Have you ever been a business owner? Be certain, if you are a new agent then you own a business! It won’t feel like you do perhaps but you have to get that mindset really quickly or you will make some mistakes that are difficult to recover from. Not impossible but it’s one of the reasons many fail or create stress in places you never imagined.
You’ll have to make decision about money, marketing, who your clients ought to be, what you will charge for your work and the list goes on.
The first thing you’ll feel is the lack of direction. If you’ve been an employee then you had a boss. The boss told you what to do. That boss is now replaced by you. You are the boss but likely at the beginning your boss is incompetent. What time do you start? Where is your desk? What is the best thing to do first? It’s mind numbing but you have to get on top of it all.
I’ll help you with a list of things to do first. You have to get your database together if you are going to have any chance of working by referral. This is what I did on day one.
- Make a list of everyone you know – just write down their names to start out
- Find all the info you can for each one of them. Phone number, email, address, etc.
- Sort them out and rank them by quality of connection. You are going to be calling them and I’d suggest you start calling with the folks who are likely to answer your phone call when they see your name pop up on caller ID. Those are your ‘A’s for now. ‘B’s are folks who know you but might not answer the phone and ‘C’s are folks you are adding to your list until you can decide if they are A’s or B’s.
- Put the info you’ve collected into Gmail to start with. Gmail is free, you can export from it to any Customer Relation Manager (CRM) software and you can get started today. Now.
Tomorrow you are going to call 5 people from your A list and you’re going to talk about them. Use Facebook to find out what they are doing or what’s important to them. At some point during the conversation you are going to tell them you’re a new agent and offer to help in any way you can. Don’t push it but don’t avoid it either. They will probably ask how you are and that is your opportunity.
Don’t ask for business, don’t ask for a referral, don’t make it about you. Make it about them. Tell them thanks for the time and hang up.
After you call them you are going to write them a hand written note, thanking them for their time and you’re going to include 1 business card in the envelope. That’s it. If you don’t have their address be sure to get it before the call is over. Just say you’d like to drop something in the mail for them. BTW, if they don’t want to share their address then they are not A’s. Just go to the next one knowing you learned something.
There are more things to do but this is the most important for you to succeed at this business. Don’t let your ’employee’ procrastinate doing this. Just do it and then do it again the next day.
Do it every day you work and you’ll be fine.
You’ll have plenty of time for training, errands, lunch and all the rest. You’ll have to go to the bank and open some accounts (income, taxes, business expenses, personal expenses, savings). You’ll have to order some signs, lock boxes, business cards, decide on what other marketing you’ll do and the list goes on but connecting with your folks is the number one task. No. 1 every day. If you spend 1 hour a day doing just this it will work out for you.
Get ready to learn a lot. You’re going to grow in this process and it’s going to be confusing, frustrating and exhilarating. You’ll go to bed tired and it’s easy to get distracted but stay focused on your daily connections to your database. It’s the life of your business depending on it.
Thanks for listening,
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