WHAT IS EMPATHY?
Empathy is more than just sympathizing with someone. It means you can feel what someone else feels. Empathy is easy if you share a similar experience with someone, but what if that's not the case -- especially in the context of business? Realtors are dealing with home buyers and sellers who are often REALLY emotional about the process. People sometimes move because of divorce, a death in the family and a variety of other very emotional experiences. It's important to try to be empathetic with these clients.
HOW EMPATHY CHANGES YOUR POSITIONING
Why not start from a position of empathy? Because when you take a position of empathy, it becomes easier for YOU as well. Take a beat before you call a lead and think, "I'm going to feel for this person." It's so simple to be empathetic with a lead or prospect's thinking, what's the harm in doing it? You might get beat up during a cold call, but the chances are less likely if you have empathy for their situation. In fact, you can even turn a call that's going poorly around, simply by being understanding of what that person is going through. It doesn't cost you anything to be empathetic.
EMPATHETIC CARING LINES UP WITH GIVE-GIVE-GIVE ASK
Empathetic caring lines up perfectly with what we talked about on the previous episode, the Give-Give-Give Ask formula. Start with empathy, give them what they want, provide them with a lot free information that they need and don't expect anything in return. Instead of being confrontational and working to overcome objections, be empathetic. Give-Give-Give Ask, and expect nothing in return. That is really effective.
TRUSTING THAT EMPATHY IS A VALID BUSINESS MODEL
My systematic approach is to always and constantly be giving. It works. You can trust that empathy is a valid business model. When you 'feel' the pain of a buyer or seller, you position yourself to be tuned into their needs instead of your own.
GIVE, GIVE, GIVE, ASK!
We all tend to fall into a "taker's mentality" and forget to ask what the buyers and sellers really want. It makes sense to be a self-preservationist in business, but we forget to give them (buyers and sellers) what they want to make our business more successful. "Give, give, give, ask." The concept is to be a giver. It's difficult to succeed in real estate if you don't wake up thinking, "What can I give to others?" A mentality of scarcity is a dangerous place to live. It fuels anxiety until those negative feelings become your boss -- you suddenly find that you work for them instead of for your buyers and sellers. Giving is the way out. Trust the concept of giving. Make giving your overall strategy.
WHAT DO THEY ACTUALLY WANT?
What should you give them? Well, what do they actually want? The buyer or seller has a problem that they often can't articulate. Your job is to be the guide, so that they can be the "hero" in their own story. Zillow puts out a mathematical "guesstimate" of what someone's home is worth. Genius! That's information given away, that sellers actually want. On the buyer's side, they want pictures of properties for sale. Let that sink in. Give people MLS access, which you already have, to go above and beyond.
ADD YOUR INSIGHTS TO BUILD TRUST
You're not Goliath, but you can still compete with these major real estate companies by adding MLS access PLUS your individual insights. All of a sudden, when you have buyers and sellers in your portal, your insights are what will really start to build trust. You can give insightful information with that give, give, give attitude.
CREATE A COMPETITION-LESS VACUUM
What's really going on with this process? Your ability to follow this process -- give, add insights, build trust, share your strategies -- you are creating a competition-less vacuum. You are the realtor that builds trust and pushes the competition away. By giving, giving and more giving, you build a protected funnel where buyers and sellers won't even want to think about talking to any of your competitors. Give, give and give some more!
WHY "NAMING" THE MARKET IS DANGEROUS
Don't pigeonhole yourself into a mindset where "the tail wags the dog." Don't fall into the trap where people outside the industry claim that "It's a buyer's market!" or "It's a seller's market!" It's dangerous to think this way, because as a real estate agent -- you are a businessperson. In order to grow your business, you'll need buyers and sellers. Don't convince yourself that one is missing! You must focus on both to responsibly grow your business. Don't neglect buyers OR sellers just because of what someone else is saying. As long as there's a sale, a buyer AND a seller showed up, right?
IS THERE REALLY A SHIFT IN POWER?
You need to think intelligently about what it means if there is a change in the marketplace (from "seller's market" to "buyer's market" or vice versa). Right now -- October of 2018 if you're reading this -- there's definitely a shift in power going on. The marketplace is cooling and there's been a big jump in inventory. Markets bring prices up and then they bring them down. It's Capitalism 101. Telling a seller that it's a "buyer's market" makes them feel like they've lost power. Don't do this! Show them the metric to price their property correctly, so that they can regain that power.
