If you are considering a career in real estate, or, you currently are licensed as a real estate professional and would like to know the best way to generate income, this blog will identify an excellent way for you to earn more income.
2018 is my 40th year as a real estate professional, and if there is one piece of advice I could give to other real estate licensees, especially new real estate professionals, it would be to live and breathe by your database of contacts. Often, we call this a CRM, (customer relationship management). Your database of contacts is the key to succeeding as a real estate professional. I have read study after study from the National Association of REALTORS® and their profile of home buyers and sellers which is published annually, and every year the primary source for how a buyer or seller found their real estate agent was through the recommendation from a friend, family member or coworker. It's astonishing how this statistic is so accurate, yet many real estate professionals tend to neglect to work this portion of their business.
In tracking my real estate production each year, over 70% of my business is generated through referrals. Still, I fall into the same category as many others, failing to nurture and communicate with these wonderful clients and customers who send me business. Sure, I see them quite often throughout my local community, but at the same time I'm not taking care and tending to this group of fabulous advertisers and marketers for my team.
Now you know the hidden key and how you can generate a good income as a real estate professional. You must take the time to build and nurture your database of clients and customers!
I heard a good friend of mine once referred to his database as his, “met” database. His philosophy is that anytime you meet someone they need to go into your database and you need to have some game plan to communicate and stay in touch with them moving forward.
When you think about it, it's not that difficult. Build an excellent database of people and friends you know, past clients or customers, the people you've worked with over the years. Then, develop a system or strategy to reach out to those people in your database consistently.
Today you can do this through social media by a simple post on someone's wall or an instant message. You can also text a short note to a friend or someone that you communicate with regularly. Email and video email are new ways to stay in touch with past clients and customers. And oh, by the way, don't forget the good old fashion handwritten note and the US postal service. And before I forget, yes, a phone call or even what, Brian Buffini refers to as the, "pop in" or "drop by," is also something you might consider. The more you can communicate and stay in touch with your database the more they will tend to recommend you when they hear about others who are considering real estate needs.
As you communicate with your database, don't try to hammer them over the head about your desire or need for real estate referrals. Reach out to them as a friend and follow up with questions from your last visit. After all, many of your contacts will have children away at college, loved ones who are sick, or just general other concerns they may share with you. Communicating with your database and letting your friends know you are there for them and you care about them should be first and foremost.
Now here's the critical part when communicating with your database. Yes, you do not want to come off very pushy for business. However, you do want to try to end each visit, phone call, letter or email with a short little note encouraging your database of friends to be sure and remember you if they know of someone who may be thinking about buying or selling real estate. That's all you need to do. Over time, through a consistent touching of your database (your sphere of influence), you will develop a never-ending funnel of leads and referrals from this crucial group on your list.
Sure, there are many other ways you can earn revenue as a real estate professional. In fact, over the next few blog posts, I'll share with you some of my suggestions and ideas that have been profitable for me over my 40-year real estate career. In the meantime, I want you to remember that building a useful database of client’s, customers, friends, and others are so vital to succeeding as a real estate professional. Take the time to build an excellent database and learn how you can develop a strategy for reaching and communicating to this list throughout the year. I've motivated and challenged myself to be accountable for implementing this for my own real estate business, and I hope you will do the same.
In closing I would love to hear what others have to say about working their past clients and customers, specifically any suggestions or ideas you can share with my readers when working your sphere of influence and your “met” database.
John Mayfield - Broker | Author | Speaker