Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in agents calling about revamping their real estate websites. However, it’s not just about getting a slick new site — it’s an acknowledgment that landing a client just got harder in light of the Sitzer | Burnett ruling.
There’s a lot to unpack here (and Inman has reported extensively on the Sitzer/Burnett judgment), but one thing is clear: The entire real estate industry is dealing with a reputation problem of Titanic proportions.
It’s not (just) about the money
From my vantage point, the Sitzer | Burnett debacle is a question of value. After all, nowhere is it written that buyers and sellers must use an agent. FSBOs exist, but most people don’t go this route because they recognize the value of working with an agent. That said, you must work harder to communicate the value you deliver when 6 percent commissions have become taboo.
It’s all about perception
The problem with the NAR ruling is that it casts a shadow over the entire industry, including agents who more than earn their commissions. The whole matter has become a battle of perception — and your best weapon is an assailable brand.
How do you build a brand that can withstand intense client scrutiny in the wake of the Sitzer | Burnett ruling? I think agents should make four key pivots to rise above the chaos.
From great to best
Clients will be more discerning and demanding than ever. Ensure your online presence clearly communicates why you’re the best agent to meet their needs. From your website to your listing presentations to your marketing collateral, everything has to be top-notch. If your brand and marketing are subpar, after all, how could your service be stellar?
From promises to results
Stop talking about how great you are and start talking about how you can solve clients’ problems. Highlight concrete results on your website, such as fetching top-dollar for hard-to-sell properties, finalizing deals in record time, or closing trophy sales. When you show hard proof of the value you deliver, your commission becomes a non-issue.
From transaction to education
More than just an orchestrator of real estate transactions, you have to be a valuable resource person who can guide clients through today’s upside-down real estate market. Your knowledge and experience are priceless — a commission is a small amount to pay to access them. And you can demonstrate your expertise by making your website and social channels a premier source of insight, advice, tips and guides.
From reactive to proactive
It’s easy to panic, but don’t. In a challenge, the best course of action is to control what you can — not react blindly to every fire that crops up. And the thing you have the most control over is your brand and marketing strategy. Project steady certainty in this topsy-turvy market, and you’ll land an outsized share of customers.
You’ve got this!
Unfortunately, not everyone will understand the value you bring to the table; they are not your target audience. By fine-tuning your brand, you can corner the market of clients who truly understand that you get what you pay for in real estate — including the services of your broker.
About Agent Image
Agent Image is an award-winning marketing agency that caters exclusively to real estate professionals. It specializes in building exquisite websites and running data-driven digital campaigns, working with many of the industry’s leading agents and brokerages. Contact us today at 1-800-979-5799 to level up your website and marketing for 2024!