You have fewer competitors than you think. Consider the facts.

By Larry Kendall, author of Ninja Selling and chairman emeritus of The Group, Inc.

There’s very little real competition in our industry. Bold statement? Let’s look at the facts.

  1. An analysis of 1.3 million Realtor® MLS members indicates that approximately 45 percent of them did not have a single real estate transaction in the past year. Nearly half of our industry is not even in the game! (REAL Trends Newsletter, August 2017)
  2. Only 25 percent of sellers and 12 percent of buyers use the same Realtor® on their next transaction—a sign of poor service follow-up and client retention. (NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 2016)
  3. An amazing 74 percent of buyers and sellers report they never heard from their real estate professional again after closing! Twenty percent heard from them occasionally and only 6 percent heard from them consistently.
    (Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report 2016)

This statistic indicates that most real estate professionals are transaction driven versus relationship driven. They give lip service to relationships but operate their business as a series of one night stands. They prefer to chase leads rather than stay in touch with their customers who could send them referrals.

  1. J.D. Power’s Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Survey reports that real estate professionals who invest time in keeping their customers informed during the transaction and are responsive to their customer’s concerns and questions, have a much higher satisfaction rating.

The best real estate professionals know this and are proactive in their communication, knowing that “if the client calls us first during a transaction, we are failing.” Unfortunately, the research shows that most real estate professionals are not proactive. One of the seller’s and buyer’s biggest complaints is, “I never hear from my real estate professional about my listing/transaction. I always have to call them first.”

  1. One of the most important resources a buyer or seller wants is a packet of information that explains the process before they buy or sell a home. Several years ago, a study by REAL Trends and Harris Interactive found that only about 20 percent of real estate professionals use these important packets. Eighty percent don’t provide this resource.
  2. According to NAR’s Profile of Buyers and Sellers, two-thirds of sellers only talk to one Realtor® about listing their house. So, the Realtor is seldom in competition for the listing. Interestingly, of the one-third who talked to more than one Realtor, half of them only wanted to talk to one, but the first one they met with was so awful that they felt they needed to meet with someone else. The seller’s response to this real estate professional is usually, “Thank you so much. This has been great. We are going to think about it.” Then, they call a second agent.

Here’s the good and bad news: The bad news is our industry is generally failing to address basic customer needs, let alone create a wow customer experience. The good news is that there’s very little competition in our industry for those who are client-centric and deliver the basic services and communication described above.

This is a very simple business. It does not take a big financial investment in new technology or lead generation systems. It does not take more people. All it takes is training your sales associates to do the following:

  • Be client-centric. “If you take care of your clients, your clients will take care of you.”
  • Use buyer and seller packets. Make it easy by providing a basic company packet.
  • Be pro-active in their communication by always calling their customers first. Encourage your associates to have a set time each week to communicate with their customers during the transaction.
  • Have an efficient follow-up system for your associates to use after the closing. Help them by creating newsletters, market updates, events, etc. for them to use.

Again, this is a simple business. It’s easy to do! Unfortunately, it’s also easy not to do—which is probably why most of our industry isn’t doing it. Teach your team to do the basics better than anyone, and you will have all the business you can handle.

Who’s your competition? Look in the mirror. You are your only competition!