Prospecting for new buyer clients is an important and ongoing process for even the most established firms. Here are some tips to consider if your leads aren’t where they should be:
- First, take some time to track your current business. Where have your leads come from in the last two or three years? According to the 2014 NAR Member Profile, repeat clients and referrals account for 42 percent of the business of a typical REALTOR®. Depending on your marketing strategy, your numbers might be different, but are there any surprises?
- Once you’ve discovered where your leads are coming from, focus in on the top two or three sources of business. These are the areas that are already working for you. Spending a bit more time—and perhaps money—on these avenues will benefit your bottom line.
- Take some time to find your niche. Not only will it allow you to focus your energies on what you do best, it will also further your brand integrity with prospects. Let your personality shine through. It’s much easier to work with clients when you share a common interest.
- Prospecting isn’t only reaching out to buyers; it’s also networking with your peers. Attending local, state, regional and national events helps build your credibility as a reliable resource for referrals.
- Embrace technology. If you have a Web presence or are active on social media, are you taking advantage of all the tools at your disposal? Google Analytics can reveal where your website visitors came from, where they lingered, and where they left. Similarly, Facebook Insights can help you analyze your business page.
- Lead generation tools can be your friend or a waste of time and money depending on how much effort you can put into managing the process and the resources you make available to support the program.
- Set up a program to solicit client testimonials. Online reviews are highly valued, so approach gathering them in a systematic way. Decide where you want them to appear and steer your clients to those sites. It’s better to have multiple reviews on a few key sites rather than scattered far and wide. Automate the process as much as possible, making it a quick and simple task for your grateful buyer clients.
- Be consistent in your efforts. Prospecting is about building a relationship as a trustworthy resource—something that only time and effort can deliver. If you feel your strategy is sound, give it some time to germinate.
- At the same time, don’t be afraid to try something new. Make sure your business plan has room for some experiments—maybe a local event sponsorship or even some advertising on social media.
The way buyers are looking at real estate today is not the same as it was even 10 years ago. Your prospecting tools should reflect today’s market realities. Keep on top of buyer prospecting with resources and insights from the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) available to Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designees.
Marc Gould is vice president, Business Specialties, for the National Association of REALTORS® and executive director of REBAC.
For more information, visit www.REBAC.net.