FedEx vs USPS – Lessons for Real Estate?

Why is FedEx growing while the United States Postal Service is shrinking? Both companies are in what appears to be similar businesses, but there must be some difference to account for this.

USPS is a commodity business. They’ll delivery just about anything you’d like at a cheap price; really cheap if you’re not in a rush.

FedEx is a service business. They sell fast, on-time delivery to anywhere in the world, and charge a premium for doing so.

What would the USPS of real estate look like? Agents who’ll take a listing, maybe (or maybe not bother to) snap some photos, perhaps write a description that reads like it was written for print classifieds, and have a “don’t call me, I’ll call you” attitude about the process. They’ll earn their commissions as long as they don’t screw up badly enough. They may even be willing to discount their services since they know that the service they’re offering isn’t on par or better than what others are offering in their market.

What would the FedEx of real estate look like? Agents who take the time to create an excellent listing. They’ll take lots of professional photos and load them onto a site that displays them professionally. They won’t rely on crunched down watermarked photos on their own website when they have access to the originals. They’ll write property descriptions that explain why someone would want to buy that house in that neighborhood. They’ll proactively keep you up to date on your listing, and promptly respond to phone calls, emails, and text messages. And, they’ll charge a premium for their service.

There is certainly a market for both types of service (and price of services), but, given a choice, why not choose to be more like FedEx? Real estate is not a commodity business, and providing FedEx level service isn’t really that much more difficult. It largely involves using the systems that are available to you today.

Last thought. How would you prefer that your clients talk to their friends about you:

1. They’re cheap, and okay.

2. They’re not cheap, but they’re totally worth it.

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