When you’re new to the game, learning how to land clients in real estate can be difficult. Fortunately, even if you’re starting from scratch, it’s very possible to build a thriving customer base if you have enough perseverance. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you build your client list and build the thriving real estate career you’ve always wanted.
1. Buy real estate opportunities
Perhaps the easiest way to get leads in real estate is to buy from a lead generation company. These companies advertise on your behalf to acquire customers interested in selling or buying a home. They will then provide you with the contact information of these potential customers so that you can reach out. Many services also provide full customer relationship management (CRM) system features, such as automated follow-up, appointment scheduling, and more.
2. Interact with your community
Building relationships with people in the neighborhoods you want to work in is a great way to get your name out there. You can do this by volunteering at community events, donating gift baskets at charity auctions, or even giving gifts to local businesses. The more people you can reach, the larger the potential customer base you will have.
Eventually, if you do enough genuine outreach, people will come to know you and your services by name. And when it comes time to sell or buy a home, you’ll be the first they think of.
3. Solicit referrals from existing clients
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 68% of people who use a real estate agent found them through family or friends. That means your existing customers can play a huge role in getting you new customers.
As long as you provide excellent services during the transaction, chances are your customers won’t need you to be referred to others. Still, it doesn’t hurt to offer a small financial incentive, like a $25 gift card, for any customer who gives you a successful referral, leaves a review of your services, or posts on social media about how you helped them.
4. Create a website
Did you know that 69% of real estate sales agents have their own website? If you don’t have one, you’ll miss out on valuable web traffic, as 51% of homebuyers use the internet to find the home they want to buy, according to NAR.
The most common type of real estate website is an Internet Data Exchange (IDX) site that automatically displays all of your MLS listings. That way, you can promote your seller customers and at the same time attract new buyer customers. However, you can also have a more basic website that lists your specialties, affiliate brokerage, history, and a contact form.
You’re not sure where to start? Learn to create a website.
6. Specialize in a niche
Your local area probably has dozens of run-of-the-mill realtors, but how many luxury realtors do you have? Or agricultural real estate agents? Chances are, fewer people will specialize in areas like these, which means you’ll have less competition to contend with.
Once you pick a niche and advertise yourself as the local expert in that specific type of situation, you will become the go-to person in your region. Of course, becoming an expert takes time. You may need to start blogging about your niche, partner with brokers who already have experience in that niche, or even email people who fit your niche.
7. Try cold calling
Nobody likes cold calling, but sometimes it can be a really valuable way to track leads. In particular, it can help cure for sale by Seller Owners (FSBOs) trying to list their homes themselves or expired listings that never had buyers.
There are lead buying services that can provide you with these kinds of leads, but if you want to do it yourself, a good place to start is Zillow. Here’s how to find these numbers:
- Go to the “Buy” page and choose your area
- Click the “Other Listings” button
- Click on a listing and scroll to the bottom of the “Overview” section to find the seller’s phone number.
Make sure you have a script ready every time you make calls so you’re prepared for any and all objections salespeople might have, and they probably have a lot.
8. Host Open Houses
Open houses are often a real estate agent’s best friend because they give you the opportunity to network with interested homebuyers. Many real estate agents include a sign-in sheet where house hunters can enter their names, email addresses, and phone numbers, which you can then use to contact them later.
However, what if you don’t have a client who wants to host an open house? He may be able to ask another realtor if she can host an open house for them. Experienced real estate agents are often busy and don’t have time for open houses, so they’ll appreciate the help.
9. Contribute to news articles
If you really want to get your name out there as an informed agent, one way to do that is by contributing news articles. By offering your expertise and acting as a source for journalists, you can position yourself as an expert in your field. One place to start with this is Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which connects journalists with expert sources.
When people read an article in which you are quoted, they will come to you if they have more questions or want help buying or selling. Being quoted in an article also gives you the opportunity to generate a backlink, which can improve your website’s visibility.
10. Offer free services
Everyone knows that selling a home is expensive, so do your best to ease sellers’ apprehension by offering some free services. For example, if you include professional photography in your services, that can save the seller a few hundred dollars. Be sure to mention this in all your advertising to help yourself stand out.
You should also offer a free comparative market analysis to all clients, even before they sign with you. Sure, it’s a little more work for you, but it costs you nothing extra and can make sellers more willing to partner with you.
11. Join a real estate referral network
Referrals aren’t just reserved for friends and family of previous clients. You can also get them from many other people and companies in the real estate field. For example, you may be able to partner with these types of professionals:
- mortgage brokers
Simply ask them if they would be willing to recommend you to their clients. In turn, you can recommend them to your customers as they navigate the buying or selling process. It is a win-win for both parties.