Whether you’re new to the world of real estate or have been a licensed real estate agent for decades, you know that clients are the lifeblood of your business. But how do you manage your time and keep a steady flow of new clients coming in? You could spend all your time calling old listings and chasing leads, or you could invest in yourself and start getting found by the clients you really want to work with.
We talked to the experts and found five tried-and-true ways for you to get found by new clients while you focus on your core business—real estate!
Identify Your Ideal Client
It can be tempting when you’re starting out to see every person you meet as the perfect client; however, taking this shotgun approach to new business will result in a handful of one-off sales that won’t help you build a unique portfolio you can leverage. Why try to be all things to all people, when you can become a specialist in your specific market or audience? It’s called niche-building, and it’s a tried-and-true way of separating yourself from the pack. Build your niche by focusing on a particular neighborhood, property type, or customer. Become the expert!
Meet Your Clients Online
No matter your target audience, 50% of home buyers find their homes on the internet, preferring to do their research before ever contacting an agent. A strong “findable” online presence with strong writing and high-quality images will set you apart. And don’t forget to talk about yourself! “Clients want to get to know you online before they call you,” says Anne Barrington of the Barrington Group in Parker, CO. “Some new agents are afraid to write an online bio because they don’t have real estate experience. There are tons of things you can focus on in your bio—things like customer service experience, community involvement, and what you’re most passionate about. Your future clients will Google you, so be prepared!”
Face-to-face contact is an indispensable way to connect with clients, and there’s no better way than by volunteering in your local community. This is a meaningful and organic way to meet prospective clients who share a common cause. Be sure everyone you meet knows you’re a real estate agent, keep business cards on hand and, when appropriate, follow up by email.
New to the real estate profession? Be sure to announce your career change to friends, family, and former colleagues, both in-person and online. People who already know and trust you, or have even worked with you in the past, will want to support your bold move by referring clients. According to USA Today, 14 percent of the U.S. population—about 40 million Americans—move at least once a year. Statistically, if you have 300 personal contacts, 42 of them will move this year alone.
Referrals and repeat clients are often the most cost-effective and passive sources of new business. Follow up with clients after the sale, and stay in touch to be top-of-mind for referrals they might send your way. Use a customer relationship management tool (or even just the calendar in your phone) to remind you of birthdays, anniversaries, and more. After all, you’ve already bonded with them on the emotional journey to buying (or selling) a home, so keep that relationship fresh.
Try these five things for peace of mind and improved quality of life. Studies show that real estate agents who get found by the majority of their clients—vs. having to hunt them down—enjoy their careers more, stress less, and make more money.