Stop Grinding and Start Making an Impact

Matt Rouse is the author of Flattening the Hamster Wheel: Stop Grinding and Start Making an Impact. He is also the host of the Digital Marketing Masters podcast, and manages Hook SEO Digital Marketing. If you've ever seen an ad on the internet from the ATRE Store, it came from him. "I speak with several realtors every week, and I see some common mistakes and many missed opportunities in their marketing."

1. Know your potential client. I meet a realtor every week who tells me they can work with anyone. When you say your service is for everyone, it's also not specifically for anyone. There's a difference between a general practitioner and a brain surgeon. When you specialize it changes everything. In your marketing, you need to define who you want to work with and it doesn't mean you are not going to work with others, you just aren't going to market yourself to them. The riches truly are in the niches.

2. Look at who engages with your social media posts. For most realtors©, it's the same handful of people engaging with their posts over and over. The ability to reach new people on most social media has been stifled by platforms like Facebook and Instagram because they want you to pay to advertise to find new people. It's not 2016 anymore, you aren't getting any new fans for free. And you're definitely not getting anyone excited by paying a service to post about which kitchen someone likes best on Facebook.

3. Be yourself. Trust is number one. If your potential clients don't trust you, having the biggest database in the world isn't going to help you. People have been trained by getting thousands of marketing messages a day to sniff-out scammers and inauthentic messaging. People can smell "commission breath" a mile away. You have to be honest and working for your client's best interest in every contact you have with them from text-messages to your newsletters, to your Instagram posts. "The one who teaches earns the right to sell." Being fake just erodes trust.

4. Learn to weigh opportunity costs. Everything you're spending time on now means you're not spending that time doing something else. It's important to plan what needs to be done and prioritize based on "what is the most valuable use of my time right now." If you are spending too much time trying to come up with a weekly blog post that no one is reading anyway, spend it catching up with past clients instead. Go back to writing when you have something people want to read. (see number 5)

5. Tell people what they want to hear, not what you want to tell them. This is difficult because we all tell ourselves a story that people want the things we are posting or sending to them. Most of the time, they don't. Seth Godin has an easy way to determine if what you're posting or emailing your potential clients is working. "Would they miss it if it was gone?" If you stop posting on Facebook would anyone notice? If you stop sending that newsletter, would anyone email you back to ask why they haven't received it in a while? If the answer is no, then you need to rethink your strategy.

6. Competitive advantage and standing out. It's a crowded real estate world out there, and for every potential client you are wooing, there are 100 other agents looking to win them over too. If I ask, "What makes you different?" most realtors tell me the same things, not knowing other brokers are using the same words. You should look at the social media and websites of all the other realtors in your area or niche and see what they are saying to their potential clients. If they are all saying the same things, you need to say something different. If everyone in your area is the "honest, hard-working agent who treats you like family and negotiates on your behalf" then you could be, "Janet, a dog lover who believes that all dog-people have a common bond in the love of their animals and that dogs truly are part of the family," or, "Joseph from Hilldale Station, the only born and raised Hillsdale Station realtor." In 2020, fitting in means you are invisible.

7. Be the connector of people. You know so many vendors and clients already who have so much to offer. Make sure that you are the person who connects people with pre-vetted service providers and not just for housing. Everyone in your sphere of influence should understand that you know where the best coffee shops are, the restaurants, the places to get that special gift or get them access to the people who can solve their problems. And not just chiming in on the odd Facebook post, you should be letting people know you have the connections. "I was talking to Mishka at Southside Flowers today and she hooked me up with these beautiful flowers for my client. If you need an introduction to get flowers for a special occasion, let me know and I would be happy to connect you." Soon people will know you are a one-stop-shop for connections, and that's what builds relationships, keeps you top of mind, and helps you earn their trust.


  • Betty Estes

    This is really good and relevant!

  • Joseph Adams

    Thank you Tracey! I appreciate your insights and I’ll be working on implementing these in my business. Your thoughts came at a good time for me. The hardest part of real estate I’ve found is the ability to stand out and become known in your community.

  • Trena Cook

    Great article! Definitely gave me some things to think about!!

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