Well versed in rules, but what about business?
When you get your real estate license, there’s often little or no training on sales and marketing approaches and techniques. You may be well versed in all the real estate rules and regulations but when it comes to starting your business on the right track, you may feel a bit lost.
In this article, I’ll share three steps new Realtors need to take on their journey down the road to real estate sales success.
Step one: get organized
As you begin gathering contact information of real estate leads, you need to make sure you store this data in one consolidated place. It’s essential to have a system to remind yourself of important appointments and commitments, or to make a phone call or send an email. Keep a task list and calendar and plan what you’ll be doing every day or week. Each morning, check your calendar and task list, and your appointments for the day, so you know what’s on your radar and how to schedule your time.
Here’s a good tip: as you meet more and more people and add them to your database, try to learn about hobbies, interests, pets, job, etc. and add this information into your database as well. It’s important to get phone numbers and email addresses, but try to go deeper than that. Why? So you can build stronger relationships. So the next time you call up Bob, you can ask him about that new fishing rod or how his tennis tournament went. After all, real estate sales is a people business.
Step two: grow your network and expand your sphere of influence (SOI)
When you’re starting out, you need to grow your sphere of influence (SOI) and expand your network. You can do this through planning various events such as home expert seminars and through an assortment of real estate prospecting techniques such as cold calling. A home expert seminar is when you invite a “home expert” such as an Interior Designer, to come and talk to a group of people you’ve invited. This expert will share tips and ideas that people will find helpful. Each one of the people who take you up on your invitation and attend this seminar is a lead to add to your database!
If you’re changing careers, and are coming into real estate from another profession, you likely already have a substantial amount of people who know you and vice-versa. Make the most of the relationships that you have. Send these people an email letting them know you’re now in real estate. Start sending them your monthly e-Newsletter so you can keep in touch and so they won’t forget that you’re an agent. Remember, the most successful Realtors get most of their business from referrals and repeat business. They don’t cold call and focus on real estate prospecting all day. In order to build a referral and repeat business, relationship-building and keeping in touch with your SOI needs to be in the forefront.
Step three: build your book of business
As discussed earlier in this article, there are a number of ways to grow your SOI and professional network. But you need to know how to make the most of your leads and maximize the chances that they turn into a client.
If you’re prospecting and marketing effectively, you’re going to get leads. Now, not all of these leads will be great so you need to know the right questions to ask to weed out the hot leads from the cold ones. Some leads will be good but may not be ready to buy or sell right away. Let’s say you get a new lead who seems interested. But you never hear back from him, even after following up on the phone. A good Realtor wouldn’t forget about this lead just yet. Make sure you set all your leads up on drip email campaigns.
Effective drip emails campaigns will consist of a series of emails designed to convert different types of leads into clients. When the lead is ready to buy or sell, you’re maximizing the chance that they choose you. Of course, whether a lead uses your services versus a competitor depends on a number of different factors (your listing presentation, for instance), but drip email campaigns will definitely help move the ball in your court.
A real estate contact management system is the foundation to all three of the steps discussed in this article. It’s how you’ll organize and manage your contacts and schedule, plan your events and keep in touch activities, and send out your e-Newsletter and drip email campaigns. Sometimes, there are special offers for new real estate agents, like six months free where I work (IXACT Contact), or benefits through local and national associations. These are usually great offers that are specially reserved for new Realtors, so it’s important to take advantage. You’ll save a lot of money and get started on the right track!