If you are interested in start a real estate business To help buyers and sellers navigate the stressful and complicated process of one of the biggest transactions of their lives, you’ll need to make sure your business is well prepared.
Real estate is an extremely competitive field. Chances are your area already has at least one or two successful and popular brokers already actively engaged in the market.
Here are three things you can do right from the start to gain a competitive edge for your new real estate business:
1. Choose a niche
One of the keys to success in the real estate industry is identifying and embracing your niche. It will be much easier to differentiate yourself from general real estate agents and brokers if you specialize.
Think about it. If you had lung cancer, would you go see a GP or an oncologist specializing in lung cancer? You’d go see that lung cancer specialist – because it’s the best chance you have of resolving your single problem.
The same goes for clients looking for real estate services. They’re going to have to spend their hard-earned cash. And, they want some degree of assurance that it will be worth it and that they are working with the right broker or agent.
Few people are good at everything. Knowing that you provide suitable real estate services their specific needs will build a client’s confidence in your ability to do the job well.
For example, some real estate agents specialize in selling new construction while others specialize in selling remodeled condos. Some focus on representing only sellers while others only work with buyers.
If you’re struggling to identify your niche, consider these techniques to narrow it down:
• Identify any underserved specialties in your field.
• Determine the areas of your domain that customers are having the most difficulty with.
• Ask yourself if your unique background offers you a rare area of expertise.
Whatever niche you choose, don’t make the mistake of trying to be the right fit for every client. Choose your specific appeal, then market your skills to that niche audience.
2. Define your services
A service is impossible to see until it has been delivered. And customers don’t like to pay for vague promises.
If you want your real estate business to succeed, you need to show your clients the details of what you will offer – and deliver.
It starts with defining your services and deliverables. This is vital for three reasons:
Clearly defined services can be easily explained to prospects.
Transparent deliverables show the value of your service.
Specificity helps set realistic expectations for your customers.
This last point benefits everyone. Your customers can make comfortable and informed decisions. And, you can avoid being taken advantage of.
For example, TruHavenHomes focuses on property management in Chicago and Atlanta. They state this clearly on their website and in their marketing materials. They have chosen a niche and stay firmly in their lane.
In the real estate industry, your services and deliverables are at the heart of your business. So be very clear about what customers will get. Don’t overdo it.
3. Remove uncertainty
Spending money on an intangible like a service can make customers uncomfortable.
So get rid of that discomfort. There are two particularly powerful techniques for service businesses: social proof and skill demonstration.
Provide social proof
People often look to their peers to make sure their purchase is wise.
Who would know better than someone who has already walked this path? Positive customer reviews build trust with potential customers.
So, share testimonials and reviews from happy customers to build credibility for your website. And, if you’re lucky enough to have the endorsement of a well-known professional in your field, introduce that as well.
Demonstrate your skills
One of the most compelling ways to establish your website’s credibility is to showing that you know what you are doing.
Anyone can claim to be an expert, but only a real expert can prove it.
So prove your expertise by showcasing case studies and writing and sharing consistently insightful real estate content. Then share it for free with a blog or “resources” section on your website.
Offering this information for free accomplishes three things:
1. It shows you know what you’re talking about.
2. It gives value to your prospects for free – which they will appreciate.
3. This begs the question: what is other do you have to offer if you shared this free.
There’s a lot to think about when starting your own real estate business. These tips will help you gain a competitive edge to level the playing field against established brokers and agents.
Ross Kimbarovsky is founder and CEO of crowdSPRING and Startup Foundry. After a 13-year career as a successful litigator, Ross founded (in 2007) and runs crowdspring. Ross coaches entrepreneurs through TechStars and the Founder Institute, serves on the TechWeek Executive Advisory Board, and has been honored as one of the Techweek100′s top technology leaders and business visionaries. Ross has also founded numerous other startups, including Startup Foundry, Quickly Legal, and Respect.