Working in real estate, like with any other type of sales, ultimately means working with people. You have to convince the people you’re interested in working for to do business with you, and then you need to help them either find the right house to buy or find the right offer to sell to. But how do you find clients and grow your business in the first place?
As most people will tell you, networking for prospects isn’t just part of starting your real estate business. It’s a key part of running the business on an ongoing basis. A good starting point, of course, is often talking with your friends or family about potential clients that they might know. Going to business functions can also be a good way to meet valuable contacts. But it’s important not to limit your networking to the obvious places.
For residential work, any larger public event is a good chance to make connections, whether a farmer’s market or a school car wash. Whenever you get the chance to go to something like this, bring your cards, have subtle exposure of your company's office (this can be as simple as a branded keep-cup) and be ready to talk to people about what you can do for them. Community groups, like neighbourhood committees, are good places as well. If you don’t live in a place that already provides lots of opportunities, throwing neighbourhood parties can help you connect with people around you. Keep in mind that this tends to be more about building relationships than about specific sales.
For commercial real estate, local business owners are important people to have relationships with. Even though they generally aren’t the property owners, you can get a lot of information about the local market as well as about their landlords. It can be a challenge to track down the actual people behind real estate investment, whether residential or commercial, but these are the prospects you need to connect with in order to do business with them. Besides that, though, you’ll want to be ready to work with tenant businesses as well as the landlords, if only to see if you can help them get a better deal or buy property themselves.
Prospecting, on the other hand, is about getting a buyer or seller to hire you. One good way to find prospects is to talk to sellers whose listings have expired. There’s a chance that they might be willing to switch agents if they feel they haven’t been served well. Owners trying to sell their own property, especially residential, also might be willing to change tactics and hire an agent if you can convince them of what you can do for them.
Ultimately, getting listings out that have your name on them will help to spread your reputation along with your other marketing. The real key, especially for networking as opposed to prospecting, isn’t so much to walk up to new people ready to sell yourself to them. It’s building relationships with people who you might be able to help, and then listen to what it is they need so you can be in a good position to provide it to them.
One way to begin networking and building out your profile is by starting on Homely. Click here to start building out your profile and use it to start generating leads now.