Building a real estate business from the ground up is an ambition for many people, and there is a whole heap of challenges to overcome in the early stages of starting your agency.
One of the main hurdles for fledgling firms in this industry is finding clients. There is lots of competition and newcomers can struggle to go toe to toe with better-established rivals.
If you want to succeed as a real estate agent, the following tips on connecting with those all-important first clients will dramatically improve the prospects of your business from day one.
Meeting prospective clients face to face is still one of the most effective ways of getting them onboard with your up-and-coming real estate agency.
It might sound old-fashioned, but heading to the neighborhoods where your prospects live and knocking on their doors to have an ice-breaking chat and introduce yourself is a tried and tested strategy.
Of course, you can still make mistakes with this approach, especially if you are inexperienced. To ensure that homeowners appreciate your visit, offer them something of value, rather than simply reeling off a generic pitch for your agency.
For example, letting them know how much their property is worth and demonstrating that you can unlock that unrealized value of their largest asset works well. It not only gives them a talking point to mull over but also demonstrates your expertise and will mean that they think of you when the time to sell arrives.
Leverage existing contacts
Although it may feel like you are starting from scratch, the reality is that everyone has a network of contacts that can be called upon to kick start their business.
This network can consist of anyone with whom you have an existing relationship, whether that is friends and family members, former colleagues or associates from other areas of your life.
Again, you don’t need to go for the hard-sell from the offset. Instead, you can simply let contacts know that you are launching a real estate business, and outline some of the services you offer. If they are in need of them or know someone who is, a word-of-mouth recommendation could win you your first clients.
Create a compelling online presence
The days of realtors relying on their bricks-and-mortar presence to win business are well and truly over. If you want to get ahead in this industry, you need to be a master of all the digital tools that are at your disposal.
You can build your brand and snare clients effectively with a combination of a professional-looking website as well as a carefully curated presence on social media.
Many prospects will want to research you before they make any kind of commitment to working with you, so a well-designed website is a bare minimum for ambitious agencies.
You can use your site to showcase your services, and also host content that provides value to customers, such as blog posts about real estate-related topics which will generate organic traffic.
Meanwhile, your social media presence can feed back into your site, and also help with lead generation. Reaching out to prospects on social media directly, as well as promoting content that is relevant to your target audience, is a breeze with modern management tools.
Touch base via email
Email marketing is another proactive way for real estate agencies to bring prospects onboard, and when your business is a little further along the line then this can even be automated to great effect.
In the early stages of courting clients, it is best to handle this manually, ensuring that each and every message you send out is tailored to the intended recipient.
Again, it is not enough to simply shout about your business; you need to demonstrate that it is capable of solving a problem that a would-be client is facing.
This might be helping them to unlock the value of their home by selling it, it might be giving them the impetus to downsize or relocate. Whatever the case, tailored emails can make a big difference.
While you should not bombard prospects with messages daily, you can also go too far in the other direction by not staying in touch frequently enough. Weekly or monthly mail-outs, sent to the leads you have generated via face-to-face meetings as well as your online presence, can keep your brand in the spotlight without irritating your contacts.
It can feel like a lot is riding on winning the first clients for your real estate agency. However, you can alleviate a lot of the pressure if you plan carefully and follow effective methods, rather than taking a haphazard approach.
Patience is also important. Do not expect to succeed overnight, but instead bed in for the long haul and your efforts will be rewarded.