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Many agents think their success in the industry depends on the state of their local market; however, the most successful real estate professionals understand it’s possible to thrive regardless of the state of the market. The key is to continue to deliver high-quality service to your clients, build relationships with them and ask for referrals. Here are some tips to build a strong, thriving business.

Target your marketing. Why waste time attempting to generate cold leads by using ineffective traditional methods when you can do so by connecting with your current and past clients? When you work by referral, generating leads means calling, writing notes and meeting face-to-face with your clients and asking for referrals. Since you’re building relationships with people you genuinely like, it takes the anxiety and stress out of lead generation. Instead of starting from square one with each new lead, you’re building on an established relationship. What’s more, you’ll always know what activities you have to do each day.

Be consistent. Consistency—in your marketing and your communication with your clients—is essential if you want to reach your goals in 2018 and achieve success over the long term. The relationships you build with your clients are built upon consistent communication. Call them regularly and follow up your call with a personal note. It also means sending your marketing materials consistently each and every month. Consistency builds trust, which is essential for lasting working relationships.

Get organized. The more organized you are in your business, the more time you have to serve your clients. A reliable CRM will not only help you manage your database; it’ll also help you prioritize your day, plan your monthly marketing and track your progress towards your goals. In short, it’ll help you stay on top of every aspect of your business.

Schedule time for fun. When you have fun while you work, you’ll enjoy it more. That’s the best part of working with clients you’ve built relationships with—you can generate leads while you spend time with them. Deliver a small, thoughtful gift (make sure to affix a clever tag with your information on it so they know who it’s from) and invite your best clients to coffee or lunch. Sure beats calling expired listings, doesn’t it?

Always improve. The sharper your skills, the higher the level of service you can offer your clients. The successful agent makes time for personal development and is always looking for ways to network and sharpen skills. While it’s important to lean into the fundamentals, it’s also important to incorporate new tools that will give you an edge in the market. Sign up for seminars, read books written by influential thinkers and business leaders, and listen to podcasts.

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to leading a thriving business in 2018.

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