The first months in the real estate business are sure to be a challenge. At times it will seem lonely and highly competitive.
Good agents in your office will make it look so easy. You will find yourself saying “How did they do that?”
Remember that they may have been at it for years and will have built up a following, a database of clients who trust them and most likely have done business with them in the past.
So things like getting your name out, finding potential sellers, and securing your first listings are no small tasks. So how do you do that?
The short answer is to build a database and use contact management software to maintain a relationship with people you know and meet. The golden rule here is to enter everything. Everyone you meet with as much detail as you can and then start communicating with them. You will get a lot of tips that go with a program like LockedOn. This is how you start to build relationships and that is what it is all about.
Building that database is the first part of your strategy and forms part of your overall plan. Another part of the plan is to decide on an area in which to focus your attention – a farm area. This will make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin. That is a common mistake. I described how to set up a farm area in a previous blog article.
Is there an area or type of home that interests you? By focusing on a niche, you can become known as the expert in that area and/or property type. Don’t be afraid that you will miss business by not becoming a general real estate practitioner. If you’re going to farm a neighbourhood, postcode or area, a good way to start is by walking and/or driving around the area and knocking on doors to introduce yourself.
Remember, everyone you meet is a prospect and needs to go straight into your database.
Ask each person for their contact information, especially e-mail addresses. Tell them you want to send them some information about the real estate market. Everyone is interested in what is happening to prices. Just tell someone at a barbecue that you are in real estate and see what happens.
Ask the people you know and meet how they prefer to be contacted — by e-mail, home or business phone or mobile. Getting a mobile number allows you to send text messages as well. Tell the person you would like to keep them posted about the marketplace. You can do this with e-mail newsletters, postcards, phone calls, and other means.
Do not ignore those who are renting. They may just be wondering if this is a good time to buy.
Most property owners are interested in how well their property is doing in terms of price growth, even if they have no immediate plans to sell, they enjoy knowing that their home is worth “X” amount more than what they paid for it. They also enjoy knowing local market conditions that affect the value of their asset.
Don’t worry about being new to the industry. There is plenty of support for new agents if you know where to look. We wil be helping soon with a program called “The Magic Bullett”. Watch out for that.
Listen carefully when people talk. Listen for the tell-tale signs that they might be considering a change. Drive your neighbourhood and note which houses are looking improved and which owners are holding garage sales. These are good signs that someone could be on the move. You’ll get a feel for which neighbours to chat to get the information about what is happening.
People appreciate enthusiasm and are inclined to give new people a chance. If you don’t have the answer, say so, but you can immediately follow up by saying you know where to get it or that you will get the answer and get back to them. Remember – if you make a promise to do something, make sure you do it. Not following up is a sure way to lose business
Get help if you need it. Offer to help a top producer with an open house. Don’t be afraid to partner with another salesperson on a listing until you learn the ropes. Take advantage of every training session your office or group offers, and hire a coach if you think it will help you.
Don’t lose hope. Getting your name out there is the hardest part of being new to the business. But if you follow these suggestions, and show a willingness to serve your clients’ needs, you’ll soon have enough business to keep you busy.