Use Your Difference to Make a Difference

Use Your Difference to Make a Difference!

By: Marcus Wally – Published in the September 2012 issue of Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine.

We say we are REALTORS®, helping people fulfill dreams of homeownership. But to connect with those people, we need to be known. When we chat about sales and marketing, my biggest tip is to be yourself — everybody else is already taken!

By being yourself and allowing people to recognize you for your talents and differences, you will become recognizable — and also bankable; so when potential customers in your geographic area or industry segment think of your specialty, they will think of you! Type your name into Google. How many search results point to you? However known or unknown you are today, plan for activities that will increase your name recognition over the next six to 12 months.

Be yourself tip #1: Be selective

I recently asked a contractor if he could look at a plumbing problem at one of my rentals on Monday. His response was, “Monday of which month?” I loved that. How many times do we receive calls from prospects who want us now? And because we want the business and need the money, we are concerned about saying “no.” The secret is that working for everyone dilutes your brand. It’s okay to turn down business that isn’t right for you; sometimes, it just might not be the right fit. When you turn down someone, you have the opportunity to say “yes” to someone else.

Be yourself tip #2: Ask your customers for online reviews

In 2012, I asked customers for support through online reviews. Each time I closed a sale, I asked those customers to post on Google Places about their experience with me and with New World Realty. When real people with real e-mail addresses post credible and reliable testimonials online, Google increases my exposure. Simply make online reviews easy for others to help you, and they’ll do it! To see my online review tutorial, visit And, use this in your business to gain positive online reviews!

Be yourself tip #3: ask the questions

You’re in the driver’s seat — don’t let prospects grill you. When you are the one with the thought-provoking questions, engaging questions in the conversation — be it with a new prospect or a longtime customer — you immediately move yourself up a notch and gain control of the discussion.

Embracing your differences allows others to make a connection with you, especially if they can personally relate to your story. Your story will help them decide if they want to do business with you. Just keep your story true, consistent and authentic, and you’ll make the connection.

As you build on your strengths, concentrate your efforts of building your reputation as a leader. Always under-promise and over-deliver — that’s the secret to offering great customer service! Providing excellent customer service and going that extra mile will definitely get you noticed. Answer your phone messages and e-mails promptly, fix problems with a smile and always keep your word. And never miss the opportunity to say, “I apologize,” when making a mistake. Owning your actions and admitting your shortfalls will set the stage for your prospects to see you as a credible, honest and trustworthy advisor.

The bottom line is to be yourself and take steps today to move closer to being known in your market. Don’t allow yourself to be just another commodity and another tradable expert for hire — allow yourself to develop into the best-known and recognizable REALTOR® with recognizable value. And folks will want to work with you and pay for you! Do more — be more — achieve more. But, of course, be yourself!

Marcus A. Wally, MBA, is an active REALTOR® in St. Augustine, Florida. Marcus is the founder and broker of New World Realty, which also manages the coaching and facilitation of education classes around the world. Marcus earned his MBA from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. He can be reached at 904-669-1081 or at Learn more about him at

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