We had the opportunity to sit down with the accomplished and distinctive downtown Vancouver realtor, an Ubertor client and friend for over 7 years (many of you may know Ian from his video blogs).
We were fortunate enough to learn about the philosophies and strategies that have helped him get to this point and have contributed to both his professional and personal success. We wanted to know how his use of niche websites helped Ian establish an identity in the market and his general thoughts about the industry today and going forward.
What aspects about being in real estate do you enjoy the most?
Over the last 10 years I still really enjoy meeting the people that I work with, my clients are all different and interesting, and they tend not to fit a certain compartment. They look for me because I don’t fit the usual real estate mold. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you can deliver.
How have you used websites as a marketing venue to enhance your business?
There are 11,000 realtors just in Metro Vancouver, it’s important to standout and websites can do that for you. Your website has to prove why they should choose you amongst the rest, like a dating site or a resume. I have six different websites. I like to have fun with them, for me it’s about being creative. The problem is that people treat their websites like a brochure, once it’s up they don’t go back to look at it. If you don’t spend 15 minutes on your site no one else will.
You seem to have a great handle on focusing on niches and have been quite successful up to this point. How have niche websites worked for you?
When potential buyers go on Google most of the time they won’t type in your name, but keywords, specific to what they are looking for. I found that narrowing down the options has better results for people. People are looking for experts. Find your niche, who, what, where you want your focus to be and stick to it. Don’t try to be everything to everybody, be something to somebody.
Do you have any up-and-coming business projects you are tackling?
I am not looking to grow my business. I want a simple life and I’ve created a systems that allow me not to chase business. I work 5 hours a day, still enjoy what I do, but giving myself enough time to find balance amongst the other aspects in my life. If I want to earn double as much I’d have to work double as much and that’s just the reality of it.
I’m actually writing a book that tackles these issues. It’s targeted toward high-producing professionals, who may have lost sight of other, more important things in life. For me happiness is about finding balance between family, finance, mental health, physical health and community. I want to teach these people how to enjoy life again without sacrificing the financial aspect but rather compromising and making room for other things.
How do you see the real estate market changing in the next decade?
I think that when the baby-boomer generation, the people with a big houses in west van, pass away, their money and properties will pass on to their children. This huge transfer of wealth could mean a rise in buy and selling of large properties.
Any words of advice for new realtors?
Most successful people I know have systems in place, a routine. I would advise new comers to start creating systems for themselves. When it comes to digital marketing, I would say pick 3-4 words that you want to be found for in Google. Think about why would people look for you? What questions do they want answered and dedicate your time to make your website the answer to these questions.
And there you have it, a bit of everything to take away, from business, to marketing to your personal life, Ian Watt has answers.
Our team at Ubertor would like to thank Ian for taking the time to meet up with us and candidly share his stories and advice.
If you would like to share your personal insight or business perspectives (or both) and would like us to feature you in one of our Realtor Spotlight interviews, don’t be shy and let us know – we’d love to meet and learn from you!