Just recently I was asked to do a talk for my good friend and co-author
of our best-selling book in Singapore titled Get Rich Now: 15
Strategies from a Self-made Millionaire, Dr Dennis Wee. (Dr Wee is one of
Singapore’s most celebrated entrepreneurs. Despite not having completed his
high school education, he managed to start and build up his own real
estate company, Dennis Wee Group, to become of Singapore’s leading real
estate companies generating S$3.8 billion worth of sales in 2006.)
He wanted me to share some marketing secrets with his real estate
agents and I was more than happy to do so because I believe there’s so much
more that agents can do to position, brand and market their services.
Sadly, most agents, whether in real estate or financial services
(insurance) or any other industries, tend to see themselves just as a
salesperson. This perception of themselves is limiting their growth and income!
By thinking that they are just salespeople, they don’t see the
possibilities of growing their careers into full-fledge businesses. There are
so much more benefits for someone to think big and build a big business,
compared to just existing, and making a living. Donald Trump said: “If
you’re going to be thinking, you might as well think big.” But that’s
another topic for another session.
Here, I’m going to show you some detailed examples of how an agent can
differentiate himself using some simple positioning and branding
strategies that I have used with other clients to great success.
Many people perceive that being an agent in any industry is like being
a salesperson. Someone who is always competing with all the other
thousands of salespeople in the industry. To a certain extend it is correct.
Those other agents are also looking for the same deals that you are. It
is a matter of who gets the deal first. So they are relentlessly going
out there to cold prospect.
Now, I am not a fan of cold prospecting. To me, cold prospecting is
like bashing your head against the wall, hoping it will crumble before you
start bleeding… most people just end up being very disappointed. Why do
you think new agents don’t last long? I strongly suspect it’s because
they realized that their heads can’t go against the wall.
But there are ways to turn the table around. In my talks I like to ask
the audience: Would you prefer to work hard and look for prospects, OR
would you prefer to let your prospects seek you out?
The answer is obvious.
But more than just having less work and an easier time, there are
deeper psychological advantages to being able to let your prospects seek you
out instead of you cold prospecting them. Simply said, when you seek
someone out, you will be open to the person’s ideas, advice, expertise.
That is the reason you seek him/her out in the first place–to get expert
There won’t be the wall of resistance you’ve grown accustomed to when
you cold prospect. In fact, now it’s them who are jumping over hoops to
seek you out in your domain. Man, it’s always exciting to talk about
Believe me, it’s a whole new paradigm. Imagine you becoming a celebrity
overnight and people are just doing everything they can to get in touch
with you. Think of stars of reality shows like Survivor and American
Idol… It is that powerful!
So how can you achieve that?
Let’s look at a typical scenario:
You have probably have opened your letter box day after day only to
find it stuffed with piles of flyers from various real estate agents. Just
take a closer look. You will realize that all of them claim to be the
“specialist” in the area. Now if everyone is a specialist, then does it
matter who you call? Absolutely NOT!
“But I’m different from the rest. I have more experience, quality,
etc…” you protest.
Let me be upfront. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your
background is. If the prospects don’t recognize that straight away, you are just
like everybody else. No matter how different you think you really are.
Repeat after me: If you are like every-body else, you are a no-body.
Remember: It’s all about their perception, not yours.
So instead of being just another area specialist, be different. So far
I’ve not come across any agent who positions him/herself as the
specialist to serve “first-time home buyers”. Do you think that is powerful?
First-time home buyers are inexperienced. They don’t know what to
expect, what the whole buying process is going to be like, how long will it
take, what possible hiccups might occur, etc. They are in a place where
they don’t know what they don’t know. Do you think they have different
needs/concerns compared to those who have bought a house before? Of
course! If you are able to gain their trust, do you think they will look
for someone else?
The point is this: you have the information that first-time buyers are
looking for (in fact all real estate agents should know these
information). But by letting them know that you are the expert who can guide
them through the whole process safely, will in itself, earn you a closed
You might need to make some minor changes in the way you do things,
such as explaining the buying process more thoroughly, going through the
nitty gritty details that you won’t normally need to with experienced
buyers, etc. But all these will help to cement your positioning and
branding as the expert to serve first-time buyers. And once your branding
gets out, you will be busy with so many referrals for other first-time
buyers. Is the first-time buyers market huge enough for you?
Once you have established your branding, it is easy to market your
services. You can easily get the publicity that once used to be impossible
for you. If the media wants to get an opinion on what first-time buyers
think about a new housing policy, who do they look for? They will
interview the expert (you). And after appearing in the media, you will have
gained even more credibility. Can you see how this will snowball into
It all starts with creating a powerful positioning, branding and
marketing strategy that is suitable for you.
What other positioning can differentiate you? How about:
o The property investments expert (investors love to work with those
who understand their investing needs, someone who is not just another
o Divorce cases specialist (they definitely have different needs as
compared to the usual buyers); or
o Downgraders or upgraders; or
o Serve only those looking for luxurious, high-end houses worth $XX
amount and above (your service must of course reflect that); and
o Many more!
As you can see, it is critical to create a powerful positioning to get
your prospects to start looking specifically for you. I assure you I’m
not an expert of the real estate industry. But I’m an expert in
positioning, branding and marketing. These same principles can be applied in
other industries, such as the financial services industry, perfectly
So start positioning yourself today!