You may be a veteran real estate agent who struggles to get clients. On the other hand, a newbie agent in your market could be killing it. How is that even possible? Shouldn’t you be way ahead of the new guy?
So what’s the problem?
It’s simple; you could be pushing clients away. You’re probably trying too hard to get clients and in the process killing your business.
Sleazy sales tactics simply don’t work anymore — not just for real estate agents, but for any kind of salesperson.
That’s why smart real estate agents are doing business differently. Instead of manipulating leads into doing business with them, these agents focus on genuinely helping their leads.
They care less about making a sale and more about building lasting business relationships.
Real estate marketing is about relationship-building.
It’s important to remember that your success depends on the kind of relationships you build with your real estate buyers and sellers. You have to invest in these relationships.
Think of your leads as people and not just a source of income. By seeing your leads as actual human beings, you’ll be able to build stronger connections, making it easier to sell yourself to them.
If you’re still doing things the old-school way, you need to change your approach.
Here are six strategies to help you get started:
1. Focus on helping people, not on the sale.
People generally hate to be sold to. Even though they may be aware that your motive is to sell them something, they don’t want to be blatantly sold to. They want to be reminded that whatever they are buying will be of value to them.
Focus on helping your buyers find their dream homes and helping your sellers sell at the highest price possible. Don’t focus on the end game (your commission) — focus on their needs.
Don’t be the real estate agent who is more interested in racing to the finish line than actually finding out what his or her clients want and need.
The pressure of getting clients can build up and cause you to forget that you’re dealing with real people making one of the biggest transactions of their lives.
Remember, you always need to approach each lead the right way. Go the extra mile to offer your prospective leads value from the moment you meet them.
When you show interest in your prospects, they’ll know you care and will in turn be more inclined to use your services and refer you to other people.
Even if you don’t make the sale, you will have built a strong relationship that may benefit you in future.
2. Let your leads do the talking.
If you tend to be too aggressive when you’re approaching leads, a good trick is to let them do all the talking. Besides saving you from being assertive, letting the other person do all the talking also allows you to better understand what he or she wants. When you understand what your leads want, you’ll be able to deliver greater value to them.
So how do you get your leads to do all the talking?
Ask them interesting open-ended questions that will encourage them to talk to you — questions that will lead them to realize your services are just what they need.
Once they open up to you, potential leads might just get comfortable enough to trust you. This makes it easy for you to turn them into real estate clients. When you ask a question, stay quiet and let the prospect talk. Interrupting and talking over people can make a bad impression.
Make a list of about 20 questions that will help you keep the conversation with different prospects going. Use these questions when you go prospecting, and watch your business grow.
3. Position yourself as a real estate expert.
With so many real estate agents in the market, clients are looking for agents who seem to be different — agents who can give them valuable real estate advice. They want to work with industry experts.
Even though leads want to be heard and have their opinions appreciated, they also need to know that they can rely on an agent for expert guidance.
According to Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Report 2018, millennials currently make up 42% of real estate customers. This segment of clients is far more likely to want to be involved in the real estate process rather than leave everything up to an agent.
Millennials want to steer the process and not just have someone run the show for them. This means they’ll be focused on finding someone who can answer the questions they run into in their own searching.
Anyone can be an expert, whether they have years of experience or are just starting out. What you need to do to position yourself as a real estate expert is to constantly update your industry knowledge.
Stay ahead of industry trends, engage industry thought leaders, and learn everything there is to know about the industry. In short, put in the extra effort to be as knowledgeable as possible.
And if you want instant credibility, consider becoming a published author through our MyBooks program. When you give someone a book, you're giving them something of value they can use whether they choose you as their agent or simply keep you on their shelf — where you may eventually be seen by more potential clients.
4. Have clear goals and boundaries.
Often, you’ll find yourself becoming a sleazy real estate agent when business is tight. The more you keep hitting a snag, the more you’ll be tempted to be pushy. You'll start doubting yourself and you lean more on shady ways to get clients.
Before this gets out of hand, go back to the drawing board. You have a reputation to uphold. You don’t want to ruin the relationships you’ve created thus far simply because you’re facing a hard time at the moment.
Go back to the drawing board and lay out your goals. Set a clear value proposition. What promise are you making, and what do you need to stop promising your prospects because you can’t deliver it?
Know exactly what you want to deliver to your leads so you're able to promise something authentic and enjoy solid relationships with your prospective clients.
5. Give them time to make a decision.
One sure way to come across as a sleazy real estate agent is to pressure your leads or clients to make quick decisions about a home purchase or sale or even the choice to hire you as their listing or buyer's agent.
Don’t rush the process. Your job is to offer value to your leads, position yourself as an industry expert, then give them time to make a decision.
Get to know potential clients' needs and reasons for buying or selling a home. Don’t ask for the job right off the bat. Instead, tell your leads you’d like to do some quick research, then get back to them with valuable information that will keep them interested.
Offer to help them with their real estate needs, but don’t push for an answer right away. They may say yes or no or that they want to think about it. If you get anything but a yes, let them know that that is perfectly fine and give them some time to think about it.
Wait a couple of days, at least three, then send a follow-up email or make a call to find out if they have changed their mind.
Real estate is a people’s business. The more you appease the clients, the more business you stand to gain. To succeed, you need to make people happy.
You can only achieve this by being a valuable agent who is more of a resource than a salesperson. Being pushy will only push people away!
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!