As a real estate sales professional with RE/MAX, you must continually develop new clients, cultivate new business from past clients and provide homeownership services for your present clients. It is a continuous process and essential to your success. The art and science of business development is prospecting. It is the nuts and bolts of real estate, and this blog post will help you do just that – prospect, to develop your business!
Prospecting is what you actively do to get business. It is the lifeblood of your career. The goal is to get appointments with people with present real estate services needs and people with future real estate services needs AND to have people remember to refer you to people they know who can use your services.
Reaching your goals rests with your willingness to prospect and your ability to build relationships. Consumers want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Relationship building is a process that takes both time and planning.
The steps to building effective business relationships are:
- Establish Rapports
- Determine Needs
- Create Value
Complete these three steps first and then you’ll be well on your way to prospecting!
METHODS OF PROSPECTING
Use a combination of the following four methods to contact potential clients/customers. Look below to find each method’s benefits:
Face to Face
- Makes a good first impression
- Identify yourself with a business card
- Involve them in the conversation
- Realize that your voice is making a first impression
- Get to the point quickly
- Involve them in the conversation
- Have a ‘script’; be prepared
- Have a reason to be on the phone
- Leave a message if necessary. Make it upbeat and give them a reason to call you back!
- Make it personal
- Get their attention
- Have (create) a good reason to mail
- Use the power of RE/MAX with branded materials
- Frequency and consistency are powerful weapons
- Follow up with personal contact either via phone or face to face. Don’t get discouraged if someone doesn’t immediately call, and remember the 10 per cent rate (for every 200 letters sent = 20 new personal contacts)
- Use it to update information. Have a calendar – be consistent with your posts
- Check FSBO sites
- Use email/text as a contact source with buyers and sellers if they prefer
- Keep your agent bio current via Control Panel in Launchpad
Once you’ve decided on how you’d like to communicate to prospects, take a look below to find where you can communicate to prospects!
Sphere of Influence
Business development with people you know is often under utilized and is among the best sources of business for agents, especially those that are new to the business. Remember to contact family, friends, Accountants, Doctors, and even past clients from a previous career. Stay in touch with people and remind them of the services you can provide. Ask for their business card and ask for their referrals. You might even want to consider using a contact management system for follow-up and follow through.
Business Development Area (BDA)
This is also known as farming or geographic marketing. By selecting a “farm” area, you agree to systematically contact the residents as part of your prospecting plan. You can provide market updates and community information while promoting your real estate services.
Establishing name recognition in your community is important to your success. To help get your name out there consider getting involved in local clubs and organizations. Maybe even participate in or sponsor community programs, and always wear a name badge. That way if you don’t hand out business cards to everyone at the event, people will still remember your name and can find you on social media! Most of all stay in frequent touch with everybody you know so the next time they need a real estate agent, they think of you first!
Past Clients & Customers
This is your personal gold mine – or as the RE/MAX OA Training Specialists like to say….Platinum Pickings! Past clients and customers have already had a great experience with you and will often be happy to refer people they know to you, but you must stay in touch with them! Remember, out of sight equals out of mind. Statistics show that if a good relationship is built and maintained, a past client/customer is usually worth 8 to 10 transactions over the life of that relationship!
FSBO’s – For Sale By Owner
It takes between 9 and 14 contacts before a FSBO will begin to develop trust in you and see your value. Only a very small number continue to pursue a FSBO. So go for it and show them you can help them sell their home!
Remember, at your initial contact you are asking only for an appointment or to chat, or to see how they are doing. You are not asking for the listing. FSBOs are often more receptive to using a real estate professional because of their own unsuccessful attempts, and should be contacted after a period of about 3-4 weeks. Since the average salesperson gives up, your persistence will pay off. Don’t be average, and prospect to FSBO’s for new business!
Expired listings offer an immediate opportunity for business. These sellers typically have motivation to sell and they have used a real estate agent in the past. One of your challenges with the expired listing is that they may be discouraged, upset, and/or untrusting. They chose a professional to market their home and it did not work. Your goal is to develop a trust relationship that will result in a listing.
Like we said in the beginning, prospecting is the nuts and bolts of real estate, and we hope by providing a few ways how you can utilize it, you’ll develop a much stronger system to developing and growing your business!
The blog post above has been written by New England Training Specialist Andrea Heil!
Learning and Development Specialist
RE/MAX Integra, New England