The hardest part of the business for most real estate agents, whether they are new to the industry or seasoned veterans, is finding qualified leads and closing them. In real estate, the best kind of clients are those which are motivated, focused, and have the desire to purchase a new home according to a specific timeline. Specifically these clients are ideal because you don’t have to “sell” them on the idea of moving, you just have to sell them a house that fits their needs. When you have to actually sell a client on the idea of moving, because they are sitting on the fence, this is where your sales skills really come into play. To clarify, you are not pushing them into a decision they do not want to make, you are merely getting them to make a clearer decision to sell or buy. Many people contact real estate agents when they are just toying with the idea of purchasing or selling a home, either because they want to get more information or because they want to see what's available to them. But, if they have made the first step in contacting you, your next step is to guide them in a decisive and timely direction. Here are some tips for agents on how to obtain more leads.
1. Ask for referrals from existing clients, friends, family, and people you just met. As a real estate agent, you need to feel confident selling yourself and putting the word out about the services you provide is the only way to get people interested. Tip: Don’t be overbearing, simply say something like, if you know of anyone looking to buy or sell a home, please send them my way and I would be happy to help. Then GIVE THEM A BUSINESS CARD. You can also achieve this through marketing tools like mailers and emails.
2. Host a social event for existing clients where you ask them to bring a friend who is looking to buy or sell a home. Market this event as something fun and a way for potential buyers and sellers to talk to an agent without feeling the pressure to sign a contract. Tip: Provide valuable tools to potential buyers and sellers that they can take home, like a packet which contains market statistics, your listing presentation, your marketing strategy, and your closing stats.
3. Network with other real estate professionals. Real estate agents are the only people who can legally receive financial compensation from other agents for sending a referral their way. Tip: Many agents are contacted by their past clients because they know of someone who is buying or selling their house in another area. They will directly ask their agent if they know of anyone who specializes in that specific area or type of sale, and if so, could they recommend someone.
4.Canvass neighborhoods, especially in places where you currently have listings. Tip: Most people do not like door to door solicitors, so instead quietly leave your information on their doorstep along with “something of value” like a coupon for a free soft serve at the local ice cream shop. Don’t forget to mention if you are already working with, or have in the past, worked with one of their neighbors.
5. Practice your sales pitch via a recording. In sales it is all about knowing what to say and how to say it. Tip: YOU HAVE TO BE CONFIDENT! If you don’t believe in your services no one else will, so try to role play with different approaches to figure out what sales style your are most comfortable with.
6. Understand that people have different communication styles and not everyone is great with face to face verbal contact. Tip: Read up on how to identify different communications styles and practice selling angles for each of them.
7. Offer incentives for people to sign a contract. Tip: According to real estate law, you CAN'T say if you give me a referral or sign a contract with me, I will give you something in return. With that being said, you can say things like: we are offering a discount of 0.5% rebate to clients who sign a contract in March and all of our closings come with a free 3 hour house cleaning to help with the move. The key is if you are going to offer a credit, gift, or service, the person must be a party to the contract.
8. Get online! If you are not online these days, you have less chance of being found. Tip: The majority of people buying and selling homes, begin the process by registering for an online real estate site. Offering home search tools, buying and selling tips, your marketing strategies, and community information on your site will help to affirm your place as a resource for real estate.