Courtney Poulos is the broker and owner of ACME Real Estate, a design-savvy boutique brokerage focusing on brand marketing and real estate sales. Courtney is also a member of Forbes Real Estate Council, a repeat panelist at Inman Connect and Awesome Females in Real Estate, and is a panelist and MC for the California Association of Realtors WomanUp!® Initiative.
In her Inman segment, she shares tips on how to stand out in a competitive market, which real estate definitely is.
A quick Wikipedia search on the word Acme would tell you that it means “pinnacle”. This, combined with the fact that it started with A and C–meaning it was high up on the alphabetized Yellow Pages– made it a favorite name for businesses in the 1920s.
But for many people, it’s a rather generic name today. No doubt helped by the popularity of the Road Runner cartoons.
For Courtney, that was okay. Because she wanted to create a brand where they could put their clients’ logo and branding in front of the brokerage’s. ACME is the generic brand. The anti-brand.
Real Estate is a competitive market. So, how can brokers and agents stand out?
Courtney says that real estate agents have lots of different talents. So she suggests that agents and brokers need to get involved first and find out the way that best speaks to their market. For her, her clients are her peers. So, she knows how to speak in a tone and with a certain kind of aesthetic that appeals to them.
To stand out, professionals need to find their niche and work on it.
“Maybe it all starts with finding your why… why do you wake up in the morning, what charges you? Is it really just the money, closing the deals and the victory of the hunt? Or is it something else?” Courtney says.
For Courtney, her why is inspiring women who haven't considered buying real estate to get in the game and think of it as more than just a place to raise their kids–which of course it can also be–but really, as a place where they can generate wealth.
“I'm saying, if you know your customer really well, if you spend enough time and energy, like really understanding who is looking at your site, who's responding to what you are presenting… And you understand what moves them very well, you can distinguish yourself with that profile.”
Some companies announce that they advertise globally or they’re all about high-tech. But people looking for a house down the street won’t really care about that. They’re looking for people who know what they want, and more often than not, that’s something local.
Courtney mentions that she has been selling real estate for 14 years, and in her 14 years, she has met many professional women living in big cities.
She was surprised at the lost opportunity: They weren’t buying.
The women were renting for 10 years at around $3,000 to $4,000 a month. Money that could have easily been doubled or tripled, even, if they invested it in the real estate market.
“We don't get a financial education as women. We're coming out of high school where they're like, okay, you're about to go to college, they're going to give you a credit card, don't do it, you know, save a couple of dollars from that summer job.
And let's get you a condo, three and a half percent down with an FHA loan...they don't tell, nobody tells you that. So, what most people do is they get out of college with loaded with debt; tuition debt, and credit card debt.
And they're just trying to get out from under the debt. Plus, if you're living in a city, you can't afford it.”
So her challenge is to inspire women to look at the market nationally and learn how to earn long-term with real estate, and that’s something we can definitely get behind.