A “thought leader” is a buzzword that continues to circulate in business circles today but with local real estate data, a savvy broker or agent can apply this strategy to set themselves apart in their niche markets.
By basic definition, a thought leader is someone who is seen as an authority in their field and carries considerable influence.
When it comes to thought leaders, most people will think of high-profile personalities such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Seth Godin or Tony Robbins.
But the beauty of this concept is that you don’t have to have an enormous following to be a thought leader. You also don’t have to be a millionaire…a journalist with their own TV show…or the author of a best-selling book.
You don’t need to be nationally-recognized, a popular celebrity in your state or even a big-wig in a major city. The size of the sphere of influence does not have to be that large at all.
In essence, a broker or agent can become the “thought leader” in just their neighborhood. And they can achieve that status by embedding hyper-local real estate data feeds into their website.
The actual role of a thought leader is kind of vague. While the term was first seen in literature as early as 1887, the whole concept has been bantered about and applied in multiple ways with each decade.
But there are some basic characteristics that give a business person this coveted status.
Real estate data establishes authority
Here are some tips on how to achieve the mindset of a “thought leader:”
In-depth knowledge: this factor is a given if you are going to be a leader in any field. For real estate, you not only need to know the business, you need to know your marketplace. That means doing a deep-dive into all the information you can find about that marketplace.
One of the best ways to do that is to acquire a real estate data feed from credible data providers such as Home Junction.
This is a quick way to gain tons of expert knowledge. Imagine, with just a few lines of code, you can have access to an enormous database of hyper-local information.
That includes Real Home Sales, Home Sale Trends, Demographics, Cost of Living Indices, Home Value Assessments, School Information, etc., etc. etc.
Sure, lots of brokers and agents in your market have great websites, listings, fancy photographs, etc.
But you can go much, much further with all this real estate data. That’s a big step to standing out in the home sales field.
Credibility: sure, people can boast all they want about how they are experts in their area. But how do they back it up? BS only goes so far.
Thought leaders not only speak about their marketplaces with assertiveness, they back up their words and comments with facts.
In this era of “fake news,” consumers are more skeptical than ever. Showing actual real estate data to back up your comments is a major strategy when influencing people.
For example, an agent might attend a Rotary meeting or any kind of meeting for that matter. They might get up and talk about their years as an agent, the changes they’ve seen, blah, blah blah.
Now think about the agent who gets up to speak, touches on some of the same subjects, but then pulls out reams of hyper-local real estate data about recent homes sales or the demographics of the local area.
That person also displays big charts showing trends with Property Sales Data or a pie chart showing Cost of Living Indices for apparel, transportation, food costs, etc.
Who is going to be recognized as a true thought leader?
It doesn’t have to be a room full of people either. You could be making the same presentation in front of two very important people, a couple who are seriously considering listing their $750,000 home with you.
Consistency: the next big factor to establish authority is to display yourself as an expert consistently over time. Thought leaders are not just one-hit wonders. They don’t just make a big splash one time and think they are going to ride that wave for the rest of their careers.
Real thought leaders consistently demonstrate their authority. They speak before different groups. They are quoted in local newspapers. They publish important information on their website and in their blogs. They continue to have compelling, fact-filled posts on social media sites. Their emails are always filled with interesting and informative content, not just fluff.
The beauty of real estate data feeds, is that there is a never-ending source of high-value material that an agent can access and share on a consistent basis.
Profit: because one of the other characteristics of a thought leader is that this is a person who actually profits from what they preach. This person is not an academic or a journalist. They are not theorists. A thought leader is someone who actually walks the talk. They have been able to use their authority to make a living.
With this in-depth expertise and data, they are able to offer top-notch service to their clients…and it pays off.
The influence and the information they deliver is real. It’s credible. It’s valuable. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be making money from it.
This strategy of constantly offering a flood of valuable information will eventually lodge deep into the minds of consumers, prospects and influencers in the target area.
At that point, this agent will emerge as the “go-to” person in their field. The thought leader. And over the years, that position has proven to provide a very high return on their investment of resources, time and dedication.