Market smarts key to credibility, trust
As buyers and sellers struggle to understand their options in a shifting market, agents who can help them navigate the numbers will have a leg up.
- Consumers are hungry for data to help them with buying and selling decisions.
- Saying you're a market expert isn't enough — agents must be able to back that up with useful, timely knowledge.
- Agents who invest in developing economic expertise deliver more value, get more referrals.
Not long ago, many real estate agents marketed themselves with Rockwellian warmth: recipe cards featuring their faces and contact information. Calendars with photos of the community that they helped build, one sale at a time.
While those mementos may be appreciated, a shifting market requires agents to swap sentimentality for their own smarts to win clients and stand out.
"We as people became more reliant on data and information during the pandemic," said David Childers, president of Keeping Current Matters (KCM), which for 14 years has provided data and marketing material to real estate professionals.
"It's now a must-have," he said. "Consumers have a desire to know what's going on, and when it comes to real estate, they want it more now. They have been trained to look for what is happening and what is going on to make a wise decision."
Agents are responding by tapping into the kind of resources that KCM and others offer — both to sharpen their understanding of complex issues, and to build credibility and reliability with their clients. Over the summer, traffic on KCM's site increased by 25% — a jump that Director of Sales & Marketing Jack Goodall called "significant."
"Anytime there is uncertainty in the market, we see high levels of engagement," Goodall said. "Especially at times when things go down. Information and data are more readily available than ever before, and agents want to know what it means, and what are the options for their clients."
KCM provides information to agents through a subscription service, which includes access to a daily blog, where they receive insights and data on a specific topic, and a weekly Facebook Live that updates subscribers on the market. They also provide a monthly market report, which they are giving away for free this month on their website.
With interest rates up and the market rapidly shifting, many buyers and sellers are anxious and unsure how to proceed. Agents who come armed with accurate, straightforward data and information can be a valuable — and reassuring — resource.
"If you have the information and the ability to teach your clients what they don't know, you are absolutely delivering the value you need to deliver," Childers said. "And if you don't do that, well, nobody gets excited about working with someone who doesn't know what they're doing."
He credited KCM's "foundational" approach to financial expert Dave Ramsey, who said: "Whenever you're looking for advice on a major purchase, look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesperson."
Anyone can put "market expert" on their social media, Goodall said.
"But how are you going to back it up?" he asked. "What's the content? What's the message?"
Agents with deep knowledge and expertise don't have to work as hard to sell themselves. Their past clients — who've experienced that level of support, and trust that their agents will stay on top of the market and give them sound advice — are the best marketers.
"It's the fundamental truth about business," Goodall said. "People want to work with people they know, like and trust. This is the trust factor."
Said Childers: "If you want to be known as an expert, you have to be sharing expert advice. If you want to be known as the best baker in town, well, that's when you send out a recipe."