I’d like to kick off what I hope will be a short series on the basics of selling anything at all. Of course this applies to selling real estate but it equally applies to selling cakes, CDs or cars.
I am going to start with USP – Unique Selling Point. Now if you know even 1% of what you need to succeed online this should be like teaching grandmother how to suck eggs. However, we all, even me, need to be reminded of the basics.
What is it about the real estate (or necklaces, watches, computer cases or greeting cards) that you are promoting that no one else offers? Why would Mr Joe Public choose you over the other six or seven thousand people in the country offering the same or similar services?
If you don’t know the answer to this question then your business in in trouble.
Let me illustrate this with a story of real estate in the UK. In a small corner of the UK there are three towns. The area they are in has about 120,000 people in it. One real estate agency that has been doing very well opened a branch less than five miles away in a second of the towns. It did not do very well.
Well, for starters they did not advertise the business but also they offered the same commission rate as everyone else. They did offer a slightly more comprehensive service than many competitors but without something exciting to cause word of this service to be spread the slightly better service was a well kept secret.
So what did they do?
They dropped the commission rate to make it the lowest in the town, they started to offer not just a better set of reports but a guarantee of specific actions at no cost if the property fails to sell within a time period,. They did not tie people into an exclusive contract and they offered free professional photo shoots. All that in a down turn economy.
What they did was change the USP so no the question is not why would Joe Public use this agency but why would Joe Public want to use any other agency.
When the economy is grey then a USP that is a shade of grey different tot he next guys does not stand out.
What will you offer to make your services stand out?
It does not need to be the lowest price (although if you can afford to compete like that good luck to you). Offer the customer more bang for his or her buck and suddenly you have a reason to be chosen.
Stand out. Go further. Be seen.