With thousands of other real estate agents operating in your local market, you must do something to stand out. It’s not enough to just have a license and a couple of contacts in your back pocket. You need authority. And the only way to establish the kind of authority that produces a steady flow of leads and clients is to implement a proactive strategy.
In this article, we’ll give you several methods you can use to begin moving the authority “needle” in the right direction.
Why does authority matter?
Authority can be a difficult concept to define in specific terms. It’s something that’s felt more than it’s concretely established. That being said, it can best be described as a status that the marketplace assigns to you based on how it views you (rather than something that you confer on yourself). For all intents and purposes, it’s your reputation and level of trustworthiness in your niche.
An agent with high authority is someone who people respect and trust with important financial decisions (like buying or selling a house). An agent with low authority is someone who is unknown and/or who hasn’t proven themselves capable of being trustworthy. (It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re viewed as “untrustworthy” – just that they’re an unknown commodity.)
Authority is the heartbeat of lead generation. It sets the undertone for the relationship. If you have lots of authority, it’s easy to establish preeminence and earn the benefit of the doubt. If you lack authority, you’ll struggle to find good clients (which, ironically enough, makes it even more challenging to establish future authority). Authority and lead generation are two elements in the cycle – you need one to fuel the other.
3 authority building tips
There’s a saying in the real estate world that activity breeds activity. Well, the same is true here. Authority breeds authority. Get your foot in the door with a couple of basic authority-boosting strategies and you’ll discover that it can be multiplied many times over. With that said, here are several tips you may find helpful:
1. Get featured in media
One of the quickest ways to generate authority is by aligning yourself with other individuals and entities that already have authority. This essentially gives you authority by osmosis.
Look for opportunities to be featured in local or online media. For example, if you happen to have a lot of knowledge of your local market, you could pitch an article idea to a local news station or an online publication like Inman or BiggerPockets to see if they’ll let you write a guest blog post.
Once you get featured in the media, you can use the logo of the publication and put it on your website, email signature, social media profiles, and business cards to show that you’ve been “featured” by them.
2. Show off your activity
As mentioned earlier, activity is the best authority signal around. If people see that you’re consistently representing their friends and neighbors in real estate transactions, they automatically assume that you’re someone they can trust. (This is the psychology of social proof in action.) The key is to show off your activity.
One way to show off your activity is by printing up real estate “just sold” postcards every time you complete a transaction. These postcards can be sent for as little as 70 cents per postcard, which makes it a very cost-effective investment.
3. Write a book
You’ve probably never dreamt of writing a book, but it’s a whole lot more practical than you might think. Thanks to easy self-publishing tools, anyone can write several thousand words, design a simple cover, and have a book printed and sent to them on demand.
As a real estate agent, a book is basically a glorified business card. You can hand it out to leads and clients as a way of amplifying your authority and showing people that you’re an expert in your niche. It doesn’t have to be a best-seller (and you don’t even have to sell a single copy). The goal is to show people that you’re an established and trusted voice in your niche.
Putting it all together
If you want to be a successful real estate agent who has access to a steady flow of qualified leads, then you need some base level of authority to drive this traffic. By implementing several of these tips and techniques, you can begin to shape your reputation and strengthen your image in your local market and niche. It won’t happen overnight, but if you give it time, the results will follow.
Story by Darren Wilson