Being an author has long been looked at as a way to be perceived as an expert in whatever subject you are writing about. A book is now considered to be the ultimate “business card” for a Real Estate Agent gaining credibility. It is also an immeasurably useful tool for gaining access to local media and getting free public relations.
I am not talking about writing the next prize winning book or being the net John Grisham. However, I am talking about writing THE book on why your area is the best place to buy a house, or how to choose a Realtor for selling in your area.
Why should you write a Book?
When you write a book, it gives you credibility with your clients and prospects. Just imagine a prospective buyer is surfing the internet looking through the active listings in an area. When they click on your site, they see that you have written the book on “Buying a Home in Austin.” That gives you amazing credibility about your competence as a real estate professional. The more credible you are, the more sales you will make because people will trust you more.
Writing a book also sets you apart from other agents. There are hundreds or thousands of Real Estate Agents in your area. You do many things to stand out from the crowd. Writing a book is a phenomenal differentiator. Hiring the Realtor who literally ‘wrote the book’ on “12 Reasons Why Orange County is a Great Place to Live” is a claim that only one agent can make.
Having a book is the ultimate form of advertising. You could use it to send to Listing Prospects, Expireds, or FSBOs. You could also send it to the local Chamber of Commerce. A book doesn’t look like advertising, but it is! You are able to give away free content and knowledge. This helps so that people get to know, like and trust you. After reading your short book, you will have already pre-sold your services.
A book is not usually thrown away even after someone reads it, or even if they don’t. A paperback book will sit on a shelf or a coffee table until the day they donate it sell it. The fact that the book is sitting on your clients end table will help you gain referrals as their friends come over and see it. Your fancy brochures and email marketing will never get you the same effect.
What kind of book should a local Agent write?
The obvious answer would be to write about what a great place your market area is. Write with a positive tone about the different neighborhoods and what makes it a great place to raise a family and/or retire. Talk about each area with great affection. And very important… give easy tips on selecting the right real estate agent to trust with their most valuable asset.
“Who would publish the book?”
The beautiful thing about writing a book in this modern era is that you do not have to have a major publisher accept your book, offer you a contract, and have them set up distribution for thousands of copies to be sent worldwide.
You do not even need to have a single copy printed if you don’t want to. It can all be done “digitally” and for free (except for the per unit cost of the actual books).
You simply upload your finished Microsoft Word Document and Art files for the book covers up to Amazon.com with their Kindle Direct Publishing service and you are a published author!
If you want old-fashioned printed books, that is also available and it has truly never been easier. Amazon’s Publish-on-Demand company CreateSpace.com has the same easy upload capabilities and they don’t charge you a cent until you want the physical copies, which for a 6×9 book with 100 pages or less is under $2.50 each.
How big should a book be?
It could be as little as 50 pages or even less! In fact, less is better these days as so many people as so busy that the idea of having to read through a 300-500 page opus is not likely to happen. Saying something is a “quick-read” is a big plus for most people who want to get your information fast and be able to apply it to their lives.
Imagine that on Amazon that someone is searching for anything with the term “Albuquerque.” Your book has the title of “I Love ABQ: A Reference Book on all the Family Friendly Neighborhoods in Albuquerque, New Mexico.” Plus, your book has a beautiful image of a southwestern home against a beautiful sky. And it only need sell for 99-cents up to $2.99.
Many people don’t realize that Amazon is one of the biggest search engines in the world. Everything on Amazon ranks extremely high in Google for their search terms. Amazon is one of the top 10 websites in the entire world out of over a billion websites, after Google, YouTube, Facebook and Yahoo.
How many other real estate professionals in your area are listed in Amazon as an author and real estate expert? None? Why shouldn’t you be the first?