Real Estate Careers June 19, 2024

Buyers Agents: Amp-Up Your Off-Market Game

How to Create a Unique Value Proposition That Resonates with Buyer Prospects in Real Estate 3.0

By Hugh M. Smith
Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate

In the evolving world of real estate, buyers increasingly question the value proposition of buyer’s agents. “What do you do,” they ask, “to earn tens of thousands of dollars in buyer broker compensation?” Many buyers believe they can easily find their dream home on real estate portals like Zillow, Realtor, or

However, the landscape is changing with new BrightMLS regulations and NAR Buyer Brokerage practice guidelines, which will result in more off-market opportunities than ever before. Savvy agents know that there are many places other than the MLS where dream homes can be found:

  • Office exclusive listings
  • Pocket listings
  • For Sale By Owners (FSBOs)
  • Expired listings
  • Sellers not offering “Seller Concessions”
  • Zillow, Realtor, Homes

This presents a fantastic opportunity for smart and energetic agents to demonstrate their value. But how can a savvy agent acquire knowledge of this “dark market”? Here are some strategies to amp up your off-market game:

1. Networking

Savvy and energetic agents network with other productive agents in their office and market. Build relationships, attend open houses, share information, and participate in sales meetings and round tables. If you have off-market opportunities, share them with your network.

2. Regularly Check The Portals

Expect the proliferation of “Office Exclusive Listings” in Real Estate 3.0. With seller authorization, some real estate brokers may bypass the MLS and list directly on portals like, where buyer leads go directly to the listing agent. Make it your business to sniff out these opportunities.

3. Regularly Check FSBO Sites

Sites like,,, and are goldmines for off-market opportunities. Regularly check these sites to stay ahead.

4. Attend Open Houses

Agents who regularly attend both broker and public open houses will have a huge competitive advantage. First-hand knowledge brings confidence to your value proposition. Open houses also offer opportunities to network.

5. Be Observant

Keep your eyes open for new signs or competitors with clipboards walking out of houses. This could indicate off-market opportunities.

Leveraging Local Knowledge

Local knowledge is a crucial part of the value proposition that buyers will appreciate in the coming days. Buyers will likely place major emphasis on this skill when choosing an agent for their home search. They’ll value full-time agents who know their market inside and out.

Ashley Harwood of Move Over Extroverts told Inman News that agents will need to have “a rock-solid buyer consultation that they deliver with confidence, be experts in every step of the buying process (and be able to communicate that expertise quickly to their prospects), and level up their game when it comes to finding off-market properties for their buyers.”

By mastering these strategies and staying ahead of the curve, you can ensure that your unique value proposition resonates with buyer prospects in Real Estate 3.0.

About the Author:
Hugh Smith, ABR, SRS, PSA, RENE, has been a licensed real estate broker since 1983, serving the real estate markets of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. He is the Broker of Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate with offices in Easton, Chestertown, and Chesapeake City, Maryland.
A past President of the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors, the Founding and First President of Habitat for Humanity of Talbot County, Maryland, and a recipient of the Maryland Association of Realtors Community Service Award, he currently serves on the Maryland Association of Realtors Grievance Committee and the Housing Opportunity Committee.