Clovis, New Mexico is a little pond. I know we are short of water out here on the high plains but as far as ponds go I call Clovis a little one. We have 42,000 people in our town and we have 125 real estate agents. We actually have 19 brokerages in our MLS that serves Clovis and Portales, NM but only 9 of those companies have more than 3 people in them. So anyway, a little pond.
After living here for 14 years and being a REALTOR here for 6 years you start to realize that there are a few big frogs in our pond. It is easy to be intimidated and figure that the foothold those big time realtors have is something that can never be overcome.
They have a broad customer base in the pond and have many loyal customers that use them time and again. Big frogs are great and you can learn a lot from them but in our quest to be one we need to remember there is more than one way to get there.
As agents we have to change with our buyers. There are always going to be buyers in our pond that use the same agents their friends and family have used for twenty years but those hometown buyers arent in the majority any longer.
Many of our buyers today are linked to Cannon AFB and are being transferred here from some major-big ponds. You might even call them lakes. Not all of them are happy about the move but they are making the best of it and settling into to Clovis.
These families are doing research on the town before they move here. They are looking up housing, shopping, things to do in New Mexico, and restaurants before they even get here. All agents are the same size to them. They don't know reputation or quality. They only know what they see and the agent that wins over these customers in the agent who answers their email, calls people back, and goes out of their way to be helpful and answer the questions that buyers have -even before they ask.
Its not enough to be a big frog anymore. The little frogs that can text, twitter, and get their listings out on the web through office websites, trulia, front door, zillow, yahoo, google earth, msn... and all of those other online resources for real estate information...are going to be the frogs that get new loyal customers that make our pond grow.
New businesses and industries coming to our town are not going to have patience to deal with big frogs with big attitudes. Committees and name dropping have no meaning to them. They are going to expect more because they come from bigger ponds and what we think are big frogs are really, pretty small in their eyes.
The moral of the story?
Im going to not be intimidated by the big frogs surrounding me in my own little pond. I am going to go ahead and make a statement that can be seen around the world and bring the world to my pond. Raise the bar of expectations for your associates, dont let being new (or old) be an excuse.... Raise the bar and remember little frogs can jump high too.