Are you looking for some ways to grow your real estate business without spending a ton of money? Here are some ideas that we normally share with our Realty World Indy team:
Contact your Sphere of Influence (SOI):
This is always the best place to start. These people know you and you know them. You already have something to talk about. Use a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to keep track of your contacts with them. A service like “Send Out Cards” can be an inexpensive way to stay in touch with them Personal visits, lunch or a phone call is the very best way to reach out to these people. Believe me, it will pay you dividends if you spend a little time in this area of your business.
Volunteer in your community:
Being a volunteer is a great way to give back to your community, while at the same time, meeting people that can grow your business. Keep in mind you are looking for referrals as well as someone who might do business with you. However, keep your motives pure by putting your volunteer work first and prospecting for business second. Keep in mind the old saying: “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs and Lions Clubs are great places to get involved. Or serve on a committee with your chamber of commerce.
Go to the Gym:
You probably need to shed a few pounds or get in better condition. While you’re there, you can meet people doing the same things and strike up conversations. Conversations can lead to a friend being made and a future business relationship or referral. Go early or stay late, but be sure to allow time to meet people. Wondering what to talk about? Use the acrostic FORD: talk about FAMILY, OCCUPATION, RECREATION & DREAMS.
Be Present In Your Community:
At Realty World Indy, we encourage our team members to walk around their community and be ready to meet new people. One good way is to wear logo wearables. People are always interested in what is happening in the real estate market in their neighborhood. When they see you are a Realtor®, they will naturally ask you real estate questions. Take your dog with you, and you get the bonus of giving the dog some exercise while meeting people. Make sure you take business cards with you, or better yet, share your branded real estate app with them! Practice the lost art of conversation with your neighbors.
Do an Open House:
This is a great way to meet prospective buyers. Planning in advance is a key to the success of your open houses. Pretend like you are hosting a party and make sure you have sent out invitations for people to attend, arrange for refreshments, and of course make the open house entertaining. Our Realty World Indy team members use an app to register open house guests, capture their info for followup and get property information into the prospective buyer’s hands in a unique way. Don’t forget to invite the neighbors to your open house.
Write a Blog Post:
Writing a blog gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with others. It builds credibility for you as well. There are many sources on the internet for blog topics, if you are wondering what to write about. Realty World Indy team members can find blog topics and suggestions on the Realty World Insider. Don’t forget to promote your blog post on social media.
Choose an apartment complex near where you live. Go early in the morning or in the evening when most people are home. If they are living in an apartment, you know that they are not a homeowner. Be careful that you don’t trespass on property that is restricted and don’t look like someone ready to commit a crime. Wearing logo wearables will help. Make sure the homes you advertise for sale are in the price range for a first time home buyer. You can ad a text for info number or a QR code to your flyer to capture the information of those who may be interested. The Realty World Insider has a QR code tool to do this for you.
Make a Community Video:
If you carry a smart phone with you (and what self-respecting Realtor® doesn’t have a smart phone?), you already have your video camera with you. Go to a neighborhood in your area and do a video there. Start by the neighborhood entry sign with a selfie video. Then move through the neighborhood showing the homes, streets and amenities. If there’s a club house, take a video. Tennis courts, pool, walking paths? Take a video. There are simple video editing tools available to allow you to put your videos together into a simple video show. You can then post it on your YouTube Channel (you do have a YouTube channel, don’t you? If not get one!). Also promote your video on social media.
Think about it. Real estate is really a "contact" sport. What do I mean by that? I mean that the more people you have contact with in the course of a day, the more people you will be able to help with their real estate transactions.
Let's talk frankly for a minute. You got into real estate because of the ability to make a lot of money and the flexibility and freedom of schedule that the real estate profession offers. Would it surprise you to know that most Realtors® don't make a lot of money? Why is that? One reason is that they take the flexibility and freedom of schedule to an extreme and spend their time away from the very people that they could be helping. How do they do that?
So what's the solution? Get out there where people are that may need help with a real estate transaction. Make "contacts"! That's why I say that real estate is a "contact" sport. When you get out where people are, you will naturally run into people who can use your help. Your business will grow, you will make a lot of money and most important, you will be helping a lot of people. At Realty World Indy, we teach agents relational skills to help them network and make contact with people who need help with real estate transactions. By being out and about, Realty World Indy agents spend time with people who may buy from them or give them referrals. You can still have a lot of flexibility and freedom in your schedule by going out to meet people. But by making those all important "contacts" you will also make a lot more money!
The next time you're tempted to hang out in your home office, or your broker's office - don't do it! Instead, get out there a make some "contacts"! And don't forget to followup with everyone of those contacts with a personal note and regular contact - which is a whole other subject!
Why the best real estate agent may be the one you’ve never heard of.
Let’s face it, most real estate agents approach real estate as a transactional business. They work to close the sale and get the commission and then on to the next deal. They spend their money on advertising and making a name for themselves. You’re likely to see them on bill boards, in Facebook ads, in the newspaper advertising and maybe even on grocery carts. Their focus is on getting more leads for more volume in transactions and more money in their bank account. You’ll see their picture all over the internet - on Zillow, Trulia and other real estate sites. They’re busy buying leads, closing those leads and building their business sales volume. These are the agents that most brokerages want to hire.
But, are they the best agents? Is their focus on closing transactions or helping their clients by providing them with valuable counseling and consultation? Are they thinking more about the next transaction or helping their client in the transaction that they are in? Do they spend their time and money on advertising and lead generation or on education about how to do a better job of helping their clients?
I can tell you as a real estate insider, that not all well known agents are good agents. In fact, some of the most contentious and difficult transactions I’ve been involved with have been with the so called “well known, high volume producers”.
So what makes a good agent? A good agent is first and foremost a counselor for their client, with their best interest in mind. They are likely to be honest in pointing out flaws with a property and giving you the pros and cons of any given real estate situation. They rely on doing an excellent job for their clients and getting business through word of mouth and referrals. They are available when their clients need them, and are always ready to answer questions. They study the contract forms that they use and how to negotiate to aid their client. They look for the “win, win” in situations instead of trying to take advantage of the other buyer or seller.
Even though it may not be verbalized as such, good agents live according to the Rotary 4-Way test: Of the things that they think, say and do they ask themselves - 1) Is it the truth?, 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?, 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned? They are more concerned about the other parties in the transaction than their own personal gain. Good agents will help you think through things and make suggestions rather than trying to guide you to a decision that may not be the best for you.
So, how do you find a good agent? You probably already know one. They may be a friend or acquaintance who gives this kind of service. You can find them by asking others about their real estate transactions. You probably won’t find them spending a lot of money on advertising. They will be more concerned about relationships rather than transactions and personal income. They will always be ready to answer your questions about real estate and not pushing to close the sale or listing.
If you are a real estate agent, what is most important to you? Where do you spend your money? Building relationships or advertising and buying leads? Do you value the commission you will be earning above the best interests of your client? Do you study how to help your client have a better experience, or how to sell more real estate?
At Realty World Indy, we teach our team how to help their clients have a "World Class" real estate experience. Our agents build a referral based business based upon their satisfied clients.
Now That You Have Your Real Estate License, Now What?
Once you have passed your test to obtain your real estate license, you now have a world of options open to you! Here are some things to consider:
Stay tuned for part 3!
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We’d love to help you start your career in real estate.