Does it seem to you that unsuccessful agents are passive in their pursuit of new clients?
What I mean is successful real estate professionals (defined as actually and really busy) go out and find clients by taking proactive steps to identify and get in front of people who want to buy or sell real estate. Unsuccessful agents (defined as not having enough business) may engage in marketing practices and make some efforts, but their attempts seem to all fall into the category of email contacts with their spheres or past clients or other general stuff that doesn’t seem to take any “stepping out”. The former catches people when they are ready to buy or sell, but the latter relies on the buyer or seller to take the initiative to contact them. The former finds prospects, the latter waits to be found.
One example of being active in acquiring new clients is described in this blog entry by S. Anthony Iannarino. This is not real estate specific, but can be applied easily to what you do to get new business. Mr. Iannarino suggests that you have a list of top prospects you pursue all of the time, proactively, rather than sitting back and waiting for them to contact you.
You might argue you’ve been taught from the get-go in this business that regular contacts with your sphere and past business will result in business for you. I’m sure it does, and I’m not suggesting that you don’t continue this practice. Having people approach the people they know first is a time honored sales tradition, and the expectation is that you have more influence with people you know than you don’t.
However, does it result in enough business? How do you do the extra stuff, make the extra effort, to get the business that is up for grabs out there? What makes you think that the proactive, professional agent isn’t out there grabbing people in your sphere or that are part of your past business?
I decided to speak with Jerry Hoffman, a very successful agent with Keller Williams Success Realty in Barrington, and an experienced MRED Professional Trainer, to get some ideas about how to get proactive, go out and find new business. Frankly, I was surprised by how easy and inexpensive these ideas are:
– Pull a list of properties that rented 7-9 months ago. You now have a list of addresses where people have to decide to stay or move in the next 60 to 90 days.
– Set up your sphere and past clients to receive automatic updates for their neighborhood every 2-3 weeks (even Jerry stays in touch with his sphere and past clients). Remember, every time they talk about real estate, they talk about you.
– Using public records, search for potential sellers who have owned for at least 10-12 years. Export the list with the last mortgage amount and date. Weed out the recent refis that took all the equity.
– Search seasoned expireds who probably will re-list but haven’t yet.
– Use public records to search non-owner occupied properties around a listing.
All of these ideas can be implemented using connectMLS or Realist, services you already use.
Whether you are impressed by these ideas or not, what I hope makes an impression is that these are creative, different approaches than just mailing to a list of people you know and hoping they contact you when the time comes. Please do not take any of this as a recommendation to stop your current contact programs with people you know – the vast majority of agents do not even do that, so you’re at least ahead of them. This is, by the way, why there are so many potential deals up for grabs out there.
What do you think?
One last thing – mini sales pitch – Jerry and our other instructors pass along this kind of information at every one of their trainings. They don’t just teach the how, they teach the why. They’re all seasoned active agents who talk your language and walk in your shoes every day. Schedule a free class today – take the initiative and don’t wait for MRED to call you . . . 😉