Updated: May 13
If you've been in real estate for awhile, you know that no matter how long you're in the game - the hustle never stops.
The art of finding and keeping your real estate clients is an ongoing process. While you do build your reputation and book of business over time, which should make the process a little easier, the need to generate leads never sleeps.
That's why it's always great to do a quick refresher on the many ways that we can get and keep clients - especially as we close out an unprecedented year that brought many new challenges to life as we know it (and real estate, too). As we move into 2021, there are a lot of ways that we can leverage technology and social media to stay current, build relationships with current and future clients and continue to grow our real estate businesses.
15 Ways To Get Clients in Real Estate:
1. Build Your Online Presence:
People are spending more time at home and using technology for everything from having their groceries delivered to keeping up with relatives. You need to be where the people are and right now, that's online.
If you haven't already dedicated some time and investment to building out a strong online presence, now is the time. Find a reputable website builder who can work with you to build out your new website. Then, start blogging about topics and questions that you find yourself repeating over and over to all your clients. Think like a home buyer or seller and create a site that will answer their questions and build confidence in your brand.
Over time, this will grow as a resource for existing clients, as well as a great way to capture new ones that find you via online search.
2. Leverage Social Media:
In addition to building out your website, be sure to set up and attach your social media so that everything is linked. You should be on Facebook and Instagram at a minimum. Add in Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest if you want to really build out your social strategy.
The key to growing social media is showing up regularly and providing value. Look at your social media as an opportunity to serve your clients, whether that is information on the area or tips for their real estate journey. You want to position yourself as trusted friend and real estate expert.
Then, be sure to reference your social media whenever possible to help drive current and potential clients to your sites.
If this is outside your comfort zone, you can also hire out these services to social media professionals who can make it hands free for you.
3. Use New Platforms:
Just like technology is changing everything else, it's also bringing new opportunities to real estate, too. Sites like Zillow, Redfin and more are making it easier than ever for people to find homes on their own and for many sellers to list their homes without agents.
This is why it's more important than ever to have a variety of options for your clients. USA Homebids is a growing platform that is changing the real estate game by offering a fully transparent bidding model for buying and selling real estate.
USA Homebids is an incredible way to snatch up the FSBO market share, get new leads from buyers who find your profile on the platform, and sell properties very quickly (usually for over ask). To use a platform like USA Homebids, you just need to get certified, which takes less than 2 hours. Then, you'll be featured as a certified on the platform and you can begin to pitch the platform as an option to win new business. To learn more about USA Homebids, check out our agent page here.
4. Follow Up With Leads:
Buying and selling homes are not always easy decisions for people. They may go back and forth on their decision to move several times before taking the plunge. You want to keep in touch and show your interest in working with them, so that whenever they are ready - they'll consider you as their agent first.
The best way to track and stay on top of your leads is with a CRM that works for you or if you're an eXp agent, utilize KV Core. Whatever you decide to use, be sure to stay consistent, update your records and schedule time for follow-ups.
The best lead generating tips in the world won't be worth much if you're not dedicating the time to building those relationships by following up.
5. Work Open Houses:
Take advantage of every open house and treat it like your best opportunity to get to know the neighbors, locals and interested home buyers and sellers in the area - because it is. You'll be able to answer questions, show your knowledge of the market, and start building relationships.
So, even if a walkthrough seems like a nosy neighbor, treat them like the excellent lead that they are. After all, that casual stroll through might lead to them listing their own home with you or refer you to someone else who is looking for a realtor.
Every person who comes to that open house is a potential client, so work those open houses.
6. Host Open Houses for Experienced Agents:
If you're looking to increase the number of open houses you're at, offer to host them for experienced agents. Open houses are excellent exposure and the more you're at, the more opportunities you'll have to answer questions, pitch potential clients and then follow up with everyone you meet.
This is a powerful way to not only build your own business, but also your relationship with a more successful agent. This type of networking and relationship building is key to the growth of your own brand in a saturated industry.
7. Volunteer in Your Community:
An often overlooked method of building a business is volunteering in your local community. This is a great way to not only do some good for causes you care about, but also to meet people in an organic way.
By building relationships through volunteering, you'll position yourself as an agent that they can trust when looking to make a move.
8. Donate to Local Causes:
If you don't have the time to roll up your sleeves and get to work, consider making donations to local causes that you'd like to be more active with or that your client's care about. Usually, charities will share the names of businesses that have donated, which is also excellent for spreading the word on your brand, but also helps to connect you with like-minded clients who will feel they have some common ground with you.
Another idea is to donate a portion of the proceeds from each closing to the charity of your client’s choice. This simple act is a win win for all involved and will make you a memorable person that they will readily recommend to others. As we all know, referrals are the best compliment we can receive as business owners.
