April 2017   Volume 43, Number 4      


Real Estate Agents: Stop Commoditizing Your Services

Across the country, there are thousands of real estate brokerages. Even though the overwhelming majority of real estate agents are earning regular commissions, agents everywhere are constantly worrying about the day when technology replaces their jobs. Knowing that there are companies already working towards that goal doesn’t inspire confidence either.

The threat of automation completely replacing real estate agents is likely many years away. Right now that is not even the problem for agents who worry about their jobs. Too often real estate agents are putting themselves out of business by commoditizing their own services.

You may be commoditizing your services without even realizing the damage that you are doing to your business. The good news is that there are a few things you can do right now to save your job as a real estate agent from both automation and competing agents. Here are a few tips to help you turn things around and stop commoditizing your services.

Rethink Your Job Title

When real estate agents answer the question, “What do you do?” most respond by saying that they help people buy and sell homes or that they help buyers to find the perfect properties for their needs. However, that’s where they start to go wrong.

Statements like this don’t differentiate your services from other real estate agents in your area working for competing firms, especially since you know that your job is much more than that. Successful real estate transactions are important for demonstrating your competence as a real estate agent. But that’s just a starting point. Your job is really about helping buyers and sellers get from the start of a real estate transaction to the end of that transaction as quickly and with as little hassle as possible.

Explain What You Do and Why You Do It

The reason the majority of the general public thinks all real estate agents are alike and equally capable is because so many fail to add a qualitative dimension when explaining to clients what they do and why they do it. When you tell a client that you are a real estate agent without any further explanation, you are commoditizing yourself.

Instead, when people ask about what you do for a living, say that your job is to reduce the stress of the real estate process. You can go into detail about how your services help to make navigating real estate transactions easier for your clients. Tell a story about or give examples of how your expertise made a real estate transaction more satisfying for a client. As you present the details of your examples or stories you have an opportunity to demonstrate passion for what you do, further differentiating yourself from the competition.

By reframing your job in terms of the guidance and expertise you offer clients, you’ll demonstrate that you cannot be easily replaced by a computer or another agent.

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In this issue:

Top U.S. Markets for Buying and Selling Real Estate

Big Institutions Sell off Commercial Real Estate

Fed Chair Says Rising Real Estate Prices Put Small Banks at Risk

Iowa Realtor Warns Agents about Email Scam

Mortgage Delinquencies Spike among Some Homeowners

Next-Generational Homes Are the Latest Real Estate Trend

Silicon Valley Is the Top U.S. Real Estate Market

Top Three Legal Issues Facing Brokers

Trump Cut Causes FHA Applications to Decline by 3.2 Percent

Real Estate Agents: Stop Commoditizing Your Services


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