3 Tips for Building a Prosperous Real Estate Business
As a manager and past owner of my real estate business, I am often asked, “What does it take to be a success as a real estate agent?” As you might know, this is a deep subject; however, my first three tips are as follows:
1. Do not be a secret agent.
You must build a database from the ground up, and it should at least be on your personal computer. Better yet, it should be in a CRM (customer relationship management) program so that you can better track and keep up to date with tasks. You need this so that you can perform well in conversations and build your business by increasing sales. Start by considering who you know now, and think about who they might know? This brainstorming is a form of networking, and it is an extremely important strategy to have in your toolbox to increase your income. There’s an old saying: “If it’s not written down, then it doesn’t exist.” I personally have seen how that applies here. Build that database and start off by making good notes on each person on how you know them. Add in names of their family members (be sure to ask how they are), and add any details from your previous conversations, so that you can refresh your memory before talking with them next time. Don’t forget to include what they see as important. This will allow you to connect with them on a more personal level. Things like being a fan of a particular sport or where they work are excellent topics for conversations later. Never stop building your database. Creating and adding your database is a career-long task that ties directly to your income level. It is likely the most valuable part of your business, so stay on it always.
2. Connect with something of value.
This is especially true when you are reaching out to someone you don’t know well or haven’t talked with in a long time. It is always best to have something that they will see as valuable. You need to share it with them. Ask yourself, “What makes me valuable to others even when they are not buying or selling a home?” Another item to consider and determine is: “What makes me unique that makes me different and memorable to others in my marketplace?” This, too, should be directly tied to something of value that you offer potential clients. Another strategy is to have something that will interest them when you call. Include that into the conversation at the appropriate time. This detail could be as simple as an article in a magazine that you read. First, this will give you a valued reason to call them, and second, it will show them that you care about them. Why is that so important? It shows them that you remember what is important to them. Do not use this type of conversation to sell your services. Be a caring human being, a friend — not a pushy salesperson. Remember that “business is built on relationships.” Ensure that you build that relationship. It works better once it includes a level of trust before you try to sell them anything. Think about what makes you unique and of value in the eyes of others. I say this because, after all, what they think is what counts. Our thoughts and ideas on this are useless if they do not see it the same way. Using one or more means of communication helps you to stay in touch with the people in your database. Make sure to always have something of personal interest to them and something of value. Try to automate this as best as possible to save yourself time. Automation is a form of a system. In business, systems are valuable tools for you to incorporate. Everything you do should be done with the mindset of converting it at some point with a face-to-face meeting. That is your goal. Meet with as many people face to face as you can.
3. You are the CEO of your own business.
You must treat your real estate practice as a business. In fact, I would go as far to say when someone asks, “What do you do?” to reply with “I own a real estate business.” The more you talk like that, the more your inner self will realize it, and then you will begin to act confidently like the business professional that you need to be. Many times, I see Realtors treating their careers as a job. This is a mistake that you do not want to make. If you treat your business like a job, you might as well go and work for someone else and get an hourly wage that you can always count on — even if it’s nowhere near what you might make in real estate. To be successful, you must understand early on that you need to work on your business, not just in your business. On any given day, I would say that most successful agents spend at least 20 percent of their time working on their business, and in many cases, much more. This is because one needs to build suitable systems and strategies to become successful and then stay successful. If you think of yourself as an employee, you will likely spend your days acting within the “Fire Hall Principle.” This is a reactive mindset of only putting out fires and trying to keep up with the work that others dictate to you. Sound familiar? If you are running a business, you are in more of a preventative mode. You will take responsibility for ensuring the top income-producing tasks get done first. You will choose to learn. You will build systems and strategies to build the business and make it efficient within its budget. You will serve your clients’ needs before they even ask, and you will begin to “wow” them. A business is a professional entity, and in real estate you have a lot of competition. Start properly, and do it with the right mindset out of the starting gate if you can. If you are already in the business and need to make changes, consider these tips first. I have only skimmed the top of these important issues. There is a lot more involved, and future articles will dig deeper into the reasons, the methods and the strategies.