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Prospecting: Just Do It! (And Here’s How)

August 01 2014

prospecting marketleaderThis post comes to us from the Market Leader blogMarket Leader blog:

From time to time as a real estate agent, you may hear that you're a consultant. Don't fall for it. You're a salesperson. The only way you are going to make a living in this business is by finding people to sell to.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to get ahead:

Get organized. Have you established your sales pipeline system yet? If not, consider a CRM. It will give you the contact manager and process tools you need to turn your practice into a system that you can replicate and scale up.

  • Call up past clients.
  • Call up expired listings.
  • Is someone trying to sell FSBO in your neighborhood? Call them!
  • Go to a neighborhood board or city council meeting. Speak up on issues that concern you. Become an opinion leader in your community. These meetings are chock-full of homeowners and other community leaders who are great sources for referrals.
  • Walk down the street in your own neighborhood and introduce yourself to every resident. David Fletcher, a real estate writer and brokerDavid Fletcher, a real estate writer and broker, suggests using this language: "As you can see (on my badge or Realtor pin), I am in real estate and I was wondering if you may know someone who might be wanting to buy or sell a home?"
  • Set up a "fingerprint booth" at a community event, such as a street fair. See if you can borrow a camera, fingerprint and printer setup. Take photos and fingerprints of children, then scan and print them onto a sheet of paper—this provides parents with a fingerprinted photo ID of their child for safety purposes. Get the parents to sign onto your mailing and phone number list. Chat them up about what you do (get an assistant or partner to work with the kids to free you up to talk with parents). Then call and thank them, reintroduce yourself, and work from there.
  • No camera or printer? Hire an art student to do face painting or caricatures for the event. While the kids are occupied, you've got the parents at your table. Start talking real estate and be sure to get their information.
  • Create a survey. This gives you a non-threatening way to open conversations with prospects.
  • Teach a real estate course or workshop at your local library or community center.
  • Find a successful flipper.
  • Find home-based business owners. They generally buy their own office supplies. Why not ensure that they have pens, mouse pads, notepads and other items—all with your name and number on them? Also, invite them to coffee and talk shop.
  • Walk into larger employers in your area. Find out who handles human resources. Then introduce yourself as someone who can help with relocation services.
  • Go down your entire list of "warm contacts." Try going alphabetically, if you're not sure how to prioritize them. Call and say, "Hey, I'm going to be right in your area tomorrow. Let me buy you a cup of coffee and catch up!"
  • Set specific times for phone prospecting. Aim for blocks of two hours. Nothing should blow you out of this time except for a confirmed appointment—and then you reschedule those two hours of prospecting.
  • Don't check your email between 10 a.m. and noon. That's premium phone time. You should be on it. If someone really needed to hear from you by noon, they would have called you, not emailed.
  • Go through your contacts again. Who seemed "too small" to call? There is no such thing. Call them.
  • Go to a networking event. I like the ones that you pay for, rather than the ones that are free. When you get there, be a card taker—not a card giver. You will make your money the next day, when you call the people you just met.
  • Find a good CPA and become his or her client. They are in a position to give great referrals—but you may not be their only real estate agent who's also a client! Don't get cheap on this one. You're a commissioned sales professional, and the IRS targets agents for audits all the time, anyway. You need a great CPA!
  • Be your own billboard. Advertise the fact that you're a real estate agent by wearing clothing that indicates as much. You should have some polo shirts and even some workout clothes that establish that you're a real estate professional. You never know who will be working out next to you at the gym.
  • Don't let the sun go down without calling today's referrals.
  • End every call—even ones you felt were not successful—by asking for permission to stay in touch.