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Buyer agents: Explain yourselves 

Brokerages and agents need to communicate exactly how they serve buyers, just as they do for sellers — and what value those services bring to clients.

March 27, 2024
3 minutes

Key points:

  • In a webinar, T3 Sixty brokerage consultants discussed how firms can better explain their value proposition.
  • Brokers need to be tactical in how they position their firm and agents, "especially with the changes coming about."
  • Even if a brokerage firm offers the same services as its competitors, "it's how you amplify these messages" that matters.

If your firm's consumer-focused web pages are nothing more than property searches, don't be surprised if buyers don't think they need you.

That's one of the messages coming out of a T3 Sixty webinar Wednesday on branding and elevating brokerage value propositions. (Note: T3 Sixty and Real Estate News share a founder, Stefan Swanepoel.)

"As I do these buyer brokerage assessments and I look at companies' websites … if I look at the buy page, it's a property search," said Lisa Piccardo, vice president of brokerage and team consulting for T3 Sixty. "It doesn't say anything about all the value we bring."

She contrasted that with sell-side pitches that list services like staging and photography to help sell homes faster and at higher prices.

"As a buyer [representative], think about all the things your company does and your agents do," Piccardo said. "Really dive in, get deep in. You know that you're doing far more than showing houses, finding houses. They can find a house themselves online, right?"

Especially in the wake of the compensation lawsuits, buyer agents and brokerages need to explicitly communicate why consumers need them.

"Look at the contract and the 42 areas of negotiation that you're going to help them negotiate," Piccardo said.

"On the buy side, the value seems to be like, 'Oh, we're gonna open the door. We're gonna help people through a process,'" said Dean Cottrill, executive vice president of T3 Sixty brokerage and team consulting.

"But there's not a lot of value that's presented or resonates on that buy side," he said. "What are some tactical things that you're doing to help position your organization, position your agents to really win the day, especially with the changes coming about?"

It's not just what you offer, but how it helps your clients

Piccardo said it's not enough to list the services brokerages provide — both to consumers and to agents they want to recruit. 

"I think one of the biggest misses in talking about value proposition is people throw out  all the features," Piccardo said. "Everything should always say 'What this means to you is….'" 

For consumers, that might be a higher sales price or a seamless transaction. For agents it might be higher productivity.

Some brokerages or teams struggle to differentiate themselves, Cottrill said. "They'll say, 'Frankly, I don't have a lot of uniquenesses, you know? I sell houses, we recruit agents, we help them grow their businesses up to be successful.'"

"Sometimes it's just the energy," he said. "It's how you amplify these messages. 'Yeah, we do this, and everybody else does those things, but we do it better.'"

"Then you want to accentuate how you do things better," he advised. And that message isn't just for consumers, but also for current agents: "It becomes part of your calling card: 'We sell homes faster, we sell them for more money. We have a higher per-person productivity.'"

Cottrill encouraged leaders to identify their strengths. "What are those areas that you own and that you're passionate about?"

Cottrill and Piccardo also suggested brokerage leaders and agents establish a brand and voice, directing them to a Kaye Putnam brand quiz website to help determine and define their "brand archetype."

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