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I just received an email from Tom Karadza, an agent launching my Less Clients More Money System in Toronto, Canada. He forwarded a link to a blog post by Seth Godin titled "Advice for Real Estate Agents – (quit now!). Seth’s blog post was so good that I had to write about it today. I will follow up with part two to my post on using YouTube to improve your business later in the week!
In Seth’s post, he summarized two options for agents in this down market. The two options he presented were:
1. Quit real estate and get a full-time job.
2. Micro-specialize to increase your sales.
In Tom Karadza’s email to me, he wrote "Doesn’t this sound a tad familiar? It sounded like something you would be recommending." Now, Tom wasn’t suggesting that Seth stole my ideas. He was simply saying that Seth’s advice is exactly what I have been suggesting agents do for sometime now.
Seth went on to write:
"…you’re either the best in the world (where ‘world’ can be a tiny slice of the environment) or you’re invisible."
He is simply suggesting that you pick one segment of the market and focus all of your attention on dominating the one segment. I included a few examples of this in my new book "Renegade Strategies for Real Estate Agents." The key point being – to focus all of your attention in this one segment of the market. This seems to be the BIG challenge for agents. Focusing our attention in one small segment of the market makes us feel like we will lose sales and income. We consistently try to be everything to everybody. Chasing every lead distracts us. When we get distracted our incomes and businesses suffer.
I would never have been able to re-invent my real estate sales business had I continued listing homes and working with regular home buyers. I would have been spread too thin in many ways. First off, I wouldn’t have had enough time to build my club of investors. Next, my advertising money would have been allocated amongst listings, buyer lead generation and attracting investors to me. I wouldn’t have gained any leverage from my marketing efforts. Finally, my buyers agents wouldn’t have been able to focus their effort on one specific group of clients. They would have been distracted as well.
In fact, Seth wrote "No, you can’t also do a little of this or a little of that. Best in your world means burning your other bridges and obsessing."
For me this meant, giving up regular real estate sales. I stopped going on listings. I stopped taking regular buyer clients. I burned my bridges. You must be decisive with your business. Too many agents stick their toes into a new idea and then when the first bump hits, they quickly yank their toe back out of the water. You have to stand for something. Burn your bridges.
What clients are you best with? Work only with these clients. Refer all other sale opportunities to other agents. Become the best on one specific area. It could be anything:
- Homes with Swimming Pools
- Country Properties
- Specific neighborhoods
- Horse properties
- Vacant land
- Multi-family properties
- Luxury homes
- Lake front homes
You can probably get my point. Become an expert in one area. Seth suggested the following in his post:
"Invest time in building your expertise and becoming a person people who don’t even like you turn to for insight."
This actually happens with me all of the time. I get calls and emails almost daily from people about real estate investing. This is because I’m now known as an expert in this niche. Does this happen to you? If not, start making some changes right now. Specialists always survive down markets – generalists don’t.
You need to re-invent your business right now. Waiting is not an option. Pick your specialty and focus all of your attention on this one area. Or you can get out of the business as Seth suggested as an option in his blog post! Check Seth’s blog post out at: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/02/advice-for-real.html