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Craftsmanship in the age of influence: A real estate revolution

The celebritization of our industry has reached a breaking point. 

In 2022-2023, many newer agents came into this business with the dreams of Selling Sunset. Now, they’re facing a new reality.

The highlight reel of life promised by Instagram comes with some fine print.

Sales are a result of core competencies, not followers and likes. Yet, the roadmap for new agents seems to be in reverse order:

  • Take lifestyle photos to show you are successful
  • Pick a colour scheme and design a logo
  • Take videos of yourself in other agents’ listings (don’t worry, the consumer will think it’s yours!)

But, what happens when the phone rings and that ever-elusive buyer has chosen YOU?

Do you understand the market and product you’re selling?

Can you explain to them the roadmap of buying a home?

Are you educated on your legal and compliance obligations?

Because the agents doing deals can definitely answer yes to these questions.

 

Offer sound strategy and data interpretation

 

In an age driven by attention, there’s a silent return to the age of the craftsman. 

Consumers are becoming desensitized by seeing the same repurposed content strategy.

They’re exhausted by being re-marketed and resold to through many advertising platforms.

It has never been easier to stand out if you can showcase market intelligence. How? By offering sound strategy and interpretation of data.

That’s not to say building online platforms won’t help. It’s to say that if you don’t focus on being able to do the job like a true professional FIRST, a large platform might end up exposing rather than helping you. 

 

Consumers are hungry for professionals

 

The good news is if you’re willing to put in the effort, it has never been easier to succeed.

But how? By following the learn, build, do framework.

 

Learn

 

Spend time studying the market. Speak with other agents — they’re your best friends in this business. Get out of the echo chamber of real estate and understand the conversations happening around you. 

Spend time learning from economists (like Benjamin Tal if you’re in Canada). Listen to how lenders are thinking. Speak with consumers and ASK them questions rather than SELL to them.

Uncovering their concerns will give you a clear path to where your value lies. Interpret the market and be their guide rather than just another salesperson.

 

Build

 

Work ON your business, DAILY. Build SYSTEMS for how you handle every step of a transaction. Once you have a system, stick to it, review it and refine it.

The best businesses have come from agents who are improving their workflows. 

 

Do

 

Leaning and building are only helpful if you practice your craft. They say you can’t call yourself an artist, athlete or craftsperson if you don’t do the thing two hours a week.

The bar is low, people. The number of “real estate agents” who have no ambition to actually sell a house would astound you. 

 

This framework should excite you, as the opportunity to become part of the top 1 per cent doesn’t need uncommon talents or skills. Rather, it requires an uncommon ability to be consistent over time with the principles of pricing, marketing and negotiation — in that very order. 

 

Pricing, marketing and negotiating consistently

 

So how do you become consistent in these three key aspects?

Pricing. Add a daily habit of checking the MLS feeds. Get specific to your niche or product type and area. By doing something as simple as this, you’ll find yourself seeing patterns in new listings and sales. Then, when you’re in the field, you’ll be shocked at how that information becomes valuable when that lead reaches out, the phone rings or someone asks you about the area or market.

Marketing. FOCUS on your marketing efforts. Plan how you will run campaigns on your listings. Budget your marketing plan for the year. Measure what’s working, double-down on what’s working and cut back on what’s not. What separates the professional from the amateur is treating your business like an actual business.

Negotiation. Spend time around people who are levels above you and be a fly on the wall. Be present, listening to what works and what doesn’t. Ask questions. Read books. Study the craft. The best negotiations are made practically and tactically. They have a plan. The difference between a pro and an amateur? While everyone has a plan, the amateur’s plan is not having a plan.

 

Our industry is at a crossroads. If we choose to prioritize vanity metrics (likes, views) over quality of work and character, we may win in the short-term game of attention but my fear is we’ll lose in the long-term view of the consumer. By prioritizing the work and the craft, we become undeniable. 

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

 

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

 

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