You can’t expect real estate clients to come to you. To get new clients as a real estate agent, you’ll have to do some real estate prospecting. As a new agent, you can’t just count on referrals, word-of-mouth, and marketing and promotional efforts. In order to get your real estate business rolling, you’ll need fresh real estate prospecting ideas, as well as a solid prospecting plan. Use the following steps to build and maintain a list of good real estate leads so that you can earn more in real estate.
Step 1: Set realistic prospecting goals.
Calculate how many prospects you need to contact in order to lock down a buyer’s or seller’s listing appointment. Veteran agents suggest that beginners start with five contacts per day, one secured lead per day and one secured listing appointment per week. However, you should also talk to your broker about the firm’s average or what is standard for your market. Getting new clients as a real estate agent is hard work, but relying on your brokerage to help you set goals and procedures takes some of the guesswork out of it.
Remember that you’re new at this. Like most people, you will need a warm-up period to gain confidence and ramp up your prospecting skills, so it is better to set more manageable goals initially.
Step 2: Commit to real estate prospecting ideas.
Prospecting is essentially any activity that directly involves verbal or in-person contact with people for the sole purpose of obtaining their business. In order to see results, it is important to commit to real estate prospecting tactics and follow through on them. After you’ve tried each idea full-heartedly, you can assess if you’re getting the best return on investment or if you need a new strategy.
Here are several real estate prospecting ideas and activities to try:
- Call or visit people you know.
- Canvass neighborhoods through cold calls or visits.
- Contact the owners of expired, for sale by owner and foreclosure listings.
- Call former satisfied clients for referrals.
- Sponsor an open house for a seller in which you actively solicit other people’s business.
- Volunteer for floor duty at your brokerage.
- Follow up with referrals that come through your website and other promotional efforts.
Even if you’re just getting started and don’t have a large network, there are tactics to get new clients that you can integrate into your plan.
Step 3: Spend your time wisely.
Certainly you want quantity, because the more leads you build, the better your chances of drumming up enough business to meet your goals. However, you don’t want to waste your time focusing on cold leads and dead ends. If your prospects are not ready to make a real estate decision, don’t make them a top priority.
During initial conversations with real estate prospects, ask them how motivated they are to buy or sell and when they plan to make a decision. Then prioritize those people who are willing and able to do so in the shortest timeframe.
Step 4: Don’t put it off.
Inconsistent and delayed real estate prospecting is particularly detrimental because of the lag time between when you start working with a client to the time you get paid. Keep in mind that it usually takes between 60 and 90 days from the time you start prospecting to when you receive a commission check. If you want to get new clients in real estate, you need to start as soon as possible.
From day one, make sure that you spend enough time developing real estate prospecting ideas, following through on prospecting goals and activities, and following up with your contacts. This will help ensure that you secure—and maintain—a solid amount of quality leads.
Step 5: Make prospecting part of your daily routine.
To create a pipeline of real estate prospects that will grow and sustain your business, you have to prospect every day. Getting new clients in real estate is a large part of your job at first. Making a bunch of calls for two days straight and then nothing for a week won’t cut it. Instead, you need to treat prospecting the same way you would any other important appointment. Clear your schedule and focus entirely on it. At the end of each day, evaluate your prospecting efforts and set objectives for the next day.
Step 6: Know the law.
Since much of your prospecting will be over the phone, it is vital that you know about and adhere to the legal policies of the Do Not Call Registry (DNCR). The DNCR state and national databases contain the phone numbers of consumers who have elected not to be solicited by companies they do not already have business dealings with. Fail to abide, and you could be penalized or fined—up to $11,000 per violation. So make sure that you register with the DNCR and check what numbers are already listed in the national database.
Get New Clients in Real Estate to Jump-Start Your Career
Now that you know what to do, get on the phone, tap social media and hit the streets. The sooner you start building your pipeline of prospects, the quicker you can start making money.
Alexis Petersen is the director of Content at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. For the last six years she has been educating real estate professionals on how to successfully launch and advance their career. She’s also a seasoned marketing veteran, with nearly 15 years of experience.