In my 10 marketing commandments post, I talked about the importance of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), but I didn’t give you a step-by-step guide on how to get one.
Today, I correct that!
If you look closely at the most successful real estate investors, you’ll notice something very interesting: they have a USP — something that sets them apart from the competition and defines them in the minds of potential investors, buyers, and sellers. Investment firms without a USP either struggle to form an identity or fail to leverage the benefits they offer.
There is a great opportunity for you in the real estate investment industry, because I searched for about an hour and could only find ONE decent USP from the investors in my area:
We guarantee that if we cannot re-sell your investment within 6 (six) months of purchase, we will fully refund your total investment!
When you boil down a USP to its basic ingredients, you find it is made up of two things: uniqueness and desirability. Without uniqueness, no one can distinguish your company from your competitors. Without desirability, no one can see why they should care about what you offer.
So the USP is vitally important. Check.
But how do you create one?
Follow these three simple steps to a specialized USP for your business.
1. Have the Meeting
Gather your staff together (or set aside time for yourself to brainstorm), especially the staff who have direct contact with customers, such as salespeople. Once you have everyone together, brainstorm the answer to these three questions:
- What makes us different from our competitors? (And don’t say “it’s because we have the best service” – everyone says that, so it is definitely NOT unique!)
- Why is our product/service a “must have?”
- What are the benefits of choosing us over the competition?
Disclaimer: You are going to hear your staff say things that will make you cringe! That’s okay, it’s just brainstorming.
Everything said here is productive because it is important to know how you are currently perceived. A dose of reality every now and again never hurt anyone (for too long). You also may find out you are unique in ways you hadn’t considered before.
You will really need to dig in, because it may be hard to see immediately how you are different from the competition. But no two businesses are exactly the same — you can find what is different about yours. And if you really can’t find anything, come up with something! There are always ways to separate yourself from the pack.
Once you have discovered what makes you different, and why a prospect would want you, you are ready to create your USP.
2. Craft the Wording
Take your businesses uniqueness and benefits and marry them together in a way that is absolutely crystal clear and easy to read. You don’t want a single word to be lost on the reader.
Think about these great USPs for inspiration:
- Domino’s Pizza: Hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free!
- Zappos: The only online shoe retailer that offers “Free Shipping and Free Returns 365 days a year.”
- Toms Shoes: The only shoe company who donates a pair of shoes to a needy child with every pair purchased.
- Nordstrom: You can return anything purchased at Nordstrom at any time, no receipt necessary. Anyone that shops at Nordstrom’s knows this even though they don’t promote it anywhere.
A good formula to use is “The ONLY real estate investor that _____________.”
If you can fill in that blank with an offer or benefit that is desirable to your prospects, you are absolutely golden!
3. Put It Everywhere
Now that your USP has been discovered and crafted, simply put it on every piece of marketing that goes out the door. Make sure that everyone from your receptionist to your #1 closer hammer this line home when talking to prospects.
This is how you build recognition of not only your name, but what sets you apart and makes you better than the competition!
Photo Credit: searching4jphotography