“The early bird gets the worm” (or gummy bear).
Let’s face it: you already know that being first is essential, both in marketing and in life. As humans, we inherently recognize that those who innovate and those who make the first move are the ones who see the most success.
The first-mover advantage
In marketing, this term is known as “first-mover advantage:” the large companies and corporations who reach significant success in a service area first, before all other competitors. Famous first-mover companies include Amazon (the first major online bookstore), Kleenex (the first facial tissue company), eBay (the first online auction site), and Coca-Cola (the first soft drink company). Other companies attempted to create similar products, but the original seems to become the standard by which all others base their success.
Modern marketing strategists don’t always agree that being a first mover is an advantage: studies suggest that being first is only beneficial if consumers perceive the product or service as trustworthy and valuable. Focusing both on the quality and timing of your connection might make all the difference when it comes to earning a client’s business.
First-mover marketing and real estate
As a real estate agent, you might wonder how first-mover marketing strategies apply to your business. Realtors can use these tactics on a smaller scale. The psychology remains the same: clients and customers often reference the initial product or contact as the standard by which all other interactions can be measured. That is, if you’re the first Realtor to connect with clients, they’re going to use you as their benchmark, comparing all others to you. This can be either a positive or negative quality. If you provide an excellent first impression, clients are more likely to hold you in higher esteem, but if a client perceives that contact as unfavorable, he or she will likely go elsewhere.
Here’s the bottom line: yes, you should strive to be the first Realtor to connect with clients, but you also need to ensure your interaction is positive and helpful. Being the first contact with clients provides you a definite advantage if that interaction is overwhelmingly constructive.
How can you ensure you’re beating competitors to the punch, making contact with clients before other Realtors, and persuading clients to hire you by making an excellent first impression? Here are a few tips.
Be innovative in your marketing strategy
Taking to heart the first-mover advantage, you must have an innovative approach to marketing and client connection. Consider partnering with other businesses to increase referrals, brainstorm unique marketing campaigns, and come up with new ways to engage existing clients. By creating unique marketing strategies, you’re more likely to connect with potential buyers and sellers before any other agents do. That timing combined with a great first interaction can equal success in the long run.
Make your website impressive
In our modern market, most initial contact comes through online sources. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Buying and Selling Generational Trends Report, the vast majority of today’s buyers and sellers start the process online. That means potential clients are more likely to view your website before they ever speak to you in person.
If you’re hoping to make a great first impression, you must start with a professional and easy-to-navigate website. Even if you make a face-to-face connection with a client, they’ll eventually end up on your site, so make sure it’s something that leaves them feeling confident in your abilities to help them buy or sell a home.
Connect on a deeper level
As mentioned earlier, being a first mover doesn’t help your business if clients have a negative first impression. Make sure your first interaction—whether in person or online—is positive. Ask lots of questions, get to know your clients and their specific needs, be friendly and approachable, and find common ground. Personal connections help clients view you as trustworthy and reliable, meaning your initial contact is more likely to garner new business.
This one is tricky because you want to make sure your clients remember you, but they don’t feel stalked or harassed. There’s a fine line between reaching out to keep your name on the forefront of a potential client’s mind and bombarding them with information. Try checking in periodically to see if they need anything or have any questions. The more personable you are, the more likely they will be to hire you when they’re ready to buy or sell.
It’s important to be the first real estate agent to connect with a potential client. However, having first contact isn’t the only important factor: you must also leave a positive first impression that makes all other agents pale in comparison.