One of the biggest drawbacks to the real estate industry is the fact that you have to eat what you kill – meaning if you don't sell (kill) something this month, you don't make any money (eat). A constant battle of mine is leveling out the peaks and valleys of business. When my business is slow, I prospect more. Once those prospecting efforts pay off with additional business, I stop prospecting as hard so I can work on the business I just got. So, my yearly production chart looks like a roller coaster track – up and down, up and down, with a few twists and turns thrown into the mix.
Well, today I'm going to give you 7 tips to help you level out those ups and downs and keep a steady flow of leads coming in.
1. Network – I know! I gave you the obvious one right off the bat, but the fact is if we aren't talking about our businesses then no one else is. Attend Chamber functions, networking group meetings, shake hands and kiss babies like a politician running for office does, with one exception. Treat every year like it is an election year.
2. Join NAR and other industry groups – Make connections at conventions and leverage those connections to increase your business. I meet my peers from other parts of the country at industry functions and give them a business card with a request written on it. "Please keep me in mind if you ever meet someone who is moving to or from insert your town here." Who better to refer me business than a peer who is not licensed to do business in my state?
3. Step Outside of Your Circle – Immerse yourself in new groups and associations. You'll meet a whole new group of people, and you may even learn something about yourself that you didn't know in the process.
4. Leverage Your Existing Partnerships – Ok, we are all familiar with asking your existing clients for referrals. It is awesome and it works! But try this tactic as well. Partner with your favorite drycleaner (or any business owner) to offer a 10% discount on his/her services and send a postcard to your database offering the discount. Have your drycleaner do the same to his database of existing customers offering a discount on your services (or better yet – a free staging session). This is a great way to get your name in front of new customers from someone they already know and trust. Small hint: THIS IS VERY POWERFUL!
5. Blog, Tweet, Like, and Stumble – Like it or not, social media is here to stay. If you want to get in front of more people, there is no cheaper or easier way to do it than social media. Get active and stay active or you will not have much success with it.
6. Showcase Yourself – Write a blog that features your first time homebuyer success stories or any other relevant industry topic. Write an ebook – I've written 2 of them so far and I can tell you there is no more powerful tool to show consumers you are THE real estate authority. Speak at conferences or trade shows that cover your industry – this is also a great way to get featured in publications.
7. Grow through Referrals – I touched on it in #4, but don't be afraid to ask your clients for referrals. They are your absolute best advertising tool because they are already sold on you and their opinions are important to their sphere of influence.
If you want to level out the dips in your real estate business, then you should incorporate some of these lead generation tips into your plan for 2012 and turn your real estate roller coaster ride into a walk in the park.