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Prospecting on a Budget: The 5 Business Card Challenge

March 13 2012

realtor lockbox has graciously allowed us to repost this article from their Lockbox blog.

A few years ago, back when I was in real estate brokerage, I worked with a man named Allan. Allan was the Director of Training, and he was great at it. Jovial and good-natured,he had a knack for storytelling; Allan could take the ordinary and turn it into the legendary. That, combined with his deep well of real estate knowledge, made him a can’t miss real estate instructor. I learned quite a bit from him, but there’s one training session in particular that really resonated with me.

Prospecting on a Budget.

Wow. The title alone was intriguing. Real estate’s a tough business. As an agent, you’re chief cook and bottle-washer; you’re self-employed and you’ve got to run every aspect of your business from accounting, marketing, business planning to prospecting and follow-up. And for the most part, the budgets that we have to work with usually aren’t quite as large as we’d like them to be.

That’s why this particular training session was so intriguing. Allan covered a lot of ground in his 3 hours – online & offline -  some of the ideas were pie-in-the-sky, and some were practical and easy to implement.

But there was one suggestion that was pure genius. It wasn’t high tech, and it wasn’t even particularly clever – but it was genius nonetheless.

The 5 Business Card Challenge
The premise was simple.

  • Wake up in the morning and place 5 business cards in your pocket.
  • Start your day.
  • And don’t go to bed until you’ve managed to TRADE business cards and talk real estate with someone you’ve never met before.

It sounds easy. Really easy in fact.

Well, it’s not easy. But if you do it, and I mean actually do it, the payoff can be HUGE.

Everyday, you are out, networking and prospecting, and meeting 5 people you’ve never met before. And hopefully adding them to your database, to follow-up with. 5 new people a day. 35 new people a week. 1,820 NEW PEOPLE A YEAR. There’s got to be at least a few of them that have real estate needs, right?

It’s a prospecting idea that doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it certainly requires a lot of sweat equity.

The concept is sound, and there’s really only one thing I would add to it. An automated follow-up system. Like Top Producer. Using the QuickLead app. You get the contact information, you input it into Top Producer from your mobile phone with the QuickLead app right when you get the business card, and you let Top producer help you follow-up and stay on track.

What a beautiful way to organically build your business, one person at a time. You’ll have 1,820 people in your database that you can follow up with. 1,820 people that you can build a business with. 1,820 people that you’ve worked hard to meet. 1,820 people that you know and your competition doesn’t.

So this year, make the commitment to yourself, and make the commitment to your business.

Go out there and do something. You don’t have to be the smartest. You don’t have to be the fastest. All you have to do is be willing to work hard and follow-up.

That’s what Allan would do.

View the original article on the Lockbox blog.