One person wears costumes that change with the seasons. Another sends me recipes and yet another leaves jars of honey on doorsteps.  I see sophisticated pictures of people in equally sophisticated homes.  I’ve also received invitations to parties at movie theaters and at local bars for clients.

These are all unique ways that the realtors in my neighborhood have worked to distinguish themselves from the competition.

There is one, in particular, that doesn’t do any of this and generally doesn’t advertise.  How does he build his client base?  He makes himself useful to others.  Need a recommendation for a painter?  He can find one and likely give you several options.  Need a place for friends or family to stay during a last-minute visit to town?  He can arrange that.  Need advice on whether to renovate, build new, or move?  He can provide that as well.

This person doesn’t actively market his services, but I’m aware of what he does for a living.  In making himself useful to me he has created value.  As a by-product of this relationship, he has generated trust and has established himself as the go-to person for anything you need.  He’ll be the first person that I call when I need to do something with my house.  This trust has been built over time and hasn’t been the result of a placed advertisement or a gift that has been left behind.

It’s hard work and he’s clearly playing the long game.

He’s also effectively separating himself from the competition.

[Photo: Corner of 7th and Penn in Capitol Hill, DC]

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