You can’t expect real estate clients to come to you. Rather, you have to search for clients—and you have to make it a priority—especially early on in your real estate career. As a new agent, you can’t just count on referrals, word-of-mouth, and marketing and promotional efforts such as mailers, billboards, bench signs, and social media ads. While all those activities are good ways to get your name out there, they are not the same as proactively seeking out new business. To start your career off on the right foot, you’re going to need strong real estate prospecting ideas, as well as a solid prospecting plan. Use the following steps to build and maintain a list of good real estate leads.
Set realistic prospecting goals
Calculate how many prospects you need to contact in order to lock down a buyer’s or seller’s listing appointment. Veteran agents suggest that beginners start with five contacts per day, one secured lead per day, and one secured listing appointment per week. However, you should also talk to your broker about the firm’s average or what is standard for your market.
Remember that you’re new at this. Like most people, you will need a warm-up period to gain confidence and ramp up your prospecting skills. So it is better to set more manageable goals initially.
Develop several real estate prospecting ideas, and commit to them
Prospecting is essentially any activity that directly involves verbal or in-person contact with people for the sole purpose of obtaining their business. Here are several real estate prospecting ideas and activities to try:
- Call or visit people you know.
- Canvass neighborhoods through cold calls or visits.
- Contact the owners of expired, for sale by owner, and foreclosure listings.
- Call former satisfied clients for referrals.
- Sponsor an open house for a seller, in which you actively solicit other people’s business.
- Volunteer for floor duty at your brokerage.
- Follow up with referrals that come through your website and other promotional efforts.
Spend your time wisely
Certainly you want quantity, because the more leads you build the better your chances of drumming up enough business to meet your goals. However, you don’t want to waste your time focusing on cold leads and dead ends. If your prospects are not ready to make a real estate decision, don’t make them a top priority.
During initial conversations with real estate prospects, ask them how motivated they are to buy or sell and when they plan to make a decision. Then prioritize those people who are willing and able to do so in the shortest timeframe.
Don’t put it off
Inconsistent and delayed real estate prospecting is particularly detrimental because of the lag time between when you start working with a client to the time you get paid. Keep in mind that it usually takes between 60 and 90 days from the time you start prospecting to when you receive a commission check.
From Day 1, make sure that you spend enough time developing real estate prospecting ideas, following through on prospecting goals and activities, and following up with your contacts. This will help ensure that you secure—and maintain—a solid amount of quality leads.
Make prospecting part of your daily routine
To create a pipeline of real estate prospects that will grow and sustain your business, you have to prospect every day. Making a bunch of calls for two days straight and then nothing for a week won’t cut it. Instead, you need to treat prospecting the same way you would any other important appointment. Clear your schedule and focus entirely on it. At the end of each day, evaluate your prospecting efforts and set objectives for the next day.
Know the law
Since much of your prospecting will be over the phone, it is vital that you know about and adhere to the legal policies of the Do Not Call Registry (DNCR). The DNCR state and national databases contain the phone numbers of consumers who have elected not to be solicited by companies they do not already have business dealings with. Fail to abide, and you could be penalized or fined—up to $11,000 per violation. So make sure that you register with the DNCR and check what numbers are already listed in the national database.
Now that you know what to do, get on the phone, tap social media, and hit the streets. The sooner you start building your pipeline of prospects, the quicker you can start making money.
For more real estate prospecting ideas, check out our previous article: 5 Real Estate Prospecting Plays for New Agents.
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