The most difficult part of residential real estate is getting business. Let me repeat. The most difficult part of residential real estate is getting business. Success in residential real estate is not complicated but it takes thought, time, effort, diligence, communication, and consistency to become a top producer. When I speak of consistency I’m speaking of consistency in providing superior customer service and consistency with marketing. And I’m not talking about consistency for a few months or years. I’m talking about consistently marketing and doing a great job for your customers month-after-month, year-after-year, non-stop until you retire.
You will find a variety of personalities within a group of top producers but they will all have one thing in common – they are extremely good at getting customers. Whether it be from radio, print advertising, direct mail, blogging, internet leads, property signs, or just from referrals, top producers find a way to get their larger than average slice of the production pie. And you will notice many of them keep coming back year-after-year taking larger and larger pieces of that same pie before other REALTORS® can get a piece. So how do you get your own fat piece of the residential real estate sales pie?
First and foremost, you must believe in yourself, you must believe you deserve success as much as the next guy/girl, and you must get up every day and work the fundamentals of the business. When things get tough and it feels like all is lost, you must not give up but remind yourself that your value not defined by your book of business. Your value is defined by how much you love and care for other people. When you make a positive impact on just one life you are contributing to a better world and that, my fellow REALTOR(R), is what defines a person.
For the average REALTOR® it takes many years and a lot of consistent effort to get a lot of customers so you better get started immediately! Become an expert on the fundamentals of marketing, stick to them, and good things will happen over time. Don’t be shy because the sooner you learn to “put yourself out there” the sooner your journey will begin. Here are my 5 top marketing tips to get your larger than average piece of the residential real estate sales pie.
- Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Some brokerages provide them for their agents and some do not. Regardless, you need a CRM to house your database, schedule tasks, and manage contracts. There are not any great CRM solutions that I’m aware of, which is why I built my own custom CRM with Salesforce. None-the-less, I used Top Producer for many years and it got the job done.
- Build your database – Before anything else be sure to enter every human being you know into your database. Block large amounts of time to get it done immediately. Every contact you add to the list is critical so take the time and effort to get them into your database and get their contact information correct. If you are worried about bothering people by marketing to them, you might consider a different career. The sooner you start marketing to your database to sooner you will know who will support you and your business and that is critical. When I started in residential real estate my experience was that many who I thought would support me didn’t while some unexpectedly did. It changed my paradigm of how I perceived my closest relationships and inspired me to be more bold in my marketing efforts.
- Monthly Email to Database – residential real estate is a relationship business. We must constantly build and nurture our relationships. At a minimum, be sure to email your database monthly with helpful market and industry information such as a monthly market update. Be sure to add some information and even photos for a personal update. Believe it or not people like to know what is going on in your life, not just hear about how great of a REALTOR® you are.
- Monthly or quarterly mailer to database – not everyone in your database will get or read your monthly email so a direct mailer is important. The chances are that you will not get a direct sale from one mailer, but like any print advertising the goal is to stay top of mind so that these people will contact you when they are ready to buy or sell. While you can always provide market information, recipes, holiday cards, or the like; the goal should be to provide your list of Just Sold properties. This is the most effective way to show your database and farm that you are the REALTOR® that gets the job done.
- Social Media – Just about everyone I know is connected on Facebook. Some on Twitter and LinkedIn. While people don’t want to see every home you have listed or have recently sold on their Facebook feed, they do want to know about what is going on in your life. Use social media to organically build upon your relationships. Don’t hesitate to post about a big sale or success, because that is personal, but don’t be the cheesy sales guy that people want to unfriend.
It all seems to simple, doesn’t it? Yet most REALTORS® that I know do not do these things. It is like working as a professional fisherman but not ever fishing. Start fishing and do it for the rest of your career.
By Brian Talley of Regent Property Group