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When it comes to prospecting for new clients and new business, understanding both the odds and your state of mind are two factors that will contribute most to your success. That’s because one in every five people you meet—whether it’s at your favorite restaurant, local home improvement store or church—are planning to either buy or sell a home within the next three years.

That’s right, one in five.

According to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, agents and brokers in the U.S. spent a whopping $8.9 billion on marketing in 2015. I’m all for spending money on anything that produces a good return, but I believe every agent in America can generate a great income from doing business with only the people they happen to be in the same room with every day.

Below are five easy steps to help you take advantage of these one-in-five odds:

  1. Wear a name tag. You’ll be surprised by how many people approach you when you’re “tagged.”
  1. Respond differently. When asked, “How’s the market?” don’t provide a standard response. Instead, offer a response such as, “Well, it all depends on whether you’re buying, selling or renting. Why do you ask?” This simple question will open the door for additional conversations about your new prospect’s current housing situations and future needs.
  1. Offer something of value. After you’ve broken the ice with your new friend, offer them something of value. Set them up on a market snapshot or other automated system to keep them up-to-date on the real estate market in their area. You should also offer to provide information on applying for property tax exemptions or appealing assessed property value—two subjects of significant interest with homeowners.
  1. Collect contact information. Get all the information needed to communicate via snail mail, email and phone. In addition, get their home address so that you can set up their market snapshot.
  1. Launch an action plan. As soon as you enter the prospect’s information into your CRM system, launch an action plan…and follow it.

A home is typically the biggest financial asset in any adult’s life, and everyone wants to make the best decision regarding this investment. Not only do homeowners want to enjoy living in the space, but they also want to protect its value, maintain it well and keep expenses at a minimum. All you need to do is look for that one-in-five new friend who plans to sell or buy in the next 36 months. Once you can identify and embrace the odds, your pipeline will overflow.

How many friends and future referrals are in the room with you right now?

Start connecting with new prospects today. Your next buyer or seller client is only a few conversations away.

Cleve Gaddis of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now his real estate team closes $60 million in sales annually in Atlanta, Ga. He loves to share his sales strategies and to see others succeed. He’s the host of the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show which can be heard on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO every week. Contact him at

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