You pride yourself on being an expert in your local market. Problem is, so do about 50 others. As every agent knows, you have to find ways to differentiate yourself to stand out in an increasingly competitive real estate industry.

Findings from NAR’s 2019 Profile of Real Estate Firms support this: 48 percent of residential real estate firms say competition – in this case, specifically from nontraditional market participants – is one of the biggest challenges they think they’ll face within the next two years.

Meanwhile, the NAR 2019 profile also notes that 55 percent of firms’ reported customer inquiries came either from past client referrals or from past clients themselves. You already know this, but it bears repeating: Leaving a lasting positive impression with a client today could determine the strength of your business tomorrow.

To help you gain a competitive advantage in your market, we’ve compiled three tips we came across to help you stand out from the crowd.

Make market trends easily digestible

Let’s face it: Not everyone is comfortable interpreting data. While having access to the latest market intel is essential for any agent to provide the expert advice clients expect, for some the numbers can be overwhelming.

That’s why it’s a good idea to access readily available market data. For example, maybe your multiple listing service provides reports you can share with clients.

Agents sometimes upgrade from MLS-provided reports to create more localized reports and charts using products like SmartCharts Pro, which allows them to report on market conditions down to the subdivision level.

Sharing market trends is a small extra step that demonstrates your unique appreciation for current and prospective clients’ need for easy-to-understand market insights.

Boost your social media presence

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, social media is no longer the merely nice-to-have outlet for real estate exposure that it was in the early 2000s. Today, if you aren’t on social, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to generate leads.

But if everyone is using social media, how can it help you differentiate yourself?

Social media isn’t only useful for advertising properties. It’s also a great way to build your brand by allowing you to talk about yourself or your firm. Most agents in your market probably use social media to talk about their mastery of the market, but few take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to truly personalize their business.

For example, what are your opinions on local issues that will affect buyers and sellers? Sharing your unique insight demonstrates that you have a strong understanding of your community. You can also talk about your own recent experiences at local restaurants, musical performances, sporting events or other events to let your personality come through, while also building your credibility as a knowledgeable area guide for those new to the community.

Get involved in your community

It’s no secret that some of the most successful agents sponsor or volunteer at local charities, drives or other events. More than just being aware of market trends, an agent who can demonstrate that he or she cares about a community demonstrates a strong showing of goodwill that can be a powerful differentiator for prospective clients who value community engagement.

Sites like VolunteerMatch and Idealist make it easy for you to find opportunities to give back in your area.

Bonus: Tie your involvement into your increased social media presence to let others know that you’re truly invested in the community. There’s no shame letting others know of your good work – just be careful not to go overboard when promoting your involvement in the cause.

Are you a real estate agent looking for tools that will help you stay ahead of the competition? Learn how ShowingTime solutions can help you meet clients’ needs.