Sunday, July 4, 2010

When Realtors Become Commodities

Who's Who?
Every realtor's advertisements and business cards look exactly the same. To make one, simply combine these elements:

  • A photo of a smiling realtor
  • A quote about caring about the home buyer or seller--something like, "putting you first" or "because I care"
  • The name of the brokerage firm
  • Contact information
Realtors earn the bulk of their new clients from referrals, so the business cards created with the elements listed above work just fine. All a referral needs to know is the realtor's contact information and what she looks like so that when they meet it will feel a little familiar.

Standing out in a Crowd

But why would a realtor use the same approach in her advertisements as she does in her business cards? A realtor's ad on a billboard, in a newspaper, and in the yellow pages is meant to attract customers that can't be reached by word of mouth via a referral.


If a realtor is going to stand out among the sea of similarity that comprises all realtor advertisements, she needs to specialize her service offerings and tailor her message accordingly. I've put together a few simple examples with corresponding ideas for advertisements. Enjoy them in all their cheesiness, but recognize them for what they are--targeted, distinct, and great attention-grabbers:
  1. Need a real estate miracle? If you've had your house on the market for more than six months, call me today. Working miracles on unsellable houses is my specialty. My success rate is simply divine.

  2. At your service. I only serve six real estate clients at a time so that I can give you the time and attention that you deserve. Call me anytime -- day or night -- and I'll be there for all of your real estate needs.

  3. Family circus. If you're looking to buy or sell your family's home, I'm here to help. I only work with families. I'll work around your family's soccer games, ballet recitals, and music lessons to make showing your house or viewing other properties as convenient as possible. I'll even come and help clean your house before a showing if you're busy with the kids!

  4. Focus on the product. Put more money in your pocket -- I have the cheapest real estate commission rate in the industry. Guaranteed. Why pay more?
Add This To Your To-Do List
Are you or your business becoming a commodity? Do your customers know what makes you different than your competitors? If they don't, then you're headed down a dangerous path of anonymity. But its not too late to stand out, get noticed, and be memorable. What makes your brand unique? It's such a basic question, but finding the right answer is often very challenging in commodity markets. Whether you're a car dealer on a street filled with other car dealers or a family restaurant surrounded by dozens of dining alternatives, you must promote the things that make you unique. If you don't, you'll risk being forgotten.


There's never a lack of ideas.