Information vs insight

Industry-leading sales trainer Richard Robbins encourages agents to build their reputations on what they know, not what they sell

Information vs insight
It's no secret that most of the information buyers and sellers believe they need is just a few clicks away. Advancements in technology have created enormous access for the consumer and a tremendous opportunity for you, as a real estate professional, to stand out from the online clutter and bring solutions.

During the more than 20 years I have been in this business, I have experienced all kinds of market conditions and the objections that go with them.

Here’s what I see as the truth: your clients and potential clients can Google just about anything and get the information they are looking for. What they cannot get from Google is your expert insight!

Insight is simply information with value added to it. That value might be your years of experience or important details that only you have access to. It could be your ability to take something complex and make it more easily understood. Insight is information that your clients don’t know they don’t know.

Today, we must make a massive shift in our focus, from delivering information to delivering something better: insight. Close this gap for the client, and they will never buy or sell a home without you again.

Here are three strategies we have developed at RRI to help you shift your focus from information to insight:

Add interpretation. Put the information in context for the consumer. Think about what you can add to the information that will make it more useful to your clients. Consider your answers to these questions:
  • What’s a sales-to-listing ratio?
  • What does that mean to the price I put on my home?
  • What’s happening with mortgage rates and how does this affect me?
  • What strategies do I need for a buyer’s market? For a seller’s market?

Bring scarce information. There’s still lots of information out there that’s hard to find, protected, not easily compiled or that requires relationships to access. No one needs you to bring him or her MLS listings; that information is abundant. But what about:
  • Future development projects
  • Economic development plans and prospects for a community
  • Trends in school planning and school quality
  • Upcoming changes in zoning, highways and infrastructure

What new, scarce, hidden or insider information can you bring to the table?

Add advice. Now more than ever you’re going to have to tell clients what you think. Of course, you need to give your clients all the information and insight possible to help them make an informed decision. But when they ask your opinion, you need to put your expertise and reputation on the line. You’ve got the training, the experience and the market knowledge. Tell your clients what you’d do if it were your home.

Over the coming decade, whoever has the strongest ability to create insight from information will be the dominant force in a market. They’ll make the best deals, get the most referrals and build the strongest personal brand.
Until next time, make it count!

Richard Robbins is CEO/founder of Richard Robbins International Inc (RRI), a Canadian-based organization providing world-class real estate conferences and one-on-one coaching. For more information about upcoming conferences, booking Richard to speak or coaching programs, visit or call 1.800.298.9587.