A year-round steady flow of customers is the Holy Grail of real estate. Without it, you end up staggering from deal to deal praying you’re going to meet your monthly goals.
Is your business where you want it to be?
These are nine reasons why prospecting may not be working for you:
1. You think prospecting is something you’re supposed to do when you don’t have listings to sell or buyers to show homes to.
Prospecting isn’t something that takes time away from listing and selling, it’s what you have to do to get listings and showings. Skimp on marketing and you won’t have a pipeline of deals to work on next month.
Marketing should go out consistently and automatically.
2. Failure to properly identify prospects.
10 percent of your contacts are actively selling or buying. 90 percent are still prospects because they may know someone who’s looking to buy or sell.
Stay in front of your former clients. Make it easy for them to find you when they’re ready to do another real estate transaction.
3. Boring them with advice about buying and selling homes.
Unless your marketing is going directly to potential first-time home-buyers, stay away from sharing home buying advice. The 90 percent of your client base that isn’t actively involved in a transaction doesn’t need home selling and home buying tips.
Compelling content speaks to homeowners.
4. Not prospecting enough.
How much contact is too much? We know from our customer-focus research on email marketing that once a month is not enough and once a week is too much.
Once every two weeks is enough to keep you top-of-mind without being annoying.
5. Marketing via snail mail.
The Internet, not the mailbox, is the starting point for today’s home shoppers. Using snail-mail makes you look old-school.
Reach prospects where they are with online communication via newsletters, emails, web links and webinars.
6. Networking only in the virtual world and not in the real world.
It’s important to take every opportunity to network in person.
Go to Chamber of Commerce breakfasts, do a booth at local fairs and festivals and teach an adult education class for first-time home-buyers or investors.
7. Keeping your business cards in your pocket or your desk drawer.
If you’re not giving away 100 business cards a week, you’re not working hard enough on prospecting. When you give people your card, they often give you theirs and it’s going to have an email address on it. When you exchange cards, mention that you have a newsletter about home ownership that you’ll send them.
8. Thinking a lead service or a free email marketing newsletter will do it all for you.
A lead service or a free email marketing newsletter won’t do all your prospecting for you. Any number of services sell lead information about expired listings, people who’ve inquired about foreclosures or online home shoppers.
Those lists can be out of date, of questionable quality, and in the case of email newsletters from places like Lowe’s, available to every agent in America.
To differentiate yourself, you need exclusive marketing lists and quality newsletter content.
9. Taking shortcuts to build your contact database.
The best email contacts are the ones you gather yourself one potential client at a time.
Building year-round deal flow doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take consistent effort. To fill your deal pipeline:
Build a database filled with people who know you.
Form partnerships with companies who can help you share exclusive content that highlights your real estate expertise.
Get out in the community to raise your visibility.
Lee Sowers, Sales and Marketing SVP of HomeActions, helps Realtors® enhance their prospecting and build relationships to increase sales. Sowers knows what it takes to successfully market to commercial and residential real estate customers.
Real estate agents send the HomeActions e-newsletter twice a month to consumers within their sphere of influence to keep themselves top-of-mind when customers are ready to buy or sell a home.
“Agents find the HomeActions e-newsletter easy to use because it doesn’t require technical skills to get it set up and mailed out,” says HomeActions CEO Barry Friedman. “We upload email lists, write engaging news that homeowners can use and automatically mail an e-newsletter every two weeks, sending 2.2 million e-newsletters monthly.”
The e-newsletter positions the real estate agent as a genuine expert in:
Maximizing home value
Local real estate conditions
HomeActions’ clients are also able to customize the top article space in each issue to highlight local market news and observations, further building their credibility and highlighting their industry experience.
The e-newsletter’s flexible design options let Realtors® match the colors, graphics, logos and photographs of their independent or franchise brand.
While the e-newsletter is reaching more than 1.1 million unique consumers, exclusivity agreements prevent more than one agent from emailing the same customer.
The engaging HomeActions content focuses on maximizing home value, including home improvements and maintenance, consumer finance, taxes, insurance, décor, safety, community living issues and green living.
To maximize their visibility, agents can post the newsletter’s articles to social media sites with a single click.
Reporting analytics show how many e-newsletters are sent, who opened the issue, which articles they clicked on and when articles were read.
HomeActions provides Realtors® a complete e-prospecting system to generate repeat and referral business, creating more listings, buyers and sales. The HomeActions system electronically delivers current, engaging e-newsletter content of interest to all homeowners, not just those actively buying or selling a home.
In real estate, you can’t avoid unhappy or dissatisfied customers. Buyers with wish lists twice the size of their budget and sellers who demand you find a buyer willing to pay more than fair market value create stress for even the best agents.
Here are nine ways to stay upbeat in the face of negativity:
1. Always visualize a large $ stamped on your unhappy customer’s forehead.
Your customers pay your bills and feed your family. An unhappy customer may cost you this job and lose you a future referral. A happy customer creates a happy pay day for you.
2. Skip the news before work and listen to music or motivational talks on your way to work.
How you spend the first part of your day influences how the rest of your day unfolds. Don’t watch negative newscasts before work. Listening to music that pumps you up or motivational talks prepares you to tackle problem people or situations.
3. Find something to like about every customer.
Maybe your client has great eyebrows or good taste in ties. During unpleasant encounters, keep your focus on the 5% you like about them and your focus off the 95% you dislike.
4. Use Daily Affirmations to support yourself such as:
“I’m doing the best I can!” “I am a winner!” “I trust myself!” “I can handle any problem!” “I deserve this job!”
Affirmations keep your mind focused on a future positive outcome rather than the negative situation at hand.
5. Always reward yourself for a job well done.
When you successfully make it through a difficult day, show yourself some appreciation: Spend more time with family, get a massage or go out for a nice dinner.
6. Keep a Glory File of thank you letters and compliments. Review it often to remind yourself how fabulous you are.
When you have to deal with a tough customer, balance your self-esteem with a trip through your Glory File. Reminding yourself of your past successes and how much customers love you can motivate you to keep going.
7. Avoid gossiping about negative customers.
Retelling the tale of your terrible encounter intensifies your anger and negativity. Instead, do your best let go of the negativity as soon as the customer leaves your space. Until you can let go, the customer owns and controls your thoughts.
8. Avoid complainers, criticizers and whiners in your office.
I hope there’s still someone left in your office to talk to when you avoid all the complainers, criticizers and whiners. Their negativity can cause your productivity to falter.
9. Make a list of reasons you must appreciate your customers and thank them.
“I appreciate you giving me the privilege of serving you.” “I feel lucky, honored and blessed to have a job I love.” “Thank you for choosing me to do your business with.”
Most of all, never for one minute believe that your broker pays you. Your broker only supplies the check. Your customers fill in the blanks. Be grateful to them.