(This is my answer to Sandy's question last week on my Facebook page on how to attract more real estate clients.)
Sell or die.
That has always been my motto, but that is more true for everyone today, especially in the real estate profession.
Professional Realtors® and other professionals in the real estate industry should welcome the "thinning of the herd" because a bunch of unqualified part-timers jumped into the industry from 2000-2007 to ride the wave bubble tsunami government-manipulated debacle and they siphoned off a lot of deals that should have been yours.
So at least those days are over and anyone still employed in the real estate industry is a Rock Star, even if you feel like you've been traveling the country in a '67 Volkswagen van with five fellow band mates hitting every county fair and rodeo from here to Cheyenne, Wyoming for a motel room, breakfast and $100 a night for the last several years.
(Read Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" to see how The Beatles and other greats paid their dues to get to the top.)
Now that the dolts, dunderheads and doofuses are out of the way, it's time for you to act like the Rock Star real estate professional you are.
Lead With Value
When I was in BNI I learned the tagline "Givers Gain," and it's true.
In my sales consulting I always tell my clients to give away their best stuff for free up front. In real estate those could be free reports on how to stage a home or how to improve your credit to get a better interest rate or the seven questions you should ask any real estate agent or what's the difference between a realtor and a Realtor® and why they should care.
When you inform your prospects before they even meet you they are getting to know, like, and trust you on their own time, at their own pace, which flows along nicely with what Jeffrey Gitomer always says,
"People hate to be sold, but they love to buy."
Help them buy from you by giving first.
Forget The Internet...
Until you master your basics and "new basics" I'll address below.
Too many people are fiddle-farting around with web sites and social media and video marketing and they are going broke! Get out and press the flesh. Go shake someone's hand. Say hello. Look people in the eye and have an honest conversation with them.
I bought my current home in 2011 through my Realtor® whom I met at a local networking event in 2006!
Even though it took us years to finally do business together I referred her to both my father-in-law and mother-in-law that both bought from her so she's averaging almost one sale a year by knowing me and it's all because we met face-to-face.
Become a Teacher of Your Craft
Conduct live workshops to be seen as the trusted expert in your area. Realtors® are humans grappling with all of the same issues we all do: organization, leveraging technology, getting referrals, getting testimonials, negotiation, prospecting, etc.
Become an expert in all of these areas and teach it to your marketplace. Until you are an expert in these areas bring in outsiders to round out your programs. They'll be happy to show up to a full room and you'll get to sharpen your skills listening to them teach. Bring in economic experts, business leaders in the community, motivational speakers and even entertainers to give everyone a break (we all need more breaks today.)
Take Massive Action
I don't know how to help you make 30 sales a month, but I can show you 30-100 ways to make one sale a month. Look at what your SUCCESSFUL competitors are doing and then either beat them at their own game or do the exact opposite of what they are doing. I've found that few businesses are successful because of their advertising and marketing. Most are successful IN SPITE of their advertising and marketing!
If you are willing to be memorable. To be unique. To be passionate. To "choose who to lose" and go after the clients you really want and can really help then you'll surpass all of your goals.
Write a newsletter. Send it in the mail (not just some cheap and cheesy email newsletter...but have one of those, too, just make it a good email newsletter!) Have a "Realtor® of The Month" section. A "Realtor® Regulation Regurgitation" section showing them new laws either pending or recently passed.
Get certified to deliver continuing education credits and offer those classes (see the "Teacher" section above). Partner with a local promotional items company and give significantly better gifts to new clients and for referrals. Host a referral lunch every month and only those that passed a referral can attend.
Then give a bonus gift card or pick up lunch for the top referrer that month and give them a special spot on your website and/or newsletter.
Become a Nice Intimidator To Make the Sale
The best book I ever read for real estate professionals (and anyone in sales for that matter) is Robert J. Ringer's classic "Winning through Intimidation: How to Be the Victor, Not the Victim, in Business and in Life."
I know, I know. The title sounds "harsh" and "mean" and non-Politically Correct.
But don't judge a book by its title. Robert Ringer was doing deals decades ago and he cuts to the chase in his book.
To win in business you must win in sales and to win in sales you must control every aspect of the interaction and the negotiation, which means you must negotiate from a position of strength and not be bullied and pushed around and manipulated by the buyers or any other person involved in the real estate transaction.
As the great negotiator, Chester Karrass, wrote "In Business As in Life, You Don't Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate."
How good are your negotiation skills?
Are you spending more time trying to get people to like you instead of trust you?
Do you allow your prospects and even your clients to show up late for appointments, reschedule them at the last minute, and even misrepresent pertinent facts that delay, discount, and even ruin the sale?
You need to be tough in business to win the sale, but that doesn't mean you have to be mean, rude, or unpleasant.
In Ringer's book he describes how he flew in on a private jet and showed up with multiple assistants to intimidate the other parties in his negotiations.
You can show up in nice clothes while driving a nice car and conduct yourself in a polite yet confident and efficient manner to let everyone know that you are a professional and not to be trifled with.
That is a form of intimidation...and it works.
Become a Student of Sales & Marketing
People don't do business with you for one of only two reasons:
- They haven't heard of you.
- They have heard of you.
The #1 job of a business owner is to market your business.
The #1 job of a sales person is to prospect.
As a professional Realtor® you are both a business owner and a sales person so you must become efficient and proficient at both if you are to have a life and a thriving business.
Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin.
Great marketing makes sales easy but great selling makes great marketing possible and at the core of great selling is great prospecting.
How good are you at prospecting?
Sift. Sort. Segment. Disqualify.
"He who has the biggest list (and segments it and uses it to send targeted messaging) wins."
Every time you get a new lead, prospect, referral partner, client, etc. enter them into your database and mark down at least three unique things about them in your database, i.e. veteran, one story interest, short term buyer, long term buyer, commercial buyer, lender, etc.
The more you know about the people in your database the more you can speak with them in an intelligent, relevant manner.
Automate. Integrate. Dominate.
As your list grows and your "lead magnets" bring in leads with different interests, you must automate your correspondence with them to keep up.
"Out of sight out of mind" is truer now than ever. Sales and marketing automation have been my secret weapon to create all the inbound sales I can handle—and it has been the secret weapon of hundreds of my clients since 2008. If you're interested in discussing how to select the right sales automation platform for your business, let's talk.
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as: