Building your real estate list is ultimately about dedication to doing a great job, alongside exceeding client expectations. But what if you’re just starting out? Or have moved to a new region?
Here are my top tips on growing your client list.
1. Work on your starter list
It goes without saying that a career as a real estate agent requires a thick skin. This doesn’t mean you can’t care, but rather that you need to not be afraid of getting knocked back ‒ especially when it comes to building your referral/client list.
If you’ve been in real estate for a while, you should have your starter list, so use that as your base and always ask for referrals. Highly successful agents who do well for their clients can normally count on three to five referrals per sale, and those in the top 10 per cent will be using their CRM to follow up daily, making around 15 to 30 calls per day.
Remember, though, to be respectful when you contact potential sellers or buyers.
- Ask permission before you get in touch.
- As you stay in touch with buyers, ensure you don’t hound them with unsuitable properties.
- Listen to what potential sellers tell you and don’t harass them into selling if they’ve said they’re only “thinking about it”.
- Stay in touch quietly by offering helpful advice. This could be anything from mortgage broker recommendations and market conditions to bathroom renovations that will add value.
2. Time to get out and about
If you’re starting up in a new area, how do you get yourself known ‒ especially if you’re a believer in the virtual office? Networking is key when you’re building your real estate list.
Offer to speak at the local library on real estate topics, or at meetings of associations like Probus, the Australian Shareholders Association, Rotary, seniors groups, school parent-teacher groups, sporting clubs, etc. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Go anywhere you can meet new people, and become a part of your neighbourhood. You could also sponsor a local community organisation who would probably be happy to publicise your name and service offering alongside their own promotions.
Get in touch with local developers and make a name for yourself as someone who is keen to learn and assist with projects.
And don’t forget to use billboards, bus backs, bus seats, shopping vouchers and any other local marketing opportunities to offer free property appraisals.
3. Have a new business to grow?
If you’ve taken the plunge and opened your own business, this is the perfect opportunity to combine the lists from all your new salespeople.
While many agents tend to want to keep their lists to themselves, it makes more sense to collaborate rather than compete. Because with a communal database, sales agents and buyers’ agents are more likely to find suitable buyers and sellers across their different contacts ‒ and that’s a win for everyone. If you control your costs, as we suggest under our One Agency model, and ensure everyone is successful, you’ll have a sustainable real estate agency.
4. Online is vital
There’s no doubt that if you aren’t online, you’ll struggle to build your real estate list, particularly if you’re starting from scratch. Social media is a fantastic way not only to market yourself, but also gain a following that will continue to feed your sales funnel. And you can do this best by having a professionally created profile and posting valuable, carefully curated content.
LinkedIn and Facebook are definitely the two top sites in which to have a presence, but plenty of agents also have success with Instagram (the fastest-growing of the social media platforms) and Twitter ‒ it’s all about using each medium correctly.
5. Become a niche agent
Those super savvy agents are well aware of the importance of building a personal brand, which is about standing out and differentiating yourself from the herd.
Over the years, I’ve observed that many agents have success when they specialise in a particular type of property or area. It can be unnerving to narrow down your potential audience, particularly when you’re trying to grow your list. But ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ isn’t necessarily the best approach for your real estate career.
By specialising, you can become the local expert for a particular type of property and build a brand for yourself.
6. Always keep both eyes on the market
When you’re starting out, quick gains are important, so you need to go straight to those looking to sell now. And your best bet is houses already on the market.
Just because they’ve listed with another agent, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth getting in touch with them too. But we suggest that you wait until the other agent’s agreement has expired so you keep a reputation for dealing ethically.
Building a list takes time, commitment and perseverance. But the long-term gain is having a contact and referral database that grows organically, rewarding you with quality leads and listings.