We know that the real estate market is a very competitive world. We are constantly fighting to get our names out there, make our brand known, and showcase, in one way or another, to potential clients why they should choose us over the other thousands of agents working in our city.
When I first started as an agent in Toronto back in 2007, there were 35,000 licensed salespeople. Now, there are well over 50,000! I knew from the get-go that I was entering into a competitive industry and initially, I found it quite difficult to find my place and try to stand out. And while I’ve always tried to learn from my fellow agents (instead of seeing them as my competition) when it comes to getting the attention of potential clients, it is increasingly important to distinguish yourself in order to build a sustainable and successful business.
Before I became an agent, I spent many years in advertising and marketing, this is where I learned from the best and gained valuable skills along the way. My perspective on branding, graphic design, and social media became my marketing advantage and what I developed into the Point of Difference for my business and brand. I began building a marketing strategy and business model on me and clients became attracted to my brand because I was authentic and genuine but also because they knew that because I was able to market myself and my business so well, they trusted that I would be able to do the same with their homes. This became the defining Point of Difference in my business and what I used to build a successful real estate business.
What is your Point of Difference?
When you are trying to determine what your Point of Difference (or competitive edge) is in your business, you’ll want to focus on your strengths, what you believe your Target Market’s motivation is, and what you believe they are looking for in a real estate agent. The ultimate goal is to distinguish yourself from your competitors with a tangible value or trait that would be sought after by your Target Market.
Do your Research
You will need to inform yourself of the services that your Competitors offer AND the service that your Target Market is looking for.
Once you begin to develop and pinpoint your POD through your research and analysis of your competitors, you’ll want to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Sometimes, we can see our Points of Difference as something useful to us as agents, but maybe it won’t have the same meaning or impact from the client’s perspective. Make sure your POD is relevant and applicable to your client and overall Target Market. Next, you will have to ask yourself: is my POD tangible? How can I demonstrate it to my client?
For example, if your POD is that your listings get increased exposure because of your existing social media or online presence. How do you prove this? How can you show your clients that their properties will get more visibility if they list with you? How does this compare to your competition and the rest of the market?
Another option is to go straight to the source: your existing clients. Reach out to past and present clients and ask them why they chose you. Was there anything about your business or brand that stood out to them? It’s best to reach out to clients who you aren’t related to or were sent your way via referral. This will give you the best understanding of what your current perceived Point of Difference is.
Try a SWOT Analysis
Having trouble building your list of strengths and figuring out how you can use them to better market your business and brand? Check out my blog post on how you can build a SWOT analysis of your business here.
A SWOT Analysis (when done right) can be so powerful because it gives you a clear framework of your business. By understanding and identifying your businesses’ SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) you can start evaluating your business from all sides and start building and identifying your unique Point of Difference.
Your POD might be that you have excellent customer service and communication, your listings get increased exposure because of your existing social media or online presence, or you can get your properties sold quickly. Whatever it may be, make sure you can identify, prove and put your POD at the forefront of your business, and have it help represent your personal brand.