June 11th - 2012

Find your unique value proposition in real estate

In order to stand out in the real estate industry, you need to find your UVP.

By Sarah Kiraly

In order to stand out in the real estate industry, you need to find your UVP. 

For those of you who don’t know this expression, it stands for unique value proposition. In other words, what sets you apart in your marketplace? What makes you special and what can you offer that others can’t? Once you figure that out, you’re ahead of the game. Here’s how I found my UVP, and I hope it helps you in your business.

In my first year of real estate, I sold a few homes. I did what others suggested and I put my clients into a follow-up database to ensure they would receive regular contact from me. I sent them monthly e-mail updates and quarterly newsletters. I even sent them a fridge magnet.

Around a year later, I called to follow up, since they hadn’t responded to my personal e-mails and I said “Hi, it’s Sarah Kiraly calling…” The response was “Sarah who?” I said “Uh, your REALTOR®, Sarah Kir….” “Oh, the lady from the fridge magnet?”

What?! How could they not remember me? They hadn’t received any of my e-mails due to their spam filter (Strike One.) They had glanced at my newsletters, but discarded them as junk mail. (Strike Two.) And I was officially “the lady from the fridge magnet.” (Strike Three.)

After that call, I decided to rethink my strategy. Later that week, I knew one thing for sure, which became the start of my UVP.… I vowed to be more than a fridge magnet.

It was an odd statement, but let me work backwards for a moment. I had already determined the type of business I wanted, and that was a referral business. I enjoyed building relationships and I knew I was good at that, whereas cold calls were not my forte and I didn’t have much of an advertising budget.

With my new UVP in mind, I made a few changes. I now call my clients on a regular basis and take the time to get to know them personally. Instead of scheduling automatic emails, I use my database program to note important things to remember from our discussions such as names of children and pets. I send handwritten birthday cards and home purchase anniversary cards that are personal and thoughtful -- the kind I hope make it onto the mantle.

Most importantly, I made a list of things on which I like spending time such as skiing, dog walking, gardening, summer barbecues, going for drinks and more. Using this list, I try to connect with every client. For example, I offer to: Help bring the front garden of a recently-purchased home back to life on the first sunny spring day; invite clients with pets to go dog walking together; give a private ski lesson to clients with kids (I’m a ski instructor); cater a house warming barbecue party for home buyers -- they will sing your praises; and I can’t leave out -- catching up at local pubs near the homes that were bought.

All of these personal touches are fuelled by my UVP. Six years later, my biggest source of business is referrals. Now that I have an advertising budget, I incorporate the essence of my UVP into all of my marketing.  But most important of all, I have found something to offer clients that is truly unique -- and much more memorable than a fridge magnet.

That’s my UVP. What’s yours? Think about your UVP and how it has affected your business. Visit the OREA blog to share your thoughts and ideas and join the conversation.

Sarah Kiraly is an Ottawa real estate salesperson, member of the OREA Young Professionals Network committee, and guest blogger.

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Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations


416-445-9910 ext. 246