Think People Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover? …Think Again!
We have all heard that you should not judge a book by its cover… it’s what is on the INSIDE that counts. This may very well be true, however, if you want to succeed in real estate, you had better understand that people DO judge a book by its cover! To be successful and create opportunity for yourself, you better have a professional “cover” in all areas of your profession!
Attire & Personal Appearance
Do you dress like the commission you earn? Throughout the work week, would you be able to go on an appointment for a $500,000 listing at a moment’s notice? Are you dressed professionally enough to be the agent for that $300,000 Buyer that just walked in the front door? People are entrusting their investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars to you and they want you to look professional! Do not dress like you are about to spend the day at the park with your kids when you are working! Wear your name tag when out in public. I guarantee you will get at least 2 additional deals each year simply by wearing your name tag in public. People will ask you about the market while standing in line at the grocery or when you are out to dinner! Make sure that your smell will not turn away potential customers either by smelling of smoke or too much perfume or cologne. Also, make sure that your automobile does not have papers nor gum wrappers on the floor! These are all “cover” items that can potentially lose you business!
Are your marketing materials professional-looking? Is your website current? Does the “About Me” section sound professional and make you an expert in your field or does it still say “coming soon?” Your email signature should also be professional, have your contact information and perhaps a “call to action” such as “Call to find out what your home is worth in today’s market!” Additionally, consider your actual email address and think about what it portrays to the public…. Are you using a personal “gmail account” or something more professional and specific to your field such as “Dana@MaximumOneRealty.com” Domain names are so inexpensive… come up with an appropriate domain name and get an email account with it. The possibilities are endless…. Dana@ATLShortSaleSpecialist.com Dana@PowderSpringsRealEstate.com Dana@HomesbyDana.com Dana@RealtyMaven.com, Dana@ThereNoPlaceLikeHome.com, Dana@TheHouseSOLDName.net, Dana@TheTimeToMove.com … get the idea!?!?
Have you googled yourself lately? I guarantee you your customers have! Do you appear in Social Media or have a web presence. The public will always need real estate agents to COMPLETE a deal, but according to the 2012 NAR Annual Survey, Profiles of Home Buyers and Sellers, 90% of Buyers used the internet in their home search & this percentage was 96% for Buyers under the age of 44. Consider a website, a blog site, writing articles for your online HOA newsletter, a YouTube Channel, a Facebook Business Page, a Twitter profile, a Pinterest Account, a profile on LinkedIn, etc! On Facebook, be sure to be a “real person” by discussing your interests, asking interactive questions, etc. but probably NOT a good idea to talk about being hungover from the wild party you went to last night!
Your presentations whether they be digital, verbal or on paper should also be professional and specific to your particular customer. For example, when presenting a CMA, make sure you include RECENT comps from the neighborhood or at least neighborhoods within a close proximity. Did you actually PREVIEW the competition prior to going on your listing appointment or did you just pull a CMA from the listing service a few hours prior to your appointment? When presenting yourself and your services through email make sure you check your SPELLING and GRAMMAR! Almost every electronic device nowadays has a spellcheck and grammar check on it… USE those programs! If you do not think that you will be judged as being ignorant or less than professional due to spelling errors in your emails, think again! You WILL lose business if your emails are consistently replete with spelling mistakes!
How well do you know your craft? Your product? When is the last time you actually previewed property? Do you use the “hotsheet” features on FMLS and GAMLS to stay current with the market in your area of expertise (new listings, price reductions, average days on market, list price to sale price ratios, etc.) Have you set yourself up on a Listingbook account to see how the emails look and what they say? When is the last time you took a contracts class? This is the primary instrument of your trade… do you know the forms? the promises the parties make to each other? the responsibilities, time frames and consequences around meeting or not meeting those promises? The Exhibits, Special Stipulations, Amendments available to you with each contract? What about HUD foreclosures and making a bid on one of those for your client? The mortgage process in general… do you know where interest rates are? Do you know why they are rising? Do you know who Ben Bernanke is!?!? What about the role of the closing attorney or how to handle title issues?
There is absolutely no denying that the contents of a book are far more important and influential than the actual cover but the problem is that no one ever OPENS the book if they cannot get past the cover! You may be the most caring, most expert, hardest-working, most dedicated agent in the company, but if your hair is unkempt, your clothes sloppy or too casual, if your emails have spelling errors throughout, you will NEVER EVER get the chance to work with that Buyer or Seller! So in order to enhance your real estate business, remember that people DO judge a book by its cover in order to start reading the book!