“We rise by lifting others” – Robert Ingersoll
When it comes to growing your real estate business, you need the education, skills and general passion for the work. But you also need a desire to serve. Of course, you already serve clients by offering your real estate education and experience to help them find their dream home. You also serve them by caring about their needs and wishes in a new property, as well as ensuring they get to closing day without losing their minds.
But true service for your peers and clients goes above and beyond these components. When you serve others, it’s about more than making a dollar; it’s about making sure that people come before profits. After all, “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”
Are you wondering how you can be of more service to your fellow real estate agents, as well current, past and future clients? Here are a few tips:
1. Give without expecting something in return.
Whether it’s attending a networking event, contacting a potential lead or just answering someone’s question about buying or selling a property, it’s hard to not think about what’s in it for you. You want another commission, naturally, but approaching these scenarios with a “Me-me-me” attitude won’t net the gains you’re hoping for. Instead, approach these situations with an attitude of service.
A great way to do this is show genuine interest in things outside of the real estate discussion. Ask people about their jobs, their families or other relevant information. Opening the conversation to topics other than how you help them buy/sell a home will show people you’re interested in more than the potential commission – and you might make a great connection!
2. Create content that shows your commitment to service.
Outside of in-person events or lead follow ups, it’s important to continue to engage your immediate network and expand your reach. However, you can’t do this by blasting your listed homes 18 times a day – people know when you’re selfishly promoting your services without showing that you care about them. Instead, it’s important to create content (blogs, social media posts, emails, newsletters, etc.) that show how well you know your audience.
Fun fact: 70 percent of people choose a company or service based on the content a company shares.
Share things that your audience (peers and clients alike) is sharing, comment on their posts and engage them in discussions that may not have anything to do with real estate. You should also pay close attention to frequently asked questions or concerns that home buyers and sellers have. Then, create resources that give them the answers they need.
A quick way to create service-minded content is to ask yourself: How does this piece of content serve my audience? If you don’t have an answer, or it’s a resounding NO!, you might want to reconsider.
3. Be the first to be generous.
Do you want reviews? Instead of asking people to give them, simply give what you want to receive. Give reviews to builders who have gone above and beyond for your clients, or give reviews to great local businesses (restaurants, salons, stores, etc.). Do you have a client that owns a hair salon? Give them a glowing public review. Not only will clients and people within your immediate network be thankful for your review, but they’ll be more inclined to do the same for you — it’s the law of reciprocity. This is also a great way to build your own reputation and personal brand without asking for forced reviews.
4. Fulfill their needs before your own.
One of the best ways to serve your peers and clients is to help them fulfill their needs before fulfilling your own. This applies to real estate services, but may also relate connected elements, like:
- Helping clients find the best custom furniture store for their new home
- Showing them different builders that offer green energy amenities
- Providing resources on the home buying or selling process
- Giving your professional opinion on the best offer to submit for a home
While it’s impossible for you to totally overlook a potential commission, it’s important to always put the needs of your clients first — even if it risks the sale. Sadly, only about 10 percent of respondents in a recent study said they trusted real estate agents. Break the mold — be there to serve your clients, not just earn money. They’ll respond in kind by working with you when they’re ready to buy/sell again, and they’ll refer you to other people who want an honest and service-minded agent.
The Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) tells us that you’ll get about 80 percent of your future business from 20 percent of your current clients. Imagine what would happen if you fulfilled the needs of that 20 percent; you’d get exceptional returns on your future referrals.
Service-oriented real estate businesses
Many real estate agents serve clients by continuing to engage with them well after closing day. They genuinely care about their fellow agents, their network and the people they meet. They create content that relates to their audience or niche, and they offer advice and resources to help people buying or selling a property.
Realtors and agents who practice this level of “service” know that it offers exponential returns — in the form of new clients, bigger sales and a stronger network (not to mention you just feel good). Service to your peers and clients is the best form of real estate karma there is, so start cultivating a service-minded approach to your network and clients. You’ll be amazed at all the good that comes flowing back to you!