You started a new blog with high hopes of building something that’s going to generate a ton of new leads for your business for months and months. But guess what, it’s a competitive marketplace. How do you stand out from the competition?
What do you do to differentiate yourself? What are you going to do to build your credibility and show people that you’re worth connecting with?
You don’t establish “expert” status over-night but rather by practicing a few good habits day-in an day-out. Once you’ve established yourself as a credible expert in the marketplace, people will not only want to work with you, but you will have built a nice word-of-mouth following.
So how do you get started? Here’s a few things you should be doing…
1. Write with confidence.
Have you ever asked someone a question and they respond with “umm…well, I don’t know but I think that…”
That type of response if never really confidence inspiring. You need to be conscious of that in your writing.
Instead of writing, “I think that…” Say what you have to say with confidence. With authority.
Ultimately, confidence is reflected in your writing. And when people are looking for reassurance, or the right answers, and they want to speak to an authority on the subject, they need to know that you know what you’re talking about. Writing with confidence will give them that reassurance.
2. Invest in a professional website design.
A professional-looking website design is the barrier to entry to competing in the market-place. If your site doesn’t look like it was professional designed, it makes you look like you’re not trustworthy and believe it or not, you will lose business to the competition that way.
It’s like showing up to a corporate job interview with shorts and a polo while everyone else is wearing a suit and tie. I’m sorry to say, but chances are you’re going to get dismissed from the candidate pool by default.
Can’t afford a custom site design? No problem. But at least go with a professional designed theme like the one’s provided by StudioPress.
3. Collect and promote your client testimonials.
What other people have to say about you is 10x’s more important than what you have to say about yourself. Sure, you can write about what an amazing agent you are, but everybody does that. It’s a sales tactic and consumers are smarter than that.
If you really want to influence their decision process, share other customer success stories with them. Here’s a great example from Thompson’s Realty: ReviewOurAgents.com.
Want to see what it’s like to work with Thompson’s Realty agents? No problem, just check out “ReviewOurAgents.com” for an ongoing list of real customer testimonials. Want to submit your own testimonial? No problem, you can do so straight from the site.
4. Be consistent.
I like my accountant. Every time I have a question, he has the answer. And on the rare occasion that he doesn’t, he calls me back in 15 – 30 minutes with the right answer.
In real estate, the market is always changing. Interest rates are in constant state of flux. The local market is always changing (from a buyer’s to a seller’s market and vice-versa).
Consumers are looking for answers to their questions and they’re looking for an expert to help guide them through their decision making process. They want someone, who like my accountant, always has the answers. They want someone who’s consistent.
5. Talk human.
“If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.” – Gapingvoid
Cut down on the industry jargon. In real estate for example, that means using phrases like “Home Search” instead of “MLS Search.” Yes, they both mean the same thing, but to the consumer, one is clearer than the other (not everyone might know what MLS stands for and/or what it means).
Make it easier for real estate consumers to understand the buying and selling process by not overcomplicating things with a ton of industry jargon. Sure, it might sound smart, but it’s only going to confuse your customer.
6. Respond to all inquiries promptly.
How fast you respond to an inquiry makes all the difference between earning a sale and losing a sale.
Responding in a timely manner and with the right answer(s) says that you’re professional, you value my time, and you value earning my business. Do it often enough and it sets the expectation that I can always rely on you having the answer when I need it. That makes you referable, because I can say, “Talk to Ricardo, he always has the answer and he’s quick to respond.”
7. Make it easy to get a hold of you.
Ever come across a website that is nicely designed, has a healthy dose of informative content, but makes it damn near impossible for you to get a hold of anyone? Well, I’ve come across plenty of real estate websites that way… Great information but no contact information anywhere.
On the one hand, sure, I get it… You’re trying to avoid (and screen against) all of those solicitation calls. But you’re also alienating yourself from potentially earning new business in the process.
Your contact information (phone and email) should be plastered everywhere. On your home-page, on your About page, on your Contact page. If I need to get a hold of you, I should be able to quickly and easily do so. I shouldn’t have to click on a dozen links or jump through long contact forms with captcha enabled just to send a quick inquiry email.
Being accessible builds your credibility because it transparent. “Look, this agent is accessible. Well, he’s got nothing to hide. Nice to know I can talk to a real human being if I have any questions.”
Becoming an industry expert and being recognized as a thought-leader isn’t as simple as throwing up a few blog posts and calling yourself one. You earn that status by consistently showing up and proving your expertise over time. It’s a status that’s earned by those that come to read and respect your work.
The more often you practice the habits listed above, the faster you’ll get there.
Image Credit: iqoncept