Sales and Sales Management Blog

November 24, 2006

A Realtor’s Prospecting Question

Filed under: prospecting,Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 8:11 am

Andy, a Realtor in Washington, e-mailed with a request to give him some additional ideas about prospecting for both listings and buyers. Andy is a new Realtor and has been doing some farming are mass mailing of postcards, but says his success to date has been minimal. Although he likes the concepts in Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income and wants to become a referral-based salesperson, he doesn’t believe he can rely only on referrals at this point.

Andy, you’re right. At this point in your career, you cannot rely strictly on referrals. As a matter of fact, despite the impression a few have gotten from the book, I don’t advocate anyone ever stop looking for non-referred prospects. You want as many referred and non-referred prospects as you can get. The difference is that eventually the vast majority of your best prospects will come from referrals.

Many of the traditional prospecting methods used in the real estate industry work well–they’ve stood the test of time. Buy most of these work slowly. Farming is a long-term commitment–it is also fairly costly. Mass mailing to areas outside your farm is also long-term and costly. As a matter of fact, I’m sure you’re finding there isn’t an overnight method of generating a large number of prospects. Unfortunately, when you start out in any business the ramp-up is time consuming. It takes work and dedication. Let me add a couple of other ways to generate great prospects. Both of these methods also take time to realize their full effect. But these methods will prove to be much more profitable, long-term, than farming, calling on FISBO’s and the other methods you are currently employing.

Become an recoginized expert on the neightborhoods in your marketing area. Study evey little detail and every little demographic and then begin offering to give talks a service clubs, chamber meetings and any other group you can get in front of about the changing nature of your neighborhoods. After a while of studying you’ll know the up and coming neighborhoods, those that are in decline, those where great housing values lie, and those that are about to change from residential to commercial. Within a few months as your database of knowledge about the various neighborhoods increases and you give more and more talks, you’ll become the “go to” guy. When people begin to think about moving, when commercial builders think about building, when developers think about developing and when sellers begin to think about selling, they’ll come to Andy first to get the lowdown on what’s what in local real estate. You’ve positioned yourself as the expert and people will start seeking out your knowledge and expertise–both for information and to help them buy or sell properties.

Second, form marketing partnerships. This isn’t just you and a mortgage guy swapping leads. A true marketing partnership is a group of professionals–two or more, usually three to five, who band together to do full-fledged marketing and promotion. In your case it might be a mortgage person, a title company, a home center, and an insurance company. Marketing and promotional materials are created that present a unified marketing campaign. Each member of the partnership is committed to selling the group. It is a unified whole. This doesn’t mean that you don’t continue to market on your own. It means that a portion of your marketing is dedicated to the group. In a large metropolitian area you might have two or three marketing partnerships. Again, this is not an overnight solution. But it is a big payoff solution. The secret to creating a successful partnership is to select partners that already have the reputation and sales volume you want. You want to build your reputation and your business off of theirs. This means that not only must you be very selective in your selection of partners, but you must be willing to bring something to the table that interests them–and that is usually either money for marketing or a lot of hard work to market the team. Since you need them more than they need you, you have to be creative in finding ways to appeal to them. But if you can, you can see a steady stream of great prospects in a relatively short period of time.

Then, of course, you turn your new clients into referral sources using the techniques and strategies in Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income. Re-read the chapter in the book about marketing partnerships and begin to build one or two. Take the top two or three booming neighborhoods in your market, along with the top two or three declining neighborhoods and study them in minute detail. Then move on to two or three more. Learn everything about them and start talking to groups about the changes in your city. This time next year, Andy will be the man in town when it comes to where to move.

Advertisements
TrackBack URI

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: