When it comes to real estate, it’s important to remember that investing in the growth of your business is just as important as closing a sale. Too many agents fall into the trap of taking a transactional approach to their business versus creating a plan to manage their business for growth. Effective real estate prospecting must be part of this strategy if you want a successful career in real estate. Here are five must-have components of a real estate prospecting strategy that will help you to grow your business:
Dedicate Time for Daily Prospecting
It’s important to schedule time each day to find new clients so you can keep your pipeline of business full. Some effective forms of prospecting include:
- Phone calls, either to gather information or to schedule a meeting. These should optimally be strategic calls to your farming list, circle-prospecting around listings or upcoming open houses, etc., and not blind cold-calling.
- Attending or hosting events in your community. Consumers prefer to work with people that they have a relationship with, and these relationships can be made much stronger if they’re made in a more social environment.
- Social media marketing. Yes, you’ll have to pay now for this to truly be effective but Facebook has made it easier than ever to hyper-target potential consumers with your messaging to drive traffic to your website or landing page (and ultimately your database). Give people a reason to click on your link! Dynamic calls to action and providing a resource, whether it’s a market report or First Time Home Buyer Guide, will help you to maximize your results!
- Door-to-door marketing. Leave behind door hangers with your contact information for people who aren’t home. Do this a day or two before your open house, inviting neighbors to a special one-hour “preview” before the general public, and if you’re sending out farming materials always make sure that you are able to visit your entire farming database at least twice per year.
- Reach out to past clients to see how they are doing. They may be looking to make another move or know someone else in the market. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of sales – you’ve already shown them that you provide a great service, so keep the momentum going by staying in touch with past clients on a regular basis.
Ask for Referrals
Ask for referrals right after you’ve closed a deal or provided a valuable service to a satisfied client.
If you ask too early on in the process when your client is not invested, it could cost you the sale. Make sure you get as many names as possible, along with contact information. It’s one thing to tell potential clients how great you are – it’s much better to let your satisfied clients do this for you. Don’t forget to share these testimonials (with permission) on social media as well.
Know When to be Aggressive
Real estate is a tricky industry and you need to be able to strike when the time is right. Prospects need to be contacted quickly, or they will continue their real estate search or selling experience with another agent. The average consumer interviews only one agent when choosing a sales associate to work with – make sure that is you by striking while the iron is hot. The longer you wait to make contact, the more unlikely it is that you’ll ever earn that person’s business. As a rule of thumb, follow these prospecting tips:
Make initial contact immediately or as quickly as possible. Have systems in place to assist you in automating what you can. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, salespeople who contacted prospects within an hour of receiving a query were 60 times more likely to qualify the lead as those who waited 24 hours or longer to contact the prospect.
Keep track of your referrals and how many times you’ve contacted them (preferably with a client contact management system). Persistence (without annoyance) is key.
Not All Prospects are Created Equal
Unfortunately, there will always be some prospects that are either uninterested in your services, or that are unable to follow through due to financial reasons. It’s important to know when and to whom you should advertise your real estate services to increase your chances of connecting with qualified potential buyers and sellers. Successful real estate agents do not dedicate valuable time to chasing prospects that are unlikely to convert into leads. As such, some of the most important real estate prospecting tips include:
- Knowing when to cut your losses
- Knowing when a dead lead shouldn’t be revitalized
This Is a Business
Finally, it’s important to never take rejection personally. Not everyone will want to or will be qualified to work with you – this fact is inevitable within sales, the real estate industry included. Regardless of how many amazing real estate marketing strategies that you implement, there will be prospects that are simply unresponsive and uninterested.
Do not let this rejection keep you from continuing your prospecting! Celebrate the small wins as you go along to keep your spirits high – did you get a review? Did you make all of your prospecting calls? Did you send out your monthly value added mailer to past clients? Judging your day-to-day activity strictly by whether or not you wrote new business or not is a recipe for disappointment. Create your plan, work your strategy, be a fierce guardian of your time and just keep doing all of the activities that are needed to be successful.
Effective and efficient prospecting is exceptionally beneficial to your business and will mean the difference between creating the business that you desire as a successful top producing real estate agent and not creating that business.