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3 Reasons Your Real Estate Practice Isn't Growing

July 04 2017

la 3 reasons your practice isnt growing

With housing markets across the United States experiencing record low inventory, it's understandable if your real estate practice hasn't grown this year. While you may point to this phenomenon and simply say, "Hey, what can I do? The inventory is just really really low," there are many agents out there that are crushing it this year. So the question is: what is different about what those agents are doing compared to what you are doing?

This is a very interesting question. After all, it rarely is 100 percent the fault of the market. There are always other outside factors that come into play. There are also always some ways you can refine your real estate practice by tightening things up and running it in a more optimized fashion to maximize your growth potential. Today, I want to share with you three reasons your real estate practice may be experiencing lack of growth, and how to solve these problems.

1. You don't have a marketing plan

This one should sound like an obvious thing you HAVE TO do in order to run your real estate practice. I cannot tell you, though, how many agents not only have no plan, but really don't even have it on their "to do list" to get documented and running. Not having a marketing plan is just like not having a daily routine you follow to conduct business. It makes things impossible.

Most likely, you get busy and forget your marketing plan—and suddenly your brand is suffering because homeowners aren't thinking of you when they think of real estate. Our most successful clients we represent are always paying attention to, honing and refining their real estate marketing plans. The bulk of the work we do on marketing planning with them generally takes place in November and December. That way, they are already locked, loaded and ready to roll by the time the new year rolls around.

Setting up and executing a marketing plan does take some skill and a bit of elbow grease. If you aren't doing it because you are stretched too thin, that is not an excuse. There are tons of firms out there (ours included) that can help you with this task.

2. You aren't keeping in touch with past clients

Remembering your past clients and keeping in touch with them doesn't have to be taxing or expensive. Not following up with them, however, and finding out they thought you retired and hired another agent to sell their home can be an incredibly costly lesson to learn. Don't be that person.

Just as you would set up a marketing plan for your geographic farm, you need to set up a marketing plan for your past clients and sphere. Because you know these people personally, you really shouldn't use the same marketing plan for both groups. This plan is going to be much more personal and most likely use multiple ways to keep in touch.

The most common plans we come up with for our clients involve rotating three types of things. First off, we like to create value added, non-real estate related things. Even better, things that past clients want to hang on to. For instance, something festive and seasonal, such as a concert and festival guide for the local area in the summer, or a list of firework shows and parades for the 4th of July weekend. More often than not, we find using these value added pieces that are tied to holidays really are well received. Many people have visitors from out of town during these times and these relevant schedule type cards are just what your past client might need to figure out how to entertain their guests.

The next one is going to require some elbow grease, but it is absolutely necessary. Pick up the phone and call EVERYONE at least once per quarter. You'd be amazed what you can find out in a brief 2-3 minute phone conversation. I can't tell you how many of our clients fight us on this, only to call us later and tell us a story about how one of their past clients said something to the effect of, "Oh, I need to get you in touch with my friend! They just told me they are thinking of selling their home."

Lastly, remember that every once in a while it is okay to ask for referrals. Real estate is a referral based business, but many homeowners don't realize this. Studies show that 98 percent of your past clients and sphere of influence will actively seek out referrals for you—but there is a catch. They will actively seek out referrals for you ONLY if you ask for them. Two or three times a year, send out marketing pieces that talk about how real estate is a referral based business and that you would love to help anyone they may know with their needs. It's a great way to spur the growth of referral business.

3. You aren't effectively handling incoming leads and referrals

This last part is quite possibly the most important part of this whole equation. You see, you can have all the best lead generation practices, but if you don't have some sort of system in place to effectively onboard new leads and follow up on these conversations, it will all end up being for naught. Why spend your hard earned money to generate leads you are never going to follow up with?

I'm actually going to devote an entire article to lead follow-up, but the short, sweet answer is you have to have a platform in place. There are tons of CRMs and email systems out there. The important thing is to pick a platform you are comfortable with because you are going to be spending many, many hours in it—and if you are uncomfortable, you won't want to use it. More on this in a future article.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.