Many new realtors struggle with generating business. Some start work with big brokerage houses who provide good training and they generally do a little better but the vast majority of new realtors struggle. They print cards and brochures and go about neighborhoods and slide their cards under the doors. That is a good method but generates very little business in the short term. They attend local churches, Chamber of Commerce meetings, social clubs etc. All very good but not much happens.
Then somebody suggests you need to buy leads. So they fork out precious dollars and buy leads. They make a few calls to the list. Some are disciplined enough to call the complete list. Not much happens. Now they are out of money and not much to show for it. They complain that leads don’t work.
Somebody suggest you need to have a website. They spend more precious dollars, hire a developer and build a website. Yet again, nothing happens.
As you can imagine, by now the realtor is thoroughly demoralized and has not made much money at all. Many are thinking of quitting and getting a regular 9 to 5 job. At least they’ll get a pay check.
So why aren’t all these things working for our realtor. They seem to be all good suggestions.
All the above activities are good but there is nothing that binds them together. There is no system in place to generate leads, nurture the leads and when the time is right, harvest the fruits.
Let’s look at a more sensible approach, a more methodical approach to succeed as a realtor:
- Build a website.
I would not suggest building it yourself. Some to save money do but they end up creating something that looks more like a school project, not a professional site. Who wants to do business with a person who does not even have a professional website. Hire a decent developer and ask him to build a website that presents you in a very positive light. Post your bio, your experiences, your family, your ties to the area. Anything that will make the reader more comfortable with you.
- Setup an Auto Responder:
Subscribe to an auto responder like GetResponse, Aweber or MailChimp and start a newsletter. Make it a weekly or monthly affair and in your newsletter talk about the transactions that got completed in your town by other realtors, civic activities, changes in the market etc.
- Dangle a carrot:
Encourage visitors to subscribe to your Newsletter by offering something for free like a free report on the real estate market in your city or something related. You can get creative and even include coupons from friendly vendors for your subscribers only.
- Start a CRM – Customer Relationship Management software
Here again hire a developer to get you started. Integrate the CRM with your website. People who sign up for your Newsletter will also be entered into your CRM.
A CRM helps you keep a record of your leads, what transpired on the previous call and what you are supposed to do next. For example: You called a lead and he said he is not planning on doing anything now but may be next June. You enter his comments and also schedule a follow up call in May. When May arrives, you call him up and see what his intentions are.
Since you also have him entered into your Auto Responder, he is getting your Monthly or Weekly newsletter so he now knows who you are and may have a more favorable attitude towards you.
- Enter all leads that you gather at local civic meetings and walking the streets into your CRM and Auto Responder.
- Buy Leads and upload them to both your CRM and Auto Responder.
- Work the Leads:
This combination of CRM and Auto Responder will help you keep all the leads getting regular periodic information from you that builds your credibility. And you can schedule follow up calls and activities using your CRM.
- Hold Seminars:
Hold periodic breakfast meetings. Send out an email to your list and invite them to your quarterly breakfast. This gives you an opportunity to meet people in person and further establishes your credibility. Don’t be shy and ask people if they know of someone who wants to buy or sell or rent.
- Get social. Get busy on social media and talk about the work you are doing and share your stories. Encourage people to visit your website and get your free report / ebook. When they do, they become part of your Auto Responder and CRM and now you can connect with them on a regular basis.
- Establish relationships with mortgage bankers.
They can be good sources of leads. Ask them to write for your newsletter and even co-host your breakfast meetings. Both of you benefit.
- Post properties on your website in addition to the MLS listing.
This way those who end up visiting your website see what you have listed. At the same time those who are using MLS searches can find your properties.
- Respect the renters
Help them find a good rental today. They are tomorrow’s buyers. Make sure you add them to your lists.
- Those that buy or sell through you, keep them on your mailing list. Also keep calling them every year and make notes in your CRM. Over time, needs change. Some may want to move to a bigger house while others may want to downsize. It amazes me that most realtors do not stay in touch with their clients. You must.
None of this is very difficult but it’s no quick-fix get-rich-quick scheme either. Establish a system and then work the system. Over time, your database of leads will grow. Some of these will become hot leads, that is ready to buy/sell, some will actually buy/sell through you and become a client of yours. The bigger your pool of leads, the better the chances of your closing some sales this year.
To summarize, set up your self for success by establishing a system. Then work the system by capturing leads, working the leads and harvesting the fruits. Rinse and Repeat.