Marketing

10 words or less

Author
Jessica Swesey
No.
816
Date
09/05/13

What are your 10 words?

Every real estate business should be able to distill their unique value proposition down to less than 10 words – whether you serve consumers, agents or brokers. And it should make sense to a room full of people – preferably ones who know little to nothing about real estate.

It sounds easy. But it’s a difficult exercise worth doing.

To begin, first consider this question: What makes your business unique?

A few temptations to avoid with your 10-word answers here:

1. We have the most experience.

Everyone says this. Not unique. At least give me numbers that show me this instead.

It also means nothing to me as a potential client. That’s not your 10 words.

2. We have the most market share.

While on the right track, this statement isn’t viable unless you can back it up with actual data. Otherwise it’s just corporate speak that nobody understands.

3. We use “cutting edge” technology.

What does cutting edge even mean? And why does a person who’s trying to sell their home – a life-changing and hugely impactful financial event – care about this?

Here’s what the customer wants: a hassle-free path to getting their home sold. Or help buying a  home that’s the right fit. If you use technology to facilitate that, great. But articulate the former not the latter.

Also, a note: You don’t need to market the fact that you’re mobile, as it’s now ubiquitous. Touting it is like hanging your hat on having electricity in your offices. With her iPad and Android device, my mother is mobile. That alone is not unique.

4. We know the local market inside out.

Hmmm. Maybe. But this is more an asset than a differentiator. Also, you’re going to need to show that you know the local market inside out, not just say you do. Are you prepared to create some good content?

Finding the words

Landing on your value statement has nothing to do with fancy wordsmithing. You shouldn’t need a thesaurus to come up with the words. None should be a simple variation of someone’s else’s value statement.

You can’t write your way to solving this problem. It’s not about writing at all. It’s you digging deep into your company and shining a light on that which makes you special. And only after you figure that out can you then test and figure out what people might care about.

What if

What if there’s nothing special about your business? What if you’re basically a copycat of every other brokerage in your market?

Upon examination, we’ve actually found this to almost never be true with broker clients. Often, we can find it after a simple 30-minute rap session where we ask lots of questions. You’re probably too close. Too focused on the world within your brokerage walls and not aware of the context with which you sit in the outside world.

It’s there. And if it’s not, then your next steps are to focus on creating it.

Find the words – the right words. You won’t regret it. You’ll instill a level of clarity into your organization that will energize your culture and your brand.