Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” At the risk of perhaps oversimplifying the seemingly complex world of real estate, I’d like to put the work we do into context. Lead generation, listing presentation preparedness, showing property, handling negotiations, navigating and supporting the management of the transaction along with the myriad of other daily tasks relevant to running and effective business, in actuality can be summed up this way:
We connect buyers with sellers while facilitating the transaction in the simplest way possible. That’s it! Connecting buyers and sellers working through the process as smooth as possible.
My intent is not to diminish the importance of our role as agents. However, my observations as a coach and consultant to business owners and many top realtors in North America over the last 20 years, has led me to a distinct conclusion. Most people tend to over complicate the things they do.
One of the most frequent questions presented to me by real estate professionals is how to increase their business. When I ask them, “What are you doing now?” Most have no specific approach or strategy. In most cases, they are using many different tools and technology, along with random approaches or just a hope of a referral.
In an effort to help to simplify this elusive approach, I’d like to share with you an easy, yet sound and proven system that will virtually guarantee that you will produce 40 deals or more per year.
Before I share the system, I want to prepare you. Embrace simplicity, it is powerful and highly effective when utilized.
Step 1- You must have a database of contacts; the target number is 400. So let’s define a contact: any individual within your target market who could potentially buy or sell a home. You do not have to have a well-developed relationship. It could be a friend of a friend, parent of one of your children’s friends, the person at the bank, grocery store or even a random connection on Facebook or another social media outlet.
Why 400? Let’s do the math.
Let’s assume, very conservatively, that the average person on your list will buy or sell a home every 10 years. Now, depending on your area, that is likely to be more frequent, but I’d prefer to err on the side of ultra conservative.
So 400 prospects / 10 years is potentially 40 transactions per year.
Step 2- Commit to becoming their Realtor of choice. Once your list is built, the ultimate goal is to be the “go-to” person that your contacts will choose when they are ready to buy or sell a home. Most people are not absolutely committed to using a specific agent should they be in the market for a home, unless someone in their life such as a family member or very close friend is in the business. In other words, people are not as loyal to a specific agent as you might think. This often poses a problem for the consumer, because when they are ready to buy or sell, they have to quickly identify an agent they feel comfortable working with.
Your goal is to foster a positive relationship with the consumer and when they are ready, you are the agent on their speed dial.
Step 3 – Develop a simple contact relationship strategy. Now that you have your list, it’s time to engage your people and cultivate relationships. Best practice is to connect with 20 people per day, 5 days a week for 40 weeks.
So what constitutes a contact or connection? It is easier than you think.
Here are some examples:
- Scheduled monthly email newsletter blasts.
- Send a personal email.
- Mail a monthly newsletter.
- Send a text message or private Facebook message wishing them a happy birthday, happy anniversