“Where’s the Beef?”

“Where’s the Beef?”

It’s been called a cultural phenomenon and a marketing metaphor. By questioning the matter of a hamburger over thirty years ago, Clara Peller coined the iconic phrase, “Where’s the Beef?”

This question raised by the popular Wendy’s ad created a value proposition for consumers to consider; whether they were actually getting steak, or just sizzle.

The message holds as much relevance today. For instance, savvy home buyers entering the real estate market expecting value often raise style over function as a question of substance.

Real estate itself is an industry that offers pretty much the same old stuff, and I’m at a loss as to why so many REALTORS®, at least in our local markets, are at a point of competitive convergence.

Adding value, beyond template websites and the usual “commoditized” services offered by most REALTORS®, seems to be presenting a challenge.

It doesn’t really matter how long a Realtor has been in real estate; what counts is what they’re doing (or not doing) now, or next.

Looking different, or saying they’re different, hardly adds value either, and it’s unlikely that a smiling vanity shot on the back of a bus, bench, or some other public location, is where a Realtor will be selected from. Well, at least I hope not!

In fact many of the recognized “Top Producers” who rely on volume are also top producers of expired listings, aka, FAILURES. So seeing a particular Realtor’s “for sale” sign everywhere is not necessarily a good sign, or a differentiation.

These names you see everywhere may not equate to a successful Realtor. Did you ever consider that in reality, the Realtor who chooses to focus their personal attention on just a few clients at a time in a local market might be far more effective?

Differentiation is about unique differences that add value to services, products and results.

If your goal is to sell, do you have a contingency plan if your listing expires (like a large majority of listings do)?

And if a Realtor is unable to tell you, in writing, how many expired listings they’ve had in each of the past three or four years then remember to ask, “Where’s the Beef?”

Once you’ve found out, just check to see if you’re getting ground chuck or tenderloin.

(updated today from original September 2009 post)

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