Leadership comes in many forms. A successful real estate professional is no stranger to many of its manifestations; as you no doubt know, the daily an
Leadership comes in many forms. A successful real estate professional is no stranger to many of its manifestations; as you no doubt know, the daily and long-term demands of your job require you to command a team, become a leader in your local community and market, and leverage your expertise in countless interactions and negotiations where you are forced to take the lead.
However, in the digital age, one area of leadership that cannot be overlooked is “thought leadership.” The online space is not simply one in which consumers make transactions or offer market input. This very same space is the one in which they engage with their peers and colleagues, form their opinions, and compile their perspectives on everything from the local market to the global economy at large.
This reality can be incredibly daunting, as it prompts those in industries like real estate to examine their role in this widespread dialogue. On one hand, it is important not to spread oneself too thin, attempting to address every issue a potential customer may face with dignity and discretion.
On the other hand, it is impossible at this time to turn a blind eye to the realities that consumers face and the trends in public perception that result from these realities. For better or for worse, it is necessary to engage in the public sphere in order to make a tangible impact on the futures of consumers and their relationships to your business.
What is thought leadership?
Aspiring thought leaders are a dime a dozen. It is easy to make one’s voice heard, at least to a small audience, due to the overabundance of media through which one can disseminate their anecdotes and opinions. While your goal should be to create a voice that can be heard above the milieu, it is also important to recognize that consumers can be extremely susceptible to any stimulus that crosses their path.
In other words, they may not know what quality thought looks like, and it does not take a groundbreaking thought leader to generate a massive following. You can learn from current influencers, however, and put their tactics to work in the service of your own expertise.
Effective thought leaders thrive on the “give-and-take” dynamics that are inherent in the conceptual marketplace. They capitalize on the balance between what needs to be said and what consumers want to hear, between information and misinformation. There is no way to control what consumers encounter in the digital sphere, but thought leaders make an effort to give consumers something more palatable to work with.
How can you become a thought leader?
Local awareness is one of the first steps toward assuming this role. Your local audience is your first and most loyal. Allow them to inform you as well as caution you. Take steps to establish a mutual relationship with your current clients in which both of you value the input of the other.
To begin to take your thought leadership further, offer your own takes on issues facing both local and broader communities. Examine the opinions already circulating; engage with those who spread them; add your own. Give examples from your professional life and tout your reputable companions in the industry. Help your clients and even your competition realize that you have something other than business to bring to the table – though business will surely follow.