Do Something Different

If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results. Here are some strategies for breaking out of your mold and trying new ways to get the job done.

October 1, 2007

Many practitioners never bother to change the way they do business on a daily basis. They stick with the tried-and-true, finding comfort in their habits. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? But if you have that mind-frame, you may unintentionally be putting a lid on growing your business to new heights.

After all, time’s change, customers’ wants and needs change. Perhaps it’s time that you change, too.

Of course, I’m not saying you should abandon the core tasks that have sustained your business over the years — tasks like staying in constant contact with your sphere of influence, prospecting expired listings and FSBOs, and hosting open houses. These activities may not be too exciting, but they are a necessary part of any real estate business plan.

However, I am suggesting that you try new ways of communicating with clients, managing your time, and marketing your skills. If you haven’t yet given these four ideas a test ride, now may be the time. What’s stopping you?

1. Start a blog.

Yadda-yadda-yadda, you’ve heard it all before, right? But many real estate agents are still not taking advantage of this Internet marketing tool. In fact, only 4 percent of REALTORS® have a blog, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. And that 4 percent may be taking a big bite out of your market — so start blogging.

A blog can help you drive more visitors to your Web site by providing useful real estate information to buyers and sellers on a regular basis. Here are just a few topics you can start blogging about:

  • Local report on the housing economy.
  • Value of a home warranty.
  • Ways to improve your credit score.
  • Tips for selling your home quickly and the importance of pricing correctly.
  • Local events and activities.
  • Zoning laws and ordinances.
  • The need for inspections, survey’s, etc.
  • Details about the closing process.

Read more on step-by-step blogging at REALTOR® Magazine Online, including details on how to go about setting one up.

2. Begin a podcast.

Like blogging, podcasts — which are audio files that can be downloaded onto MP3 players and iPods — are another Web tool that can help you expand your reach to buyers and sellers and show off your real estate expertise. Podcasting will require a bit more technical experience, but it’s a good way to get your voice heard above your competition.

According to the Web site Engadget, Apple sold 270,000 iPhones in the first 30 hours of its release. With the craze and wave of iPod and MP3 users, many consumers will continue to use their iPods and other MP3 players to download content and information for buying and selling real estate.

By providing podcasts and adding them to your Web site, consumers can visit your site on a regular basis to download your content, taking it with them on the road to listen at a later time.

3. Fit your marketing materials to your clients.

Many agents still follow the philosophy that “one size fits all” when it comes to working with their customers. But customers have different needs, wants, and buying and selling decisions and you’re marketing materials should fit those concerns. For example, you’re listing presentation for a for-sale-by-owner should be different than a presentation for expired listing prospects. A buyer’s kit for first-time home buyers should have a different slant than a presentation for customers relocating to your area. Plus, customizing your materials to fit the types of customers you deal with on a regular basis will help you set yourself apart.

4. Use checklists and action plans.

When you take a new listing, do you have a checklist of “to do’s” and “tasks” that are completed for this client? If not, you need to create a system so you can put your business on autopilot. Rather than trying to perform your marketing functions from memory (even if you've been in the business for years), institute a formal action plan of items to perform for a listing that will help you streamline your day and make you productive. Delegating tasks will be easier than ever, and customer service will improve. Don't believe me? Then try it!

John D. Mayfield, ABR, CRB, e-PRO, GRI, is a sales coach, author, and broker/owner of Mayfield Real Estate in Farmington, Mo. You can contact Mayfield through his Web site,