To Achieve Success, Take off Your Realtor Hat, says Realtor Michael Unis
In this business, Realtors live, breathe, and eat real estate. So, it’s not everyday that you hear from a top-producing agent that it’s important to take off your Realtor hat every once and while. For Michael Unis, a top performing Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - New Jersey Properties, delivering a superior client experience is about stepping back from his role as a Realtor and truly treating his clients like friends and family. Check out how he’s crafted a business strategy that exacts results and continually adds value to his clients:
Take Off Your Realtor Hat
As a Realtor, it’s easy to focus on bottom-line results, and treating your clients as part of the transaction is part of that. For Unis, the client experience is often about stepping out of his role as a Realtor and truly focusing on building relationships with his business contacts. “A lot of this entire concept of being a Realtor is really about being the best person you can be,” Unis says. “That’s who your clients are really going to see.”
In his own business, Unis focuses on building relationships with his clients through his Client Appreciation Program. As part of the program, members receive quarterly calls, mail with inspirational quotes or other useful tips, cute housewarming gifts and are even invited to Unis’ home for a catered meal.
In so doing, Unis spins the focus of the client interaction to one where he’s adding value to his clients’ lives and building relationships with people, not just focusing on bottom-line results. “Being an agent is actually about building relationships. Realtors need to realize that they’re really involved with something larger than a transaction. They’re there to listen to what their clients need and what they want to make it happen,” he says.
Keep it Consistent
“You have to be consistent in anything you do, whether you’re acting from a transactional point of view or you’re working from a relational point of view,” Unis says.
Unis shared what this looks like in practice. When he first started out as a Realtor, he advertised on Zillow and Trulia. It didn’t take him long to realize that not only was his budget stretched thin, but he was funneling his energies toward something that ultimately didn’t align with his bottom line: working exclusively by referral.
But, it’s not just important to keep your business strategy consistent, Michael says; the client experience also needs to be consistent. For example, everyone that is part of his Client Appreciation Program earns the same rewards, regardless of whether they’re interested in selling their home. What’s important here is that Unis recognizes the long-term payoffs of building relationships with all of his business contacts. It’s the first step toward building out a robust referral network and becoming a Realtor that his community knows and trusts.
Success Looks a Lot Like Failure
Like many other agents, Michael entered real estate from another professional field. So when he first started out, he was met with the challenge of navigating a seemingly 24 hour a day job and little experience in a business where experience means everything.
His advice to the rookies? “Be wise enough to know things will go wrong or not exactly how you intended or thought they would.” While it requires a leap of faith, he challenges new agents to “instead focus on building something new and better than before." In fact, he lives by the formula "Struggle + Failure + Falling Apart = Success.” The heart of this formula, he says, is that "the process of getting to success means that you're breaking the mold in some way" even though "this concept can be hard to see past."
Michael will be the first to admit that delivering an excellent client experience is far from easy. But, his approach is rewarding for him, both professionally and personally. He’s been recognized as the top-producing agent at BHHSNJ, earning agent of the month awards, despite his relatively short time in the business (just one year). What Michael’s professional story tells us is that drive and a commitment to building relationships with your clients are the perfect formula for not only driving your business, but also earning friends -- and clients -- for life.