Q: What are your most powerful prospecting tricks to expand your real estate clientele?
A: There are many ways in which real estate agents try to grow their client base. Some rely mainly on cold calling or driving new business by working their open houses, where other agents work off their database of existing clients and referral business. When it comes to expanding your real estate clientele, we find the most successful agents use a combination of short-term and long-term prospecting strategies.
Short-term prospecting is when you're trying to find the next seller to grow your inventory. This is where good agents leverage off their current listings and sold properties to find people looking to sell.
A great place to start is doing a listing drop. We know that everyone does letter drops and they annoyingly clog up everyone’s letterboxes, so you’ll need to try something different to set your self a part from the competition. What we say next may shock you, but we want you to get out there and try knocking on doors and actually speaking to people. Start by briefly introducing yourself, let them know there is a property for sale near them, apologise for disturbing them, don’t forget to leave behind the details of your listing and business card, and don’t overstay your welcome. The whole exchange shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes or so.
By personally dropping off your letter drops you can make sure you’re not that agent people want to run away from when they see you coming. We recommend repeating this same process with your auction invitations and sold brochures. This way you’ll build up a good reputation and rapport with the locals, and start to be seen as someone who is approachable and knowledgeable about property in the area. Best of all they will come to you when they need you.
Open homes are the first opportunity to put your expertise on display. Make sure your brochures are presented neatly and that you greet everyone that attends in a friendly manner. Ask qualifying questions like what brings them to the inspection and determine whether they are a buyer, neighbour or potential seller. After all this is the purpose of conducting open homes, to find out important information, gage interest in the marketplace and generate leads.
Invite as many people as possible to your auctions. It's a great opportunity to put your office and skills on show, and it leaves a memorable impact on everyone who is there. Neighbours also remember great auctions in their street and the agent that handled them, so continue your home visits to keep them up to date and remind them of your presence.
Long-term prospecting is about positioning yourself as your clients’ ‘go to’ person for when they think of buying, selling, investing or renting real estate in the future. For successful long term prospecting you need to systemise yourself and your follow-up strategy.
A great place to start is to touch base with clients from properties you've sold in the past. Good follow up actions include:
- A welcome gift on settlement. It doesn't have to be anything too extravagant or big. A bottle of wine, some movie tickets, a restaurant voucher or flowers are all nice offerings.
- Call them after three to six months to see how they have settled in and if they know anyone looking to buy or sell.
- Send them a gift or card on the anniversary of their purchase date and repeat this each year to stay in touch.
You would be amazed how quickly people forget who sold them their property. These three strategies will give you the best chance of receiving a call when past clients want to sell again.
There are no shortcuts in real estate, so set out in every interaction you have with clients to position your self correctly to ensure future business and clientele growth. Remember, the best agents master both short-term and long-term prospecting and are systemised to succeed.
From the Homely Team.