Pete Brand
Grand Rapids, MI

I am married to an incredible woman named Amanda and have five amazing children. I would consider myself an entrepreneur and absolutely love the challenge of building businesses. I also love the journey of personal development. I don't believe in drifting through life on auto-pilot. I believe we are presented each day with opportunities to improve and become better. I choose to embrace these opportunities and use the lessons I learn to become a better "me" and continuously strive to embrace each moment!

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Make Delivering Value the Cornerstone to Your Marketing

By on April 7, 2011

The last couple days I’ve been writing about how real estate professionals can use technology to create a much more pleasant buying or selling experience for their clients.  If you know me you’re probably aware that I’m not a real estate agent, nor am I a consultant for the real estate industry.

This series of posts was inspired by a conversation I had with a gentleman WHO IS closely related to the real estate industry, and despite our differing industries, we share the same opinions on what true professionals could be doing to improve the overall experience.

Although I’ve been referring to the real estate industry, these thoughts and tactics could just as easily be applied to any industry you may be involved in.

I’ve been primarily focused so far on what you should do once you’ve already begun a relationship with a home seller.  That’s actually the easy part.  I think it’s even more important to focus on how you can utilize technology to gain credibility by delivering valuable content before acquiring a client.

Yesterday I exchanged comments with Steve Volkers of the Steve Volkers Group about how to hire a real estate agent with the correct skills.  He pointed out that simply possessing good Internet marketing skills shouldn’t  be the only criteria you use in finding a successful agent.

I couldn’t agree more!  The best agents are great at negotiation, pricing a home properly, educating their clients  on the process, organization, and a number of other skills.  The more an agent works on honing these skills, the more value they bring to the relationship with their clients.

How does someone who is selling or buying a home know if an agent has the necessary skills to avoid the nightmares we’ve all heard about?  Traditionally we’ve counted on “word of mouth” referrals from friends.  These days those referrals are much easier to receive with the advent of social media.

If you completely depend on referrals to build your business, I believe you’re choosing a lazy way to build your company.  Sitting in your office by your phone waiting for it to ring doesn’t allow you to control the growth of your business, it puts you in the position of simply taking what you get.

Don’t get me wrong … I’m not saying I’m perfect, or that referrals are bad.  In fact, the first 6 years of Mindscape simply “happened” due to word of mouth.

The minute we realized the opportunity that existed in the marketplace to educate companies on what it takes to be successful online, was the exact time that we began to take control of our business and we began to actually BUILD a successful company.

We realized if we developed content and put it out there for anyone to consume, we’d run the risk of teaching companies how to do things so they wouldn’t have to hire us, or worse yet we’d be providing a road map for our competition to duplicate.  There were many people who thought we were nuts for doing things this way, but we stuck to our guns and moved forward.

I believe by creating valuable content showcasing your knowledge, you’ll quickly gain credibility in the marketplace.  You’ll also gain fans because you’re providing value without asking for anything in return.

According to the US Census, the average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime.  By the time they are 19 they have 9.2 moves left, and by the time they are 44 they only have 3.1 moves left on average.  The bottom line is there is a very small period of time when people are thinking of moving.  As a real estate professional, you’ll need to make sure you’ve proven yourself over time, to ensure you’ll be the agent this average American is thinking about when that time comes.

I’d encourage you to take control of your business and don’t let it just “happen to you.”  Commit today to creating valuable content to showcase your knowledge and skills and give it away online.  Whether it’s a free eBook or a YouTube video series on how to organize your home to make a move less painful, or a white paper on how to lessen the negative affects your child could experience by moving away from their friends.

You don’t have to be a Pulitzer prize winning author to create this type of content.   Just put your thoughts out there in  a conversational way.

People are looking for valuable content and they “like” people who are helping them without any obvious expectations of reciprocation.  You’ll be amazed at how much better you become at your craft, through educating the marketplace.  You can’t possibly fail to learn when you are teaching others.

What have you done in the past to bring value to your customers or prospects?  Do you currently use value as the cornerstone for your marketing efforts?  Leave a comment and let me know things that have worked for you.

If not, I challenge you to do it immediately.  I promise that You’ll be happy you did.