I see it on Facebook all the time. Twitter and LinkedIn too. Someone offers to ‘share’ their secret with you for a nominal fee. They’ll sell you their book or send a howto to your email address if you’ll just share it with them. Expectations are high but then the disappointments show up.
I have spent a lot of money trying to buy secrets or promises that don’t meet expectations. Here are a few examples that I may or may not have spent money on.
- Sea Monkeys
- X-Ray Glasses
- Subliminal advertising
- Ads to make people call you
- “First page of Google” pitches
- Extended car warranties
- SEO promises
- Join my LinkedIn networking group
- Free Leads
- 100% commission
- A 4th stimulus check
- Zill#$%w Leads
Let’s focus on the real estate business. I just responded to someone on Facebook, asking for the ‘best sources for leads’. Here is my response:
Unless you’re dominating a market with billboards and radio ads, most of your business will come from your sphere of influence. Make sure you have a list of everyone you know, call them and ask them ‘If you were buying or selling a house, or had a friend or family member who was, am I the agent you’d refer them to?’. If they say you are then keep in touch, stay top of mind, and make sure to take great care of them.
This is a 90 day business in that the work you do today, pays in 90 days or so.
You need about 100 quality relationships in your database and it will produce 20-30 deals a year, consistently. If you don’t have 100 in your database, work on that. Use that same question but ask ‘If you were buying or selling a house or had a friend or family member who was, do you have an agent you’d refer them to?’ and if they don’t, see if you can be that person for them. Get their contact info and stay in touch, top of mind so they will refer you when the time comes.
I learned this in the 2nd year of my real estate career and it is much older advice than that but when I first heard it I was still looking for the ‘secret’ to the real estate business. Over the next few years, I earned the chance to attend mastermind events with the top producers in my office. I have consistently been in the top 20% and many times in the top 10% of agents in my office by working by referral and I’m always curious where other agents find their business so I asked.
Every time I ask “where do you get most of your real estate business from?” in these mastermind events, the answer is almost always the same. Sphere of influence and past customers! Referrals account for most of the business in groups like this and I have always wondered, why not double down on that?
Now, remember these are the top producers in my office. At least the top 20% of the agents in our market and we dominate this market. Our group of offices control over 5 times the transactions of our nearest competitors, COMBINED. We know what we’re doing when it comes to the real estate business but invariably the discussions move on to other ways to get more business. Billboards, radio, Facebook ads, media events, sponsorships, and the list goes on but nothing comes close to working your SOI or Past Clients database.
Even Gary Keller says to work your database. He’s always said that at some level over the last 20 years but most recently it becomes a center of discussion at our MegaAgent and Family Reunion Events.
My goal is to become famous to 100 people and to take care of what they need when it comes to anything to do with real estate. Referrals to vendors and contractors, an online referral directory for local businesses I can recommend, and information about the market that come as ‘market updates’ from the KW Command tools we have.
My business is about 95% referral and while I’m not a mega agent or run a big team, I’m happy doing 20-30 deals a year in my market. This system scales just fine if you want to do more with it. I’ve met teams that do 20-30 deals per person on the team by doing this stuff. It’s simple but not always easy but that is why it’s called ‘working by referral’ and it’s very different than ‘word of mouth’.
My advice to new agents is to work your database for all it’s worth before venturing into other areas. If you only know 20 people then you need to do something else while you grow your database. Ideally, the things you do ought to feed your database and I’ve worked on some ideas I’d be happy to share. Traditional things like cold calling and door knocking can be done if there is nothing else to do but be creative in how you do it so you can add people to your database without crossing the ‘do not call list’ or knock on doors that say ‘no soliciting’. Our reputation has received enough damage from that sort of behavior.
I spend a bit of time weekly, mentoring new agents. I do this for free, to give back to all who have mentored me. I want to talk to as many agents as I can so I’ve added a link below to my calendar.
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 30-minute time block. I’ll accept and we’ll get on Google Meet to talk face to face. We can go longer than 30 minutes too but we might need to schedule another time.
It’s free and it might just help if you’re stuck. No strings, no pitch, just someone to listen and maybe get you unstuck.
I’m here if you want to reach out.
I hope you will.
Thanks for listening,
- Podcast 1: What can you learn from a Lifer with Bob Hartwell
- It’s been a while…