A few months ago a couple opened a new restaurant close to our office.  Almost overnight, there were these stories about how difficult it was for them to open the restaurant.  It was a very compelling and carefully crafted marketing narrative, but I knew better.  They have a family member who is loaded with cash.  This careful crafting of a narrative was done to entice people to the restaurant.  With the money behind them, they don’t even need one customer and they can be in business for years.  They have a huge advantage as a new business;  the availability of copious amounts of cash.  That got me to thinking about our real estate brokerage and our advantage.  What is your real estate advantage?

The Deerwood Realty Advantage

Taken from our website:

“You may have heard of the saying that all real estate markets are local (second only to the similar quote about the most important factor in real estate: “Location, Location, Location!”). Well, when you work with Deerwood Realty, you’ve got the hometown advantage.

Deerwood was founded by a St. Louis native and a transplant of more than a decade who has enthusiastically taken over the role of “hometown tourist”. We think this local flair gives us a lot of advantages when it comes to the St. Louis real estate market.

For one thing, we know and love the city. We know what buyers care about, what neighborhoods are most attractive to young professionals or new families or empty nesters. We know how to market homes that are perfect for commuters or for people looking for a particular school district. And most importantly, we know how to help connect people with the vibrant, diverse nature of St. Louis, allowing them to find a home and a community that is perfect for their needs.

Because we are an independent, locally owned business, we’re able to respond to the needs of the local market, rather than the dictates of a large national franchise. We can move quickly and adjust our approach for each client we serve, rather than forcing everyone into a cookie-cutter process. When you work with a local company like Deerwood, you’re keeping your money in the community and helping us support local charities.”

If You Do Not Have Any Advantages, You’re In Trouble

I’m a real estate lifer.  Deerwood Realty is my life’s work.  We know through experience that sometimes the real estate business can be very good to us, and sometimes the real estate business can be quite surly.  Can you say the same thing about your real estate agent or the real estate brokerage they are associated with?  When times are good, you’ll see lots of real estate brokerages opening up.  Have you recently bought or sold a home with a real estate brokerage that didn’t exist even a year ago?  There’s your sign the market is good.  Five to seven years from now, when you look to buy the home of your dreams, is that real estate agent and brokerage going to be in business?  It probably won’t be if the market shifts.

What Are Your Advantages?

You can have many different advantages in a real estate career.  Let’s go over a few of them.

Cash – I’ve yet to find a business where cash on hand isn’t an advantage.  Cash can cover up mistakes.  Cash can fuel advertising and growth.  On the other hand, when you run out of cash, you really don’t last too long. You certainly don’t have a business.

Family Ties – I know one very successful real estate agent in St. Louis.  His mother was a top producing real estate agent for years, and she passed down her book of business to him and she works on his team.  The head start he got was an amazing advantage.  He still has to go to work every day, but I doubt he would have done as well on his own.

Area Expertise – Is there a particular part of town where you know every house address and what every house has sold for over the past decade?  That’s an advantage.  Your expertise in real estate markets will allow you to crush the competition on listing appointments.

Drive – Are you a real estate agent driven to success?  That is definitely an advantage.  There are thousands of real estate success stories of agents who started with nothing and their drive took them to heights they’d never imagined.

Application Of Marketing Concepts –  It isn’t enough to know about real estate marketing.  Some real estate agents have an advantage in that they have an ability to apply their marketing advantage.  Take three random real estate agent Facebook pages.  I bet there’s one of the three that you would look to conduct business with tomorrow.  In this way, it isn’t that you are on Facebook, it’s that you have the advantage of knowing what to put on Facebook that brings new clients to your door.  Any real estate agent who can bring people in through their marketing efforts will always have a huge advantage.

Real Estate Advantages Can Be Hard To Quantify

When a real estate broker or team leader is looking for new real estate agents, they are often looking for certain things.  Can the real estate agent follow directions?  Does the real estate agent have a positive mindset?   We take these things into consideration when making a new hiring decision.  However, you can have these observable traits and still not have any success in real estate sales.  And, without observing your body of work, we can’t possibly know your drive, or your expertise in a neighborhood.

It Isn’t Enough To Have A Real Estate Advantage

There’s a funny thing about having an advantage in real estate.  You still have to go out there and make it happen.  Because real estate sales are so competitive, an advantage doesn’t mean anything unless you actually use it.  Even then, it might not be enough.  Think of auto racing, where some of the more successful team owners have other businesses they can rely on outside of racing.  What is your real estate advantage?  It may not guarantee success, but not having one is a recipe for disaster.