One of the main lessons you learn as a new real estate agent is that you should always be building your prospect list. Even when you're having a great year and have more work than you can handle, you should be prospecting to keep your sales pipeline full for the future. By seeking out prospects when your business is thriving, you can ensure that you'll still have work when referrals or repeat business slows down.
There are many resources you can use to find fresh prospects. The trick is to know where to look and what to do after you've identified promising leads.
Finding Quality Prospects
You can travel a number of paths when seeking out prospects to add to your list. Common tactics range from mass mailings to knocking on doors. Darryl Davis, a national real estate coach, explains his favorite prospecting strategies to RISMedia. A few popular tactics include:
- Find professional partners: It may seem unrelated, but you should try to find 10 professionals who offer complementary services and make them a part of your sphere of influence. Once you've established these relationships, recommend the professionals when one of your clients needs that service. For example, if you are working with a seller who needs an electrician, you would automatically call the electrician in your sphere. In return, the electrician will recommend you if a customer needs a real estate agent. If you're having trouble finding people to round out different professions, consider joining a closed networking group.
- Hold an open house: This tried-and-true method may seem outdated, but there's a reason it's still around—it works. After all, where else are you going to have the opportunity to interact face-to-face with multiple buyers and sellers? Take advantage of open houses to gather contact information and assess your visitors' real estate needs.
- Do a strategic mailing: Rather than blindly sending out postcards and hoping for the best, pinpoint where buyers are coming from in your market. If customers are migrating from one neighboring town, focus your direct mailing efforts in that region. If you want to concentrate on local prospects, investigate the neighborhoods with the highest turnover and make your entrance there. Davis suggests asking MLS for a list of homes that have sold in the past six months to get an idea of where the highest turnover rate is located.
Nurturing Your Leads
Once your prospect list is full for the month, it's important to nurture those leads so they don't get lost in the shuffle. Prospects will rarely call you after an initial meeting, so you have to take it upon yourself to fuel the relationship fire.
One classic method for staying in touch is a "drip email" campaign. When activated, this type of campaign automatically sends occasional emails detailing recent real estate news to your list of prospects. Keeping your name in front of prospects is key, as this ensures you'll be top-of-mind when they need real estate services. Chances are, your prospects have met more than one real estate agent. By staying in contact, you can edge out your competition.
According to the 360Agent Marketing Blog, it is vital for modern agents to have a social media presence to nurture prospects. The source explains that using social media sites is a sound method for spreading your information to a mass audience while still being interactive. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the three critical sites on which you need to be present. Position yourself as an expert by posting about what's new in the real estate world, and prospects will feel comfortable choosing you to represent them.
When you're working to generate business, remember that former clients are still prospects. The National Association of Realtors notes that 67 percent of sellers and 72 percent of buyers are willing to use the same agent again. These statistics show that the majority of your clients may provide repeat business if they choose to sell their current home. Lists of past clients are a gold mine for agents, but you have to keep in touch to maintain your relationships. You already have a window into these prospects' personal and professional lives, so use this information to demonstrate how you can help them in the future.
Building and maintaining an active prospect list may not be one of the most enjoyable activities as a real estate agent, but it is one of the most important. Without prospects, you may find yourself in a rough patch with nothing to fall back on, so be sure to actively prospect, provide valuable information, and follow up to secure future business and continued success.