As a new agent I missed a big opportunity to get my business off to a good start. Let’s talk about that.
If you’ve been around here for a bit, you know I started in 2003 and I did not make those cold calls or call expired listings. I didn’t do the traditional path most agents try because I saw most agents failed. I figured there had to be a better way.
I created a database of 300, pared it down to 70 quality relationships and my business has been between 20-30 transactions most every year. That’s my story but there was one thing I should have done as a new agent that I did not do.
Here is the story to show how I found this. Remember, there are no secrets. There are just things you haven’t learned yet.
I’d been in real estate for about 6 months and had been faithfully mailing out my newsletter every month. I’d gotten great feedback from a few folks about it. The feedback was about it was interesting, professional, and even fun.
I was volunteering at the coffee cart at my church and Tammy was there working with me. She was on my mailing list but we hadn’t really talked about real estate yet. I’d been ‘scolded’ by another agent about soliciting business at church (that’s another story 🙄) so I really didn’t try to start conversations about my work but if someone else brought it up, I’d take advantage of the opportunity.
Tammy and I were talking about many things but at one point she said they were thinking about selling their house. I responded with ‘I can help with that if you need it’.
She got this funny look on her face and asked ‘How can you help?’. I replied ‘I’m an agent’ and the response was instructive.
She said, ‘I didn’t know that!’.
Now I’d been mailing to her for 6 months and as we dug into that it seems she never connected the newsletter to me. I was not one to use a picture and I suspect it just looked like junk mail to her so it got trashed. Either way, it was evident to me I had not done a good job of getting the word out.
So, what would I do today if I were starting out, wanted to have a referral-based business, and had a very limited budget? I’d send out handwritten notes to everyone and follow up with a phone call.
It sounds simple and I guess it is but no one does it. Here is why it works better than anything else.
A personal, handwritten note, with a real stamp, a handwritten address and return address will always be opened. Always. It is not junk mail and it will never be ignored. You can’t fake it and if you try to use a ‘service’ to fake it, we can tell.
Be authentic and do it the hard way. It won’t really take that long and it builds trust. That’s the first step to referrals. It might lead to folks in your database being authentic too. That’s a beautiful thing.
Include a business card, a brief note of how you are starting a new business, and promise to call them to talk.
Then call them.
A couple of days later, call them but don’t talk about you or real estate. Ask questions about them. Period. I promise, if they got your note, they will bring it up if they want to know more. You can ask if they got your card, just to make sure but don’t dwell on you. Focus on them.
You might get permission to ask a question and then say something like “if you were buying or selling a home or had a friend or family member who was, do you have an agent you’d refer them to?”.
If they say ‘no’ then see if you can stay in touch and provide some info from time to time. If they say ‘yes’ then say great and take them off your list for now. I had some come off my list but then later, they invited themselves back on. Don’t burn bridges.
By doing this simple task, you begin to build a list of folks you can stay in touch with about real estate (and other things). You get to be in front of them every couple of weeks with some info, friend them on Facebook and provide entertaining, interesting, or funny content but only about 10% of it should be real estate related. All this helps build a relationship that is based on trust and I promise, you’ll have more business than most agents. More than the average for sure.
That’s it. That is what I missed. Something simple that would have launched my business a lot better than cold calling, door knocking, and Facebook ads. It would have been a great connection to folks I already know for about $1 each. That’s really great ROI.
If you want to talk more about this, I’m open to a conversation. There are lots more things you can do but this is first on my list for new agents.
BTW, I mean it.
If you want to schedule a call you can click on this link. It will take you to a calendar where you can request a time block. I’ll accept and we’ll get on Google Meet or Zoom to talk face to face.
This is free and it might just help if you’re stuck. No strings, no pitch, just someone to listen and maybe get you unstuck. Besides, I’d love to talk about this with someone who is sincerely curious and wants to pursue this business the way I did.
I’m here if you want to reach out.
I hope you will.
Thanks for listening,
678-616-1578 Direct Line
- Referrals work best for new agents
- How many?