You’ve secured a real estate license (congratulations!) and are ready to make this upcoming year your breakout season as an agent.
But you can’t expect clients to magically appear before your eyes. You can’t count on referrals or word-of-mouth. And Facebook ads will only provide a handful of leads—not enough to build a business from scratch.
As the newest real estate agent on the block, you’re going to need some solid prospecting ideas to get your career off on the right foot. Here are 6 tips to help you get started!
1) Make prospecting a daily habit
One of the most important things you’ll do for your real estate business is build a solid process—one which can be implemented over and over again for guaranteed success.
Build daily prospecting activities into your process—things like making follow-up phone calls, scheduling lunch/coffee dates, and sending handwritten notes. When you block out a couple of hours a day to make prospecting a daily habit, all of those phone calls and notes really start to add up over time!
2) Set realistic prospecting goals
The best goals are measurable and based on actual data, like your lead-to-client conversion rate (the rate at which your real estate leads eventually turn into clients).
Since you’re just starting out, you don’t yet have any data to calculate your own conversion rate, but you can use the national average as a benchmark. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the typical lead conversion rate is 0.4% - 1.2%. This means for every 200 leads you obtain, you’ll only convert one or two of these to a customer or client.
A good place to start is with a goal of 10 "prospecting touches" per lead—but not all at once! Here's a plan to get you started:
- Follow-up email immediately after obtaining lead
- Follow-up call one day later
- Handwritten note one week later
- Monthly drip email campaign starts (educational content)
- Follow-up email/call one month later
- Drip email #2
- Drip email #3
- Drip email #4
- Drip email #5
- 6-month follow-up email
Continue to measure your prospecting tactics and calculate your conversion rate. If you're not seeing at least a 0.4% conversion rate, trying adjusting your tactics.
3) Become an area expert
What you lack in professional experience you can make up in neighborhood savvy. What consumers really want in an agent is someone who will listen to their needs and match them up with the neighborhood where they’ll feel most at home.
According to Sheila Cox, a real estate agent in Sugar Land, Texas:
“...there are some things a local expert just knows from experience — information that is not based on hard data and is not available on the Internet. For example, a local expert would know why a particular neighborhood has a seriously high distressed rate — because its location is difficult to access during evening drive times, and it takes 30 minutes to get into the neighborhood from the interstate, so no one wants to live there. Or the expert would know why some neighborhoods may not be good investments — because of declining school performance, home values and popularity.”
Become a student of your community—study the neighborhoods, the local restaurants and businesses, the schools, the traffic and commutes, and all of the other factors that might make an area desirable (or not) to a homebuyer. Then you can share this insight with your prospects.
4) Leverage pop-bys
Pop-bys are little gifts intended as a friendly reminder to your prospects that you are available to help them buy or sell a home. It’s a way of staying on their radar.
The December after my husband and I bought our first home, the listing agent sent us a Christmas tree ornament shaped like a key that said “Our First Home - 2016.” It wasn’t particularly fancy—just heavy plastic—but the emotional aspect really upped its value in my eyes. This agent continues to send us pop-bys and postcards, but the ornament is the one I still remember.
Work pop-bys into your budget! You don’t have to spend too much, and you can find tons of great ideas on Pinterest, like this hand sanitizer with a custom tag. FitSmallBusiness also has a great list of pop-by ideas for real estate agents. And check out www.popbyideas.com, a great resource created by a fellow real estate agent.
5) Host an event around a holiday
A great way to get to know people in your area is to host a community event. Pick a holiday—it could be a 4th of July movie night under the stars, a Trunk or Treat for parents who want somewhere easy and safe to take their kids on Halloween, a glitzy New Year’s Eve party at a rented-out rooftop bar, or something else entirely!
In addition to chatting everyone up and strengthening your relationships, be sure to promote your brand at your event. Put your logo on napkins, goody bags, or whatever seems most appropriate. Make sure your attendees (your family and friends in addition to your prospects and clients!) know who you are and what you do.
6) Leverage Realvolve's Power Prospecting Workflow
Our Power Prospecting Workflow is a multi-tier follow-up system for new leads. Frequent reminders to call the lead will taper off from daily to weekly to quarterly, over time. A text message can be sent if there is no answer.
This workflow allows you to keep a warm lead in the pipeline with less fatigue and more consistency. If you’d like to learn more about this prospecting workflow, let us know!
Prospecting Tips to Remember
We hope you found something valuable in this list of tips and prospecting ideas! Here are some takeaways to remember:
- Carve out 2 hours a day for prospecting activities. Make it a daily habit!
- Become a neighborhood expert, especially on things you can't find online.
- Use a variety of prospecting tactics.Don’t rely solely on phone calls, emails, and texts. Get creative—host an event or distribute unique pop-by gifts each quarter.
- Make sure you have the right tools. Check out Realvolve and learn all about our workflows, including the Power Prospecting Workflow.