Even when affiliated with a nationwide brand, real estate professionals are entrepreneurs. They prospect clients, cultivate relationships and secure commissions.
Periodically, it is prudent to step back and consider strategies for growth. While market fluctuations and trends come and go, certain fundamental principles remain the same. Below are three strategies to consider in growing and sustaining your business:
1. Marketing is networking
When it comes to networking for new business development, personality counts. A customer needs to feel comfortable spending the afternoon with an agent before seeing property option number one. Therefore, in order to market properties, agents need to be able to market themselves. A key priority is building bigger, more robust business and social networks.
Successful real estate professionals do not count solely on unpredictable leads such as calls from buyers who see a sign on a lawn, spot a property listing online, or are referred by friends and family. Of course, those opportunities are icing on the cake. But the most profitable individuals understand how to routinely and proactively maintain communication with their extended networks to bolster their walk-in trade.
Ask yourself about the state of your network – both offline and online. When’s the last time you met someone completely new? How are you communicating with your social media networks?
Remember, you can grow your networks in two ways – clients either reach out to you or you reach out to them.
2. Referrals stem from the intangibles
If a client reaches out to you, chances are they are acting on a referral from a previously satisfied client. It is important to keep in mind that what made that past client satisfied was likely more basic than just a successful sale from a financial perspective. Positive, memorable customer service is of the highest priority.
Promptly responding to e-mails, showing up on time, providing daily updates on negotiations and general forthrightness and good communication skills help ensure that clients recommend you to others.
Example: Want to impress a client? Tell them the truth. Is a property priced too high or too low? Are there local schools to be leery of? Tell them. Don’t give the impression that gaining a commission from any deal is more important than their happiness.
If a deal falls through and clients like you, they’ll come back. If a deal is successful but they didn’t like you, you won’t meet their cousin who wants to buy a $3 million penthouse.
3. The Sphere of Influence
You have a built-in database of clients and you do not even know it. This is your sphere of influence. Friends, family, neighbors, hairdressers, dentists, local business owners. These are all folks that you have immediate trust and rapport with that will want to see you succeed in real estate. These folks may also have real estate needs. Consider reaching out to them through social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest to continue the relationship and remind them that you are in real estate. As you meet new people, add them to your sphere of influence. And always carry business cards. Put 10 business cards in your pocket every morning and do not go home until you hand out all 10. That’s 10 more folks in your Sphere of Influence.
As a real estate professional, it is crucial to keep meeting new people, got the extra mile, and always be in the know. The successful growth of your business depends on it.