A few mornings ago, I was getting some cereal for my six-year old daughter, and she said something that stuck with me, both because it seemed very observant and because it provides an interesting lesson for all of us in real estate.
"Dada, did you ever notice that every cereal box talks about how its cereal tastes the best?"
"Yes, I did. What do you think about that?", I replied.
"I guess they want everyone to buy their cereal." True enough.
I thought about this brief conversation a little bit, and I realized that the approach that these companies use to sell children's cereal is often the same one that we use as agents to sell our services. How many times have you seen these phrases on real estate ads (perhaps even your own):
As one of the area's top-producing agents, I….
Best Realtor in Austin, Texas!
John Q. Agent – The top choice for sellers throughout the Spring Valley area.
Please understand, there is nothing inherently wrong with these selling points, but do they really do much to help these particular agents to stand out in the marketplace? Aren't they all really just another cereal box proclaiming to be the best? Isn't "best" a pretty subjective word anyway? I think that the general public responds better to conversational ads rather than corporate-sounding generalities. It lends credence to any advertising in my opinion.
To that end, I am giving some thought to using more overtly honest themes throughout my website and my advertising efforts. Maybe something along the lines of,
"I have been in Austin real estate full-time for 11 years now. There are certainly others who have sold more homes than I have, but you would be hard-pressed to find an agent with more integrity than me. I would rather talk you out of a home purchase or an offer on your home than to assist you in making a bad decision."
Rather than being one of those who simply proclaims greatness from the rooftops to whomever will listen, I have a feeling that a more direct, forthright approach may work well for all of us. After all, most people like talking, not yelling.
Thanks for reading this one!