Fill your pipeline in 2017! You don’t have to spend a lot of cash to generate leads, but you do have to focus on lead generation and spend time on it most days. If you’re not an extravert, that’s ok. We’ve got ideas here for everyone – from crowd-loving go-getters to those who prefer actual conversations with people, one at a time, no mingling required.
Let’s start with getting personal. Here’s what to do when you’re out in the real world. First, lead with a giving hand. Be seen as someone who gives back and participates within the community. Network by being social, not salesy. Make connections and introduce people to each other.
1. Get a hobby. Really. Find something you love to do (other than sell houses) and commit to participating in a local group that does the thing. Let others get to know you and your passion away from work – but don’t be a secret agent – let people know what you do and that you’re happy to give them advice outside of the event.
2. Be sociable. Make family and friends a priority. Go to their parties, fundraisers and important events. Meet people and offer to help. Don’t let work get in the way of being there. And keep your paraphernalia close by in case you meet someone who wants more information later.
3. Be civically-minded. Join your local chamber of commerce and attend events. Get involved with new business developments and pay attention to what is being planned for your community. Get to know the decision-makers.
4. Get to know other agents. Yes, you compete for business, but more importantly, you have to work together on deals and it’s a whole lot easier when you know the agent on the other end of the phone. Get active in your association. Become a referral source for agents on the other side of town. Become a trusted go-to source to fill in when someone needs a vacation or has a family emergency. Cooperate and communicate and be a leader in the industry. If you’re good at what you do, you don’t have anything to fear from other agents.
5. Network with other related businesses. Give and ask for referrals. Referrals can come from a variety of sources. If you help someone build their business, they are more likely to help you build your own. Sometimes certain businesses might be leery of showing favoritism because they work with so many agents, but ask anyway. And always give back, first. Start with lenders, title companies, insurance agents, contractors, doctors, HR directors, builders, CPAs, and family attorneys.
6. Participate in your community. If you’ve got kids or grandkids, volunteer with their PTA, chaperone on field trips, sponsor a sports team, or donate at a carnival. Love the local team? Volunteer at the concession stand. If pets are more your style, then have a towel and blanket drive for your local shelter, walk dogs, help out at an adoption event. Just get out in the community and do something positive. Get to know people you never would have met otherwise while you’re doing it.
7. Ask how you can help. When you speak with people, ask them what they need. It may not have anything to do with real estate. You’d be surprised at how many people you know who have a need and how many people you know who might be able to fill that need. Make those connections.