A relationship with an agent opens up more than just a good or service.
The real estate arena offers an interesting paradox: the very individuals who orchestrate the exchange of real estate commodities are commodities themselves.
Traditionally, there is a clear differentiation between a good and a service. The homes you help to sell are goods, and the act of helping to sell them is a service. A fifth grader would likely be able to tell you that.
But just as a house is more than just a property – it represents a home, a lifestyle, and a future – you are more than just a service. You are a professional contact, a counselor, a bridge to areas in which your clients have little to no expertise. Your value as an agent goes beyond the service you provide.
If clients were simply investing in the process of buying or selling a home, the competition in the real estate world would be very level. It would be definite and quantifiable. In a few decades, a computer could take your place.
But many believe that, even if the technology became available, this would be unlikely to happen. And it is not because of the inevitable technological and logistical kinks that would need to be painstakingly worked out. If a perfect system could be calculated and produced, it would not integrate well with the client base it was meant for, because clients are not perfect, and they know it.
Consumers are aware that their expectations may be too high or too low, that they come into every transaction with both explicit and subliminal biases, and that they may not even be aware of the extent of their own needs even as they are setting out to meet them. Thus, when they invest in a real estate agent, they are not simply investing in the start-to-finish process of buying or selling a home.
Rather, clients are investing in a relationship. They are investing in you as a person, beyond even you as an agent. Your job, on paper, is to sell a property. But you do not need to convince anyone to buy or sell; if they have come to find you, this is something they already want. What they get from you is something more.
Buying or selling a home is not an end goal. It is a first or second step in a lifetime journey. By investing in your business, clients are inviting you on that journey. They are implicating themselves in your professional network. They are opening up the door for future collaboration. They are connecting you, and themselves, to the community in which you live.
Your career does not begin and end each time you sell a home. Instead, each client becomes a part of your process of growth as well as a part of the local and national housing market. Selling a home is just the beginning. Though it is a main tenet of your job description, it is only a service you provide. It is the evidence of your value as an investment, rather than the source of that value.
This is why it is so important to think beyond your ability to sell a home or provide a service. Instead, think of yourself as your top-selling product. Investigate what you offer that clients are willing to pay for. How can you make these things even more valuable and available?