Top Real Estate Agent Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Need help getting clients for your real estate business?
One of the hardest parts of working for yourself is lead generation. If you can't attract new buyers or sellers and then successfully convert them into clients, you're not going to make any money. And I assume that you like to eat.
So, what's the secret to getting new real estate clients? And is there a reason why clients aren't jumping at the chance to work with you?
In this post, we'll tackle the top reasons why you may not have any clients (yet), and what you can do about that conundrum starting today.
You’ve studied and earned your license. Congratulations! That’s a big deal. Have you told your friends and family about it yet? Now’s not the time to be shy. Real estate is a numbers game and the more people who know that you’re licensed to sell real estate, the better.
You may not personally know anyone who’s selling or house hunting, but perhaps they know someone who is. Plus, it’s highly likely that everyone you know will need your services at some point. The average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. They’re going to need help buying and/or selling eventually, so start spreading the word.
Find out where your prospective clients hang out and then make sure to advertise there. In some areas, Craigslist plays a huge role in the house hunting process. In other areas, Facebook reigns supreme. If you’re new to real estate advertising, it’s a good idea to try out various marketing platforms to find out the right fit. These include:
If you can afford to do more than one, go for it, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Start with the simplest and easiest option (generally Facebook ads) and then tweak your strategy from there.
Having ads is good, but having unattractive ads is bad.
Ads can be unattractive for a lot of reasons. For example, the ad may have:
Bad Copy - Is your copy descriptive and inviting? Does it answer the buyer's most pressing questions about the property and its proximity to important attractions/businesses? Have you included the location of the property and your contact information? Have you inserted a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) to make the listing even more appealing?
Bad photos - Small, blurry images don’t sell houses. It’s important that you highlight the best features of a property and present it in high definition. Photos have the power to attract or repel prospective buyers. Consider hiring a professional photographer, especially for pricier properties. It’s also a good idea to stage properties before taking pictures so that buyers can get a sense of space and potential before touring.
Not enough photos - Showing one image of the living room or the backyard or a closet isn’t going to sell a house or even compel a prospective client to contact you. To get maximum attention, include several images that tell a story, even if it’s a short one.
While the above tips work for luring buyers, you can also improve your ad copy to attract sellers. Focus on the seller's top concerns (such as selling quick and selling for as much money as possible). Highlight your skills and experience to calm these concerns. For example, detail how quickly you've sold other homes or tout your negotiation skills to prove that you're the right person to sell their home.
You already know that networking is important for growing your real estate business, but here's the thing: You may not be networking correctly. It's very possible to attend local events without getting much benefit out of them. Let's discuss a few of the best practices for networking as a real estate agent.
Have a goal for each event that you attend (i.e. introduce yourself to 25 people or hand out 10 business cards).
Remember that everyone is a potential connection— including fellow agents. You never know who will become a referral source.
Offer cards and take cards. Don't just pass out your cards, also be quick to take others' cards and then find ways to connect with them in the future, even if it's just a coffee.
Take notes about the person on the back of their business card. Jot down information that you'll want to remember about them for the future.
Refer people to your new contacts. This is how you'll strengthen the connection and make a good impression.
Prioritize paid events over free ones. When you have to pay to attend, people are much more serious about making connections.
Don't drink to excess. Stay sober so that you keep your wits and professionalism intact.
If you’re not a household name, you’re not trying hard enough. Become a loyal celebrity to ensure that when people in your area think “real estate,” your name and perfectly coiffed image immediately spring into mind.
Get as much publicity as you can. Network with local news producers so that you can be the go-to real estate expert in news segments or morning shows. Get interviewed by area bloggers where you can share general information about the neighborhood. Finally, get involved with local charities. Not only will you be providing a good service to others, but you’ll also be getting your name out there.
Are you incommunicado? In other words, are there times during the day when no one can reach you? That’s not a good look.
To be truly successful as a real estate agent, you need to be accessible any time of the day or night. Kiss those banker’s hours goodbye.
Clients want to work with agents who are able to provide quick updates, especially about new listings or the status of an offer. You must be able to be in touch within 24 hours at the very least. Make easy access and constant communication part of your sell.
Follow up is huge, but a lot of agents tend to forget about it or think it’s not a big deal.
Follow up with people who’ve shown interest. Follow up with people who haven’t shown interest. Don’t expect them to automatically come back to you.
Here are a few tips for following up with your prospective clients:
Find out their preferred method of communication. On your initial meeting, ask them if they'd prefer phone, email, or text. This is a simple ask that will ensure that you don't annoy your contact when trying to reach them.
Add them to your CRM or database. Include information that can help you personalize your next communication with them. For example, include if they're looking to buy or sell, and when. Or highlight if they're a first time homebuyer or looking for a forever home.
Follow up after every meeting. Send a recap where you highlight what you've discussed. Encourage the client to strengthen the connection without being too pushy. For example, you can ask the client to follow you on social media or sign up for your email newsletter.
Create a follow up schedule. Did you know that half of sales occur after the fifth point of contact? If you're expecting prospects to convert into clients after just one meeting, you're overly optimistic. That doesn't mean that you need to physically meet with them five times. Five contacts could look like this:
**Don't give up after the first unanswered phone call. Raise your hand if you screen calls before you answer. Nowadays, most people don't answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. But the odds are in your favor if you keep calling. Leave a message and keep trying until you get an answer. Research shows that you should call at least six times before giving up.*
Sometimes, you're not to blame. A client may change their mind about buying or selling. They may decide to go with another agent for reasons that have nothing to do with you. But use the above tips to make sure that you’re not repelling prospective clients inadvertently.
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