won’t have to worry about technology replacing you. Oh and if your wondering – now you know why we don’t do pictures. Focusing on video only, allows us to put all of our resources into better cameras, better lenses, better aerial platforms, gimbals, a bigger studio, other markets – better everything. Which translates into a better product for our clients – you.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113

Stephen Garner

Hub Media Company is one of the few media companies dedicated to real estate video marketing. We create beautiful cinematic real estate video tours, lifestyle, community/subdivision as well as green screen video. We have over 13 years experience in the real estate space working with some of the top agents in the Phoenix Metro area.

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