HOW ANY SELLER PROPERLY PREPARED HAS LEVERAGE
Focus on sellers first. You need an inventory to sell in order to have a business. Your job is simply to be the guide to the seller, so their property is priced correctly to sell -- no matter what the market is doing! Show them that people who are successfully selling their properties are being strategic. They're getting good guidance from good agents like you.
FOR AGENTS, IT'S ALWAYS A BUYER'S AND SELLER'S MARKET
You are a market-maker. You are a business owner. Like it or not, you are an independent contractor who owns a business. There are two major lanes in our business: Buyer and Seller. If you can be healthily invested in both of those lanes, you won't allow the buyer's-vs.-seller's market conversation to wag you around. You need to give proper guidance to both buyers and sellers -- period!
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING - IT'S A SUPPLEMENT TO YOUR FACE-TO-FACE EFFORTS
Real estate is ultimately a face-to-face type of business. Only in rare exceptions will someone list their property with you if they haven't met you in person. With that in mind, all of your social media marketing should be designed to SUPPLEMENT your face-to-face efforts, or bring you one step closer to that first face-to-face meeting with someone. Instead of running to social media and "drowning" in it, remember why you're doing it: To get face-to-face with sellers and buyers.
WHICH PLATFORM GIVES YOU THE BEST TRACTION FOR LISTINGS?
Social media platforms are fabulous for talking about listings. The purpose of this is to get more face-to-face meetings with potential sellers, tell them what your strategy is and hopefully, help them list and sell their house. Choose a platform and then STUDY it to figure out how it really works. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are all great areas to market your listings. Get on Facebook and give property information away, give insider tips, then give some more. Be social until your ability to reach people accelerates. (And don't forget it's about LISTINGS!)
DIGITIZING JUST LISTED, JUST SOLD, OPEN HOUSE, MARKET UPDATES & TIPS
The strategic approach now is to digitize the correct things - Just Listed, Just Sold and so on. Get something up about listings and use video. The platforms love video and the consumers love video. Cut yourself a nice 59-second video, upload it and you're done. Even turning still pictures into a short video is incredibly easy; upload them to social and then get them up on your website.
BECOME THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE EXPERT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
When you know an area that you really want to do business in, become the local real estate expert in that digital neighborhood. Become a "local celebrity" by sharing your knowledge with people. If you have friends or VIPs in that neighborhood who you can interview about the market, the neighborhood and what's happening, people love that. Your social media strategy will start to skyrocket if you follow the steps in order and give people what they want.
THIS IS A 'LISTINGS FIRST' BUSINESS
If I have no inventory for my buyers to buy, where does that put me? This is a "Listings First" business! If you're going to have any kind of business in real estate, you must have listings. Inventory is always abundant, but unless there's zero inventory (which I've never seen), there are listings out there if you're paying attention.
HOW TO FEATURE YOUR LISTINGS
Most people who ask you to list their property are going to ask you, "How are you going to market my listing?" A lot of people undersell the importance of the MLS. So, you'll do that at a minimum -- but if you want to be unique, you need to know how to feature that person's listing. Most businesses are first vetted online these days, so how does your business look online? What does a potential listing client see when they visit your site? You need a good website to feature your listings and to show potential clients that you have a place for their listing.
LISTINGS MARKETING CHECKLIST: JUST LISTED, JUST SOLD, OPEN HOUSE
Market your listings. Don't just put them on your website to please the seller, because you want to move this property! Start with a listings marketing checklist that's two-dimensional. Take pictures of the property, put them on a "Just Listed" postcard and send them around the area -- and drive people to your listings-based website with the postcards. Use the "Just Listed" on your social media channels. Then, roll into open houses, and so on. Produce video content and get it uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
TRUSTING THE POWER OF CONTENT CONSUMPTION VIA SOCIAL CHANNELS
How many videos did you watch this week? How long were you on your phone watching videos that interested you? You're not unique in that -- everybody's doing it. Get on those social media channels with your content and your listings, and you will be shocked. You must trust in the power of content consumption via social channels. It's stunning how many people will eventually say, "I saw you all over social media!"