What traditional brokers and agents can do to survive in the age of low commission, fast-closing apps

However brave a face you might put on things, you can’t help but be at least concerned about home buying apps. And so you should be! Technology and change march on, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t speed up in the coming years.

So, what can you do to stay ahead of your competition while providing homeowners and buyers with some key benefits to stand above the apps?

For a start, you can get a better price for sellers. And as yet, no Artificial Intelligence can match human intuition. Sure, they can suggest houses based upon search parameters and history, But so can you, and without returning a gazillion houses for your potential clients to sift through! And you know the market personally. You can give more accurate comps and introduce new home buyers to mortgage brokers, appraisers, title closers, tradespeople… And you can talk about a home buyer’s new neighborhood.

You’re a Human. Be Human!

The most important differentiator is the obvious one. You’re human. And some people still like to deal with humans. That might not always be the case, but for now, it is. So look at the most human aspects of what you do as a Broker or Agent, and make sure you excel in those things. Go some steps beyond, also.

In digital marketing, people give away information. Sure, they have a Call-to-action (CTA) at the end where they’re asking for some form of sign up. But the focus isn’t about what you’re selling, it’s about what you know – and sharing it. It builds trust and trustworthiness. It’s a concept that is all too scarce on social media in our profession. And that needs to change!

That’s all the more true now, when there are so far fewer open houses and nowhere near the number of opportunities, in general, to meet potential clients while out on your daily business. Sure, the phone still works. But for a lot of people now, phone calls are an imposition – almost an invasion of their privacy! So a lot of the contact must now be via message apps.

Counter to that, you still need to show your face, even if you can’t meet. Once in a while, schedule a Zoom call. Video calling may have gained new popularity because of working from home, but eye-to-eye conversation easily beats speaking on the phone. I’m not suggesting you migrate 100% to video calling. That wouldn’t work.

Newsletter, Social Media, and Blogging

Email newsletters are hardly new, but they too need to be used more. Between them and your social media accounts, you can share valuable information with potential clients, such as:

  • Current housing market trends in your area
  • Neighborhood News
  • Current and ‘sold’ listings
  • Home staging tips
  • Organizing hacks

Please don’t be that person who only posts what they have to sell. Sure, if something catches a browser’s eye, they’ll stop on your page. But if what you’re posting is helpful to people, you can build a relationship even if they’re not about to buy a house anytime soon. But you can be sure that if someone likes and trusts you before their buying or selling process begins, you have a strong advantage over your competition… And over any app.

And don’t forget this one. Start a blog! Between this, your social media, and your newsletter, you’re selling yourself, rather than only selling houses. But the modern consumer is more likely to want to like anyone who they do business with than was the case in the past. So go ahead and sell yourself. But make it a soft sell.

Your digital competitors are doing all of this. Do what they can’t do, and add your personality to your posts.

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