While there’s a lot to love about working in the real estate industry, it can also be exceptionally challenging and full of fierce competition.
As a realtor, you must strive to stand out as one of the best in the business. You understand that successful real estate agents are always trying to learn new skills to expand their sphere of influence, generate more real estate leads, close more real estate transactions, and otherwise grow their personal brands.
Whether you’re a new real estate agent or a seasoned real estate professional, use these nine tips to rack up more referrals, connect with more home buyers, and grow your real estate business.
1. Value building relationships over sales
The most effective real estate agents understand the importance of building relationships. After all, relationships are at the heart of an effective agent’s work.
Why? The answer is simple: Sales can’t occur without good business relationships. If you poison the relationship, you will poison the sale. Do this too often, and you’ll start striking out in the local market as word gets out. By prioritizing relationship-building, you’ll make clients feel comfortable working with you—whether they are first-time buyers or homeowners who are looking to downsize after living in their dream home for 30 years.
How exactly do you develop good business relationships? It starts with asking questions and listening well. This will help you prioritize the items that are most important to your clients and their family members. For example, do they want to sell as soon as possible or do they want to get the highest price? Which marketing strategies are they most comfortable with? By understanding their situation as thoroughly as you can, you’ll be able to offer them the right options.
Also, keep your clients’ time in mind. Don’t cancel last-minute meetings unless there is an emergency! Value their time and they’ll value yours. It’s that simple.
2. Build your communication skills
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy hearing your own voice since you’ll be using it quite often as a real estate agent. During your career, you’ll do a lot of talking, whether you’re dealing with clients or engaging with colleagues. Sometimes, you might feel like a salesperson. Other times, you might feel like a guidance counselor steering a client toward the best deal.
Either way, you need to hone your communication skills if you want to do well in the real estate market—even if you’re not a talker.
Here are some real estate agent tips you can use to improve your communication skills:
- Be a good listener. In order to communicate effectively, you have to listen to the other person. Whether you’re on phone calls or decide to follow up in person, give them a chance to talk and listen to what they have to say.
- Ask questions. It’s a conversation, not a monologue. Get to know the other person by asking questions for clarity. Pro tip: People like to talk about themselves. By asking questions and letting your clients drive the conversation, you should be able to generate new leads as clients enjoy their experiences with you.
- Make eye contact. While you don’t want to stare at someone continuously while you’re talking to them—that’s kind of creepy—you do want to glance at them occasionally. If you don’t, it may seem like you’re withholding something from them. Maintain eye contact with the other person when they are speaking to you or it may seem like you’re not interested.
3. Generate new business with open houses
Here’s something to add to your business plan: Consider open houses as opportunities to sell yourself rather than just an event to sell a home. Providing a sign-in sheet for buyers to fill out at these events is a great way to add their contact information to your database.
However, contacting them after the open house won’t suffice. It’s essential that you leave a lasting impression at the event. To do this, you need to show attendees that you’re professional and prepared. But how should you start the conversation? When buyers come to see a house, ask them how it fits their home search criteria.
This opens the door to discussing timelines, financing, and other topics. Based on what they’re looking for, you can then drop some data on the different areas and what price differences to expect.
You can also show them other active listings either on sites like Zillow or through the MLS, a service real estate companies use to share information about listing. By doing so, you’re able to significantly increase the chances that these buyers will start home searches, which is a huge step toward supercharging lead generation and gaining new clients.
4. Build a strong online presence
In addition to investing in continuing education, successful agents are known to have excellent professional websites. Even if you’re just starting out or are only working part-time, you should build a website as soon as possible.
You can use your website to provide content and build your brand. A good website brings would-be clients to you, perhaps even enabling you to ditch cold calling for good. Even if you move to a new CRM service provider or brokerage, your Google rankings and SEO will still be intact and you’ll own the site outright.
Leverage the power of social media to showcase the properties you’re representing and display your expertise in your field. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even TikTok can be great platforms to connect with potential clients and show your audience that you’re an authority in the real estate industry. While you’re at it, why not launch a podcast?
5. Make sure your finances are in order
To be a real estate agent, you must have a mobile phone, a car (in most places), a computer, and a WiFi connection. A lot of brokerages expect you to handle these things yourself and cover other startup expenses. On top of that, it may take you a few months to earn your first commission, and you’ll still have to cover your living expenses while you wait on your first check.
If you’re planning on earning a real estate license in the next year, start saving as soon as possible. It’s best to put aside a little bit of money aside to create an emergency fund that ensures you can cover your costs for a couple of months.
Likewise, if you do have to dip into your savings account, try to replenish it after you begin collecting commissions. The market fluctuates, and there may be some lean times ahead. As Miguel de Cervantes once wrote, being prepared is half the battle.
6. Network and make great connections
Opportunities abound to network with folks in your neighborhood. When you meet with friends and the subject of work comes up, tell them who you are and what you do. Strike up conversations because you never know when someone might need your services.
Being open and willing to answer related questions when you’re talking about your industry is one of the best ways to provide value to people. When or if people need an agent, they’ll be more likely to hire you because you’ll be on their minds.
7. Qualify leads
Top-performing real estate agents are able to gain a better understanding of their prospective clients before they work with them. That’s because they possess the market knowledge and communication skills needed to easily differentiate between clients who are actively looking for new properties and those who are passively browsing.
If you want to increase the chances of making a sale, focus on individuals who are ready to buy a new property or sell their homes. That way, you won’t waste time on folks who aren’t ready to move forward at that moment.
8. Invest in email marketing
Email marketing is a critical tool in the successful real estate agent’s belt.
Don’t worry: You don’t have to send emails to all your clients by hand. Using email automation software, you can easily keep in touch with previous and current clients, without much heavy lifting on your end.
Use email marketing to educate clients on current trends and other areas affecting local real estate, using drip campaigns that send messages explaining what you can do for them on a recurring basis. Your email marketing efforts can also be used to highlight free supplementary guides and eBooks. Use call-to-action buttons in these guides and others incentives to monitor which clients are most qualified and most interested in buying or selling real estate.
9. Pitch stories to reporters
The more established you become in your field, the more publicity you should seek. News outlets frequently write about real estate and reporters seek out real estate agents to use as sources for their articles.
When agents pitch stories to reporters, they increase their exposure, establish themselves as experts within their fields, and boost their perceived trustworthiness among potential clients.
Although you can pitch full stories to reporters, offering your expertise through websites that connect sources with journalists is the easiest way to get your name in print. In exchange for free publicity, journalists send out queries to sources on sites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and ProfNet. By contributing to articles, you’ll be able to elevate your brand and attract new clients by getting your name out there.
As every real estate agent knows too well, success doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, a successful real estate career is built on a foundation of hard work and patience.
Use this advice to improve your career plan based on the knowledge of people who’ve already demonstrated success in the industry. With the right approach, you can continue sharpening your skills—closing more and more deals over time because of it.