Real Estate Agents work from their cars, their personal home offices, their broker’s office and anywhere a deal happens to take them. Yet, finding the homebuyers or sellers is the art of the game. It is not easy to be a realtor, but some realtors are successful in even in a down market. These individuals do not sit around and wait for the phone to ring they make it ring. They are out at public events, churches, clubs and talking to everyone about what the market is doing and gaining leads. They are also talking to lenders and asking if they have any referrals. Some lenders and realtors create a working plan whereby they refer each other for business, and may even share in some advertising costs.
Though looking for leads is a never-ending task, a professional realtor will also be knowledgeable in the current market, mortgages available, basic upgrade costs for a home and the local businesses in the area. A successful real estate agent will be expected to know about the schools and the recreation that the area has to offer, but it does not stop there they have to factor in commuting time and local transit, if desired. A well-rounded and educated realtor is what sets him apart from an agent that just “shows” homes. When someone is relocating and she is unfamiliar with the area, she wants a knowledgeable realtor. A good transaction will set that realtor up with more word of mouth advertising and leads.
Tips for Finding Leads
- Use your social networking site to offer your services. Mention when you are doing an open house, have a home on the market or that you just saw a wonderful home come on the market, which was below comps. Do not go overboard with this. Keep it friendly and polite.
- Talk to lenders and ask them if they would like to swap referrals. If you have a lender that you enjoy and your clients have used in the past, then you can refer him when your buyer has not secured a lender. The lender can refer you when he finds that someone is looking for a home, but has not secured a realtor yet. Make sure that the lender can benefit you. Also, think about sharing the cost of marketing with the lender. You both can split the fee and showcase each other on the marketing material.
- Get active in your community. Start signing up for local charities that you believe in, if you attend church let people know what you do and what type of market the area is in. Talk to everyone, but watch your words. You do not want to come off as a used car salesperson. Talk about a great home that is has a special feature or renovation projects. Those types of conversations earn people’s attention.
- Build a website or have a professional do it for you. Have local information readily available on your site such as schools, public transportation and parks. Keep it updated with a question and answer blog. This will help prospects find you. Many homebuyers look to the internet for help, before they ever place a call to a broker.
- Stay up to date on trends and home renovation ideas. Visit your local home store to view and check for pricing information. Get a feel for the size and pricing of things like a hot water heaters, tiles, and windows. Realtors that know “about how much” putting granite in the kitchen would cost or the or the cost of replacing a door is what “do it yourself” buyers are looking for. Market yourself in a way that states on your business cards and marketing material that you can help homebuyers that are looking for a fixer upper. Also, be able to give referrals from local contractors who would be willing to come in and give a good faith estimate. Contractors are a great tool to aid you in marketing and promotion.