“The 30-Day Rule states that the prospecting you do in this 30-day period will pay off for the next 90 days.”
– Jeb Blount (Fanatical Prospecting)
This morning I just want to supply you with some words of encouragement that may help you as you start your week. There is no greater work that you can do than “Prospecting”. But what most people don’t realize is that there isn’t just one single way to prospect. Some people don’t like to use the word prospect because it sounds too “sales-ey”. I still think it’s a helpful word because it describes something that most of us find unpleasant, hard work, and task oriented. For those of us who like to just sit and talk to people, it is something that most people dread.
Today, though I want to encourage you with nine different ways to prospect. If you do only 3 of these things on a weekly basis, you’ll find yourself with some people to work with. But you have to put forth the effort!
Nine Ways to Prospect
Prospecting Strategy # 1: Warm Calling your Personal Contact List
Every day, you should be calling the people on your personal contact list. As you work towards a more relationship-oriented business, we want to encourage you to pick 5 contacts a day to communicate with. Make it your goal to have 5 meaningful conversations with friends every day.
Prospecting Strategy # 2: Agent or Broker Open Houses
There are likely a few heavy hitters in your office. By heavy hitters, we mean people who’ve been in the business for a while who are the best “Listing Leaders” in your company. Your Broker didn’t get where he or she is without having a lot of experience in this business. Everyone knows the value of the Open House. This is where potential buyers literally walk in the door looking for a house. Open Houses are a great way to get started in the Real Estate Business because they provide you with a “Storefront” so-to-speak.
Prospecting Strategy # 3: Calling on For Sale By Owners (FSBOs)
This may seem a bit too forward or pushy for you, but you’re going to have to get over that “Sales-y” problem. The fact is, you ARE a salesperson. You are going to have to ask people for their business. And you are going to have to do some things that are uncomfortable for you to do. But by jumping into the uncomfortable, you’ll gain more confidence in your business.
Prospecting Strategy # 4: The Hand Written Note
Living in a digital age, it’s easy to lose the human element of what we do. People aren’t used to receiving hand written notes anymore. A handwritten note really gives your business a personal touch. It also keeps you personally connected with your past clients, your top prospects, and your strategic partners.
Prospecting Strategy # 5: Strategic Partners
There is little doubt that one of your best sources of business is other businesses that you promote, push, and use for your clients. These can be folks in a multitude of different business fields that touch the Real Estate Industry. Some common strategic partners for Realtors are Mortgage Lenders, Insurance Agents, Home Inspectors, and Contractors of all types. But don’t limit your strategic partners to only businesses that serve Real Estate clients. Expand your relationship with other people in various industries by networking with as many different business people as possible.
Prospecting Strategy # 6: Community Events
Once a quarter, you should partner with other business people in your community to offer something to the public that is valuable, that helps the community, and that also gives you the opportunity to spotlight your services to people. These can be picnics, trade shows, BNI groups, Chamber of Commerce Events, Church activities, social clubs, home-buyer seminars, and any other events that you can be a part of where you and your business gets visibility.
Prospecting Strategy # 7: Social Media Presence
We live in a virtual/digital world so creating your own space on social media and the internet are absolutely critical to making yourself known to the public. Your use of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any other number of social media outlets can serve to get your name out there. Many of your friends and family in your community are going to notice you if you start using these platforms to promote your business. A word of warning: Don’t overdo it and don’t underestimate it! You can post too much on your personal page making you come off as too sales pitchy. You can also post too little and people won’t even notice you are there. Balance and consistency are the most important aspects of this strategy.
Prospecting Strategy # 8: The Real Estate Community
You can’t be successful in this business if you look at other Realtors only as your competition. Are they your competition? Well, sort of. But most of all, other Realtors can be one of your best sources of referral business and encouragement when times get tough. We need each other. And there is a whole community of Realtors out there going through the exact same struggles and learning curves you are. Get to know them. Attend Realtor Forums and Realtor get-togethers so you can get to know other people in the industry.
Prospecting Strategy # 9: Cold-Calling
Cold-Calling is any way of connecting with people that you do not know in a manner where you can get in front of a large number of people in a short period of time. Cold-calling can be an actual Phone Call, door-knocking, talking with a local business, or emailing people you don’t know. This is not the only method you need to use. But it is a viable one. There are plenty of online marketing firms who can sell you a contact list for specific neighborhoods or areas. Search the internet or ask your broker about resources available in your area.
Give Yourself Grace
If you are just starting out, give yourself time and lots of grace. You are going to need as much patience as you can muster. This business isn’t get rich quick. And you have to build a pipeline of business to sustain life as a real estate agent. If you don’t have new business coming in, you won’t survive long.
If you’ve been doing this for a while, sometimes Prospecting 101 is the best place to start again. We all need to be reminded that this is the most basic of all skills and it needs to be practiced consistently. You cannot pay tomorrows bills on yesterdays commissions. You have to keep at it to make it sustainable.
Good luck and get after it!
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