When we examine the careers of highly productive agents, what we find is that they have different ways of being successful. We also find that they seem to fall into different categories or “styles” and we find that these styles are fairly distinct. Agents seem to gravitate over time to a way of doing business that is a good fit for them, a way that seems natural to them. The Seven “Success Styles” are:
Let’s examine each of these individually.
“Hunters” seek business. They don’t wait for business to find them. They are often aggressive or highly driven people, and enjoy the pursuit of the deal. They may find a category of lead types, and build a process and system for converting those types of leads into clients. They may build effective lead generation systems that drive leads to them that they can convert. This may involve working on FSBO’s, withdrawn’s or expired’s, holding lots of open houses, door knocking and other direct methods of developing leads. The distinction is that they seek the business. They “Hunt”. They get up every morning and they “eat”.
“Farmers” are relational people, and they develop business from their relationships. They often are outgoing, sometimes very outgoing and friendly, and usually have a high “likeability” factor. Creating and developing relationships is very natural to them. They usually come into the industry with a large network of friends and acquaintances and these relationships easily transition into business relationships. People like to work with them. Usually, working with them is a fun experience and they may get a lot of referrals because of that.
“Networkers” are also relational people like “Farmers”, but the majority of their relationships are based within a group or organization. This organization is the common ground on which the relationships are based. It’s the bond that allows the relationship to grow into business relationships. The group may be a church or religious organization, a non-profit or a charity, it could be the Chamber of Commerce or a Rotary Club or some another group. Group activities often offer opportunities for regular and repeated contact with the same group of people, and that allows the relationships to flourish. Networkers are also usually outgoing and very likeable, and they easily create and build new relationships. There are a lot of similarities with the “Farmer” style, and there may be crossover between the two, but not always.
“Experts” focus on some specialization in the industry. It may be a type of real estate or a type of transaction. It could be a geographical area. It is something specific that offers the opportunity to develop a reputation as the expert in that specific area. Experts seek to become the authority on that subject, and broadcast that value proposition to the world. The expertise activates the power of attraction and Consumers, who are contemplating a transaction in this area, become drawn to the Expert because of their knowledge and expertise. Experts may develop highly advanced skills when dealing with this type of consumer and specific processes and support systems that cater to them.
Examples of this strategy would include becoming the “Expert” on:
- “Short Sale” transactions
- Bank owned properties
- Architecturally unique or specific properties
- Condos or townhomes
- Apartment buildings
- Investment properties
- Small commercial properties
- A geographic area or neighborhood
- Urban real estate
- Waterfront properties
- Golf course properties
- First time Buyers
- Single women
The “Lifestyle” strategy is an emerging Style and is rooted in the idea of building relationships with Consumers based on their current or future “Lifestyle”. This strategy permits connections to Consumers who want to work with “someone like me” and creates a strong bond between them and the agent. This is a great strategy moving forward because the internet and social media elements are perfect tools to employ it, and allows the Consumer to find and build a relationship with the agent anonymously over time. When the time arrives for that Consumer to take action, they simply connect with the agent and establish a business relationship. Examples might include:
- “Zoomers” – retiring baby Boomers
- Resort towns
- Active adults
- Young urbanites
- Harley-Davidson riders
- Artists and creative people
- Members of the GLBT communities
- Corvette owners
The “Hyperlocalist” is an Expert in a neighborhood or another defined geographic area. This Agent seeks to master the local market knowledge, and then portray that identity through web assets and traditional marketing approaches. In the past, this would have been know as “Geographic Farming”, but with the advent of the internet as the basis for real estate search and the emergence of targeted web sites and other social media channels that convey the Agent’s business identity to the Consumer, this strategy is now a powerful and productive business approach.
“Billboards” are agents who use marketing and advertising to create leads that can be converted into business. This might involve massive mail campaigns, advertising with actual billboards, radio and TV ads, websites or even a combination of these strategies. The distinctive element is using advertising and marketing to drive leads into a systematic process of cultivation and conversion that will result in a large number of closed transactions. Often, Billboards employ others to perform segmented functions of the process to increase productivity and performance, and to leverage the time and efforts of the primary agent. The marketing and advertising creates a “Brand” in the marketplace, and they may create a very well defined Value Proposition with guarantees or other unique offerings.
Clearly, it would be very difficult and unusual to start your career as a Billboard due to the potential high cost of entry. It appears that most Billboards start their careers as Hunters or Farmers. Hunters would see the advertising and marketing function as an efficient way to generate a large amount of leads that could be converted with their advanced skills. Farmers, on the other hand, might see the advertising and marketing function as a way to leverage their brand identity within the community where they have accumulated a large amount of relationships.
These are the “Seven Styles” of success in our industry. At their essence, these are lead generation systems for developing new business.
The core idea of Career Mastery is this: these “Seven Styles” all work. The key is choosing one or more that are a good fit for you and your personality. This way, you’ll be participating in daily activities that feel natural to you, and therefore you are more likely to continue to do them and more importantly, to be successful in your business.
To learn more about this topic, you can read the Bruce’s book, “Seven Styles. How to Design Your Real Estate Career of Success and Significance”. Order your copy by clicking HERE.