9. Get Some Press:
Sometimes, you have to create the buzz for your own business by yourself. Getting some press can help you do that. Some ways our agents have done this, include: offering to write a regular column on real estate for a local newspaper or magazine, offering to guest post for large real estate sites or blogs, giving quotes for round-up posts with a site like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and developing relationships with local journalists.
Just remember to have your tagline ready if you're quoted. You want to make sure that you represent yourself and your business as an expert in your area.
And, don't worry if nobody sees your quote, you're going to let them know it's there by sharing it out on all your social media!
10. Brand Yourself:
Marketing is everything. Creating a brand is about curating an experience for your clients and also being intentional about that first impression.
Consider how you are branding (or not branding) your business. Do you have a short, memorable slogan? Do you have brand colors? How about an eye-catching logo?
Designing a brand doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be cohesive, unique and memorable.
Take it a step further and design some branded swag that you can give to clients to help spread the word. Ideas include branded pens, tote bags, coffee tumblers or any other high use item that they might carry around in public as free advertising for you.
11. Become an Online Expert:
Another easy way to establish your online presence and position yourself as a real estate expert in your area is by answering questions on sites like Quora, Reddit, City Data and StreetEasy. People go to these sites to get honest answers to their questions from real people. The more you show up and provide value, the more trust you will build with readers.
Taking a few minutes a week to do this can have huge gains. For example, Quora's last report showed 300 million users and Reddit reported 330 million across 138,000 active communities. Where else can you get direct access to this amount of people who are actively looking for answers from experts like you?
12. Don't Forget Family & Friends:
Even though this is tip 12, this should probably be where you start. Always leverage your sphere of influence. Studies show that people move every 13 years, on average, with first-time homebuyers moving more frequently. Imagine how many people this equals in just your immediate circle.
Consider using your personal Facebook to occasionally share market updates or big wins. While you don't want to turn people away with constant business talk, a well-timed post can provide information that is helpful, while also sharing your services and ability to help if needed. Share about your growing business at family events, get-togethers and parties. Always have business cards on hand, so you're ready if asked. That actually leads us to the next point...
13. Always Have Business Cards:
Sure, our increasingly technological society is moving more towards a paperless lifestyle, but that doesn't mean business cards have gone out of style. In fact, they are still a great way to continue the conversation with someone you've met in real life.
Think about all those natural conversations that take place that you could punctuate with offering your card to keep in touch. Just make sure that your business card matches your brand, is easy to read, and has all necessary information, such as a phone number, email, and links to social media.
Give yourself a goal of how many cards you'd like to pass out in a week and hold yourself to it. Like anything else, we get better with practice.
14. Use Facebook Ads:
Facebook and Instagram ads are very affordable ways to boost successful social media posts or create ads that spread the news about your business. If you've got your business Facebook and Instagram all linked, you'll be able to advertise on both through your Facebook Ads Manager.
When creating ads, always think like your client. What questions do they have that you can answer? What are their biggest pain points?
A common mistake many ads make is thinking too much like a business owner and not enough like a client. In the words of bestselling author Donald Miller, "Customers don't generally care about your story; they care about their own," (from his book, Building a Story Brand). So, design ads that quickly, clearly provide solutions to the key problems that your clients and potential clients have or that tell a piece of their story that they care about.
Be sure to use your branding in the ad and monitor them. These aren't "set it and forget it", you'll want to watch how they do and make tweaks every few days as needed to get the best results.
15. Join a Real Estate Team:
Looking to break into the luxury real estate market? Sync up with a luxury real estate team in your area. Want to focus in on beach properties? Get in with a beach property focused brokerage.
Do your research before you sign on. You don't want to hitch your wagon to a brokerage with a bad reputation. But, if it's a good fit, joining a real estate team can bring you more business than you can handle. Your split per sale will be lower, but the volume of sales should more than make up for it.
Plus, many buyers and sellers find real estate teams more trustworthy, reducing the amount of legwork you'll need to do to win business.
Just make sure you know when to leave a bad situation. Staying at a brokerage that isn't a good fit, or worse - is costing you business, is a sure sign it's time to go.
There you have it! 15 solid ways to build your real estate business by getting and keeping clients.
While we are sure there are even more ways than this, we hope that these ideas have inspired you to hit the ground running in the new year.
And, if you have a killer tip that you think we should add to this list, make sure to leave it in the comments below.
if you'd like to learn more about how USA Homebids can help you grow your business faster than ever, be sure to check out our agent info page. Also, follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on live classes you can register for, exciting updates and hot tips for agents who want to be at the top of their game.