How do Realtor's create value for the customer?

A few weeks ago I started my MBA at the UW-Madison. I'm in the evening program and intend to still work full-time in real estate, while also obtaining my degree. One of my classes is forcing me to do a lot of thinking right now about my core values and value creation. For any business to succeed it must create value for the customer. Okay, that seems reasonable. Create value.

How do Realtor's create value for the customer? Many Realtor's across the country are being forced to reinvent their business and determine this very issue of value creation. The agents that fail to do this will likely find challenges in a down economy. Here are some of the ways that I add value to home sellers in Madison:

Proper Pricing - Coming up with a good price is extremely important. The price should be high enough not to turn away potential buyers, yet also not too low that you have to, "give it away". As I've said in the past, everyone has a different opinion of price. There's the assessed value, appraised value, buyer's opinion of value, seller's opinion of value, the Realtor opinion of value, and of course your family and friend's opinion. I help seller's sort through all the numbers to come up with the best price.

Packaging - Have you ever noticed different types of packaging for products in a retail store? Packaging a home for sale is similar, in that it matters how the home is presented to potential home buyers. I help home sellers come up with the best way to showcase and stage the home to attract the right buyer.

Marketing - This is the part of exposing the home to the market and really getting the word out that it's for sale. Promoting the home on websites, in print, and everywhere possible. My main goal is to make sure that people know that this home for sale.

Negotiating - Often times selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions ever. Emotions can run all over the place when dealing with offers and counter offers. My negotiation skills can help keep the process moving while not being too attached to the outcome.

Connections - Selling a home is often a result of my connections and network built over time. I have attended conferences in places like Chicago, San Francisco, and Colorado. At these events I have built relationships with agents to refer clients that are moving to and from Madison. At Keller Williams I can also refer buyers or sellers to any of our agents throughout North America.

Community Involvement - I have always been extremely involved in local organizations such as: DMI, Magnet, the Chamber and even participated in groups like CIVITAS, and LGM. This helps home sellers because I'm more informed of the local community and can also provide another opportunity to promote properties.

Aggressive Toward Learning - I'm kind of a nerd because I really love learning. I have taken all the classes to earn my real estate designations and I am now furthering my education at the UW. This benefits my clients because if I don't know the right answer, I'm going to dive in and do whatever it takes to learn.

Technology - Many people at work consider me to be a "techie". Sometimes I'm not so sure, but I suppose it's true. I look for the best ways to have the appropriate use of technology in my real estate business. One way I add value is by being able to do electronic document signatures. For people who travel a lot, this can be a huge convenience factor when selling a home.

That's a few of the things that I do to add value to my clients. Want to learn more? Click here to setup a time to meet and we can chat in person.

Other thoughts on value

Along the same lines of value creation, I've been working with my classmates on core values and why a company exists, beyond just earning a profit. At Keller Williams our mission is, "building careers worth having, businesses worth owning, and lives worth living." That sounds nice, but how does that play out? Many companies have stated mission statements, but do they really align with everything else at the company? Or is the mission statement a long winded paragraph that nobody knows. I joined Keller Williams this summer and the more I learn about the company, the more I see alignment of the people within the organization and the mission statement. If you're not sure, then ask Jessica Fox about how this plays out throughout the company.

This past year I also did a similar project for Madison Magnet, where our board of directors re-worked our mission and vision. I think we came up with something much more concise that will provide a good framework for everything else within the organization. The changes will be rolled out in the coming months.

My goal is to be the top real estate agent of choice for the Madison area. I trust that as I work on my core values, I will demonstrate incredible value for my clients. Realtors are similar to accountants, attorney's, and any other service professional. The good one's have incredible value and are worth every penny you pay them. The bad one's are incredibly costly in terms of time, money, and frustration.

What do you think? What's the best way for Realtor's to add value?

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