Updated: Mar 24, 2020
When I became a real estate agent in 2009, the go-to choice for advertising then was Classified Ads (newspaper) and flyers.
iProperty was a new portal that was viewed skeptically by seasoned veteran agents. PropertyGuru was also in its infancy and struggled against iProperty to gain market share.
There was no such thing as an app back then
Fast forward to today, PropertyGuru is the default choice by many consumers and agents. The Classified Ads property section is now so thin that one would mistake it as a new startup. New portals, such as 99.co and Carousell, emerged to join into the foray.
Customers now can check for the latest transactions easily. Agents today have to stay ahead of the digital curve to bring value to their clients.
More agents are using Google’s Ads and Facebook’s Ads to reach out to more would-be buyers. They make ads "miraculously" pop up amidst surfing.
Many people asked me to share how I could achieve my sales target and yet built a Division of agents over the years. This article is about my personal take on the attitude and aptitude of sustaining and excelling in the ever-evolving real estate business.
Evolution is the secret for the next step. - Karl Lagerfeld
Broadly, the gumption required for a realtor to be successful today can be put into 2 main categories :
“Close-range” refers to the skills required to engage the client on a face-to-face basis. These span from savvy financial know-how to empathy for the clients.
After so many rounds of cooling measures, how can real estate agents help clients to grow their property portfolio?
It’s simply just not enough to know all the various cooling measures. Today's agent must also have the financial know-how (skill) to blend all that knowledge and come up with a sound financial proposal to help the client navigate through.
Only when the client is able to understand clearly your financial proposal, will he/she feel assured and safe enough to proceed.
The agent should also have a firm grasp of the procedures, especially the legal aspects. Clients are often at a lost whenever they get embroiled over rental issues. The experience and knowledge in interpreting the tenancy contract clauses will be a big boon.
The agent must also have the patience and empathy to put themselves into their clients' shoes. So this is not about touting to "sell one, and buy two". They have to concoct the best solution based on their clients' needs.
Today's agent also has to be passionate about his/her real estate business. Clients prefer to draw closer to agents who are eager and exude a sense of positive energy about them.
One of the qualities that is not seen in many agents today is the consistency of following up.
The buying decision cycle is longer than before due to the cooling measures.
By following up with the Buyer, the agent creates more opportunities to build a long term relationship with the client.
You would have noticed that I didn't list out the typical qualities of a salesperson. Qualities such as good appearance, pleasing voice, self-confidence, sincerity, integrity, self-management, enthusiasm, creative talker, quick-action, initiative, observation, tactfulness, courtesy etc.
That is because these are basic qualities that anyone should have in order to be well accepted in any profession or business setting.
“Far-range” refers to those skillsets required to reach out to make connections with new clients. These skills fall largely in the digital arena.
Instead of relying solely on print materials such as Classified Ads and flyers, agents are reaching out to more clients efficiently by making use of digital resources.
This is because the demographic of the client is now more internet savvy. Since more people are engaged more with the internet through apps and social media, a better way to get their attention is to use the digital avenue.
First and foremost, agents need to advertise on portals such as 99.co, PropertyGuru, Carousell, EdgeProperty and SRX. In addition, agents have to use 3rd-party software to repost their advertisements regularly so that their ads will stay on the first page when prospects do their searches. Only a handful of agencies provide such software.
Next, having great photography skills is an absolute necessity because you have to bring out the best feature of the property you are selling. A picture paints a thousand words. Some agents use 3D cams and software to give the virtual tour experience to would-be buyers.
Another show-stopper that captivates clients today is the use of video. It is not so much about shooting the video, but rather, acting in it.
The ability to talk confidently on camera is a must in conveying your persona to the viewers. Once the show-and-tell is more engaging, the higher the chance of referral business.
After all the videos and pictures have been shot, you would need to figure out how to showcase your works on social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. You will need to post your ad campaigns and target at your focus groups.
If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong. - Germany Kent
Nothing beats a digital business card. In a way, it works 24/7 around the clock.
Your personal website should contain information about yourself in such a way that your clients and other agents will know more about you on a personal level.
You could blog articles like this to give your perspective about different topics and re-engage clients on social media.
In short, the agent today has to produce interesting and high-quality content to engage the clients. The know-how on configuring the Google Ads or Facebook Ads to target at specific audience is also a necessary skill to master.
Content is king, but distribution is queen. It is just not good enough to create high-quality content. The agent must also need to understand how content spreads across the internet. Knowing how to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your website is an absolute must.
Content is King, but distribution is Queen, and she wears the pants. - Jonathan Perelman
You would have noticed that I didn't list out the typical skillsets like knowing how to use picture editing apps, Office software (example like documents, spreadsheets and presentation) etc.
That is because these are basic qualities that anyone should have in this digital era.
You may be wondering, "Anthony, are you implying that without these aptitudes, I cannot become a successful property agent?"
No. That is not what I mean.
The skillsets mentioned above do sound like a tall order for some of us. Before we scoff at this, do note that there are also agents who take to these digital skillsets like fish to water.
Nonetheless, if you are not sure where to begin and how to embark on this journey, do call me for a 90-min free consultation.
Besides my personal sales, I have also mentored and groom many top producers in my Division. During this free consultation, I can help you map out your current competencies and identify those gaps that you can start working on immediately.
It is never too late. The best time to start is NOW.
Being certified for ACTA and NLP Masters Practitioner, Anthony has successfully groomed and mentored many top million dollar producing agents.
In 2019 3rd Quarter, Anthony received the award for 2nd Top Recruiter in OrangeTee.
Throughout his career, Anthony has helped many clients grow their wealth by selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively through Property Wealth Planning.