What I'm Seeing Now


Are You Slightly Better?

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


Comment balloon 8 commentsJay Markanich • November 14 2008 07:38AM


Always have a smile.


I was walking through the supermarket the other day. An older gentleman was walking slowly in front of me....he turned around and said go ahead and plow over me. I said no worries to him, I wouldn't do such a thing and smiled.....He told me I was the first person he had seen smile in a week.. That was very sad....We continued to talk and I recieved a referral out of it.  You never know what is going to happen on a daily basis, always live life to it's fullest........

Nice to meet you was a great post.

Posted by Layla Masset (Keller Williams Performance Realty) almost 12 years ago

Truly I believe in what you preach.  Every one of us has something unique to add.  Cultivate the unique part, market the unique part.  Celebrate what makes you passionate and it will convey itself to associates, potential clients and the public.  They will remember you.  And they may refer you based on your enthusiasm.  Wouldn't all of us rather work with someone or hire someone who brings energy to the project?  Of course.  Enthusiasm often substitutes for experience until you can get that experience. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) almost 12 years ago

¡Sí, sí señoritas!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Nice post Jay.  Note:  Tiger Woods plays less tournaments thus less rounds of golf.  He doesn't sweat the small stuff because he doesn't have to.

Posted by Michael Johnson, Metro Charleston SC (Carolina One Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jay,

your title is slightly better because it caught my attention and I read it! next in line is your header ... lol...

what an accurate and on time perspective. Gave me lots to think ...thanks for sharing ...


Posted by Bo Kociuba, Realtor - Mustang, Yukon & OKC Metro 405-812-1572 (McGraw Realtors ) almost 12 years ago

Jay - Setting oneself from the rest does bring in the business. Showing who you are when dealing in the real estate or real estate loan. Showing what we know! I have found that it brings me clients by what I know. The consumers are very wise and smart when it come to money.

Posted by Cheryl Frei - Realtor® & e-Pro Certified Realtor® (Elite Realty - Absarokee, Montana and Billings, Montana) almost 12 years ago
Jay, great post and oh so true. it is the little things sometimes that can make the biggest difference and just having that slight edge can make all the difference in the world for your business.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) almost 12 years ago

I agree, and thanks to all...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 12 years ago

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