Stand out from Other Agents: 5 awesome ideas from Mary Hutchison

This article appeared originally on Kansas City agent Mary Hutchison’s real estate blog, and is reposted with permission. Follow her on Twitter @MaryHutchison.

Sometimes I am asked by a potential new client “what do you do differently from other agents?” It’s a good question – and one that I would ask if I were hiring an agent! All of us offer many of the same basic services: driving buyers around to listings, developing flyers, hosting open houses, mailings, etc. But I do try hard to exceed customer expectations. Here are a few ‘extras’ that I do for buyers and sellers:

Try to make a personal connection.

Talking only about real estate can be overwhelming. I find that buyers and sellers will relax more during this often stressful period when we can talk about other subjects – their kids, upcoming events, pop culture, their hobbies, etc.

Supply boxes for the move

Just about every buyer or seller needs boxes. I collect them from grocery stores and retailers, and from other clients who have recently unpacked. This small gesture is a huge hit with my customers. They’re busy with a million details relating to the move – if I can provide several boxes to get them started, it’s one less thing they have to do.

Provide move-in or move-out snacks

On the big moving day, buyers love to find bottled water, fresh fruit, snack bars, hummus & chips, cheese, nuts and other quick food to nosh on in their new home as they unload and unpack. Same for sellers – just before closing, I’ll stop by with a gift certificate to a local restaurant so they can relax and have a nice dinner after all the hoopla of moving.

Assist with inspection-related repairs

I often arrange for bids from various contractors, give them access to the house, set up repair dates, etc.

Host a “Welcome To The Neighborhood” reception

Just after closing, I host a small “meet your new neighbor” get-together for my buyers and invite everyone on the block to stop by and say hello. I serve beverages and some light snacks. This small, inexpensive gesture is always appreciated by buyers and those who live nearby.

I’ve noticed over the years that it can be the smaller, personal gestures that make a huge difference in how your services are perceived by the client. So that’s what I try to do to enhance my reputation as an agent that is different from the rest of the pack.

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