A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, in a marketing class at MBA school, I learned a principle that has stuck with me:
The Slight Edge Principle.
It is simple and a marketing idea that needs to be employed.
This is it: try to make yourself slightly better than the next competitor. It doesn't matter if you are a real estate agent, loan officer, home inspector, whatever. Just slightly better. How do you do that? There are many ways. You offer a product - you. How do you differentiate that product from the pack? Services? Certifications? Continuing education? Experience? Website? Blog? Whatever it is. Is it slightly more or better than the competition? Does it set you apart? Do you market it?
Consider this slight edge: In 2007 the number one golfer, in terms of average score, for the year, for 18 holes, was Tiger Woods. His average score was 69.1. Pretty good! The number 51 golfer for the year, for 18 holes, had an average score of 70.9. His name is Tim Clark. He was only 1.8 strokes, per game, different! Number 100 was Craig Bowden, with an average score of 71.2 - just 1/3rd of 1 stroke more than Mr. Clark!!
How many of you have heard of Tiger Woods? How many have heard of Tim Clark? Or Craig Bowden?
This is NOT to slight Mr. Clark, or anyone - he is only 1.8 strokes, per 18 holes, in the long run, different than Tiger Woods! Yet he is 50 positions away!! Imagine! That is only 1/10th stroke different, in the long run, per hole. Tiger Woods has a slight edge, but look at the final results!
How is Tiger Woods different? Ability? Practice? Attitude? Determination? Self study? Coaching? All of those things? How much more money did Tiger Woods make in 2007 than Tim Clark or Craig Bowden? And from what sources - golf, endorsements, TV commercials, print ads, etc? Yet, he is, in reality, only slightly better than the rest of the pack. He offers a different, more marketable product...
How can you make yourself slightly better than your competition? One more sales call per day is over 350 a year. Ten a week is over 500 per year. How much more business would those calls bring in? One more open house would result in how many more buyers? One more of this per week, or that per month, would result in how much more business? Do you speak another language? Or stage your homes? Or have more resources? Belong to more groups? Do more networking? Use more tools and testers? And how would these small things set your services, your product, apart from the rest of your competition?
I am always trying to do something more or different than my competition. On days that are not completely full of inspections, I am doing something slightly more in terms of marketing, or whatever, to fill them up. And in this somewhat "down" market, I am fairly busy. Really, the fittest survive. Or those slightly fitter...
If you don't think marketing is important, there are 20 mountains in North America higher than Pike's Peak - how many can you name?
Now, if only I could make my blog header slightly better...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560