What do Ann Landers, Dr. Phil and Roger Ebert have in common?
Ann Landers, Dr. Phil and Roger Ebert take pleasure in being recognized as leading experts in their respective fields. Because of this status they enjoy greater visibility and reputation than their peers. So instead of having to cold call or advertise for new clients, they benefit from prospects seeking them out. Yet, when you study these experts closely you realize that they’re no more talented, smarter or knowledgeable than the rest.
They achieved expert status not because they’re good at what they do, but because they’re great at marketing themselves. They identified a niche they could occupy as a leading expert. You can find a niche to fulfill as a leading expert and attract real estate agents the same way.
To find your niche, discover your unique knowledge
Over time and with work experience, every loan officer learns unique knowledge, skills and expertise that Agents can benefit from. By discovering this special knowledge, you begin the first step in the process of finding a niche that you can fill.
A loan officer doesn’t achieve leading expert status because of extraordinary creativity or Herculean effort. Their mastery comes from learning through repetition and a discipline established from research, self-study, education and experience.
We live in the Information Age. You can position yourself as a knowledge expert in a particular topic or subject. Therefore, Agents needing help with your topic turn to you first.
Agents prefer to work with someone they view as an expert than to waste time shopping services. Remember we live in a period with greater urgency than in the past. Your status as a leading expert will attract clients because they value time as a precious commodity.
The first step is to take an inventory of your knowledge and skills. Use these questions as a guide to discover your unique knowledge.
- What problems have you solved repeatedly for realtors?
- Do you have any specialized training?
- What are your favorite or best loan programs?
- What compliments about your skills have your realtor clients shared repeatedly?
- What are you most passionate about in your business?
- What knowledge or skills from previous jobs can relate to your present work?
- What single area of your business are you best at?
What elements keep appearing? Are you onto a topic that you can further develop? What niches are you spotting?
To find your niche, focus on one area
By focusing on one area you can devote all your resources to it. Time, energy and money are resources you can put toward your development of your niche. That way, no resources are wasted and everything you learn builds toward your base of knowledge.
As you develop your knowledge in one area, you can build a reputation around it. The greater your reputation becomes the less likely Agents will question your service abilities, shop your fees or question your judgment.
As you become a recognized expert in your field of specialized knowledge, you can become more selective of whom you choose to work with. Agents are less susceptible to walk over the relationship or take it for granted.
And since you do not have to spend as much time marketing or selling yourself, you can spend more time servicing quality relationships that bring you more production. This adds wealth to your business.
To find your niche, decide realtors need your expertise
A great mistake is to assume that the knowledge you possess is already widely dispersed. An expert’s knowledge is valuable to those who don’t have it.
Dr. Phil propelled himself to the top from his self-promotion and thanks to Oprah Winfrey. He could have easily assumed that there wasn’t need for his expertise because of scores of other doctors in his field. But he discovered the niche he occupies, Family Relationships, wasn’t being adequately filled.
Survey Agents to learn which of their needs aren’t being met that relate to your niche. My experience from surveying realtors has taught me that many basic needs aren’t being met; inconsistencies in the loan process, lack of communication between lenders and realtors, too many fires at the close of escrow, etc.
The recognition of your unique knowledge and the calculated development of it is the first step to achieving leading expert status.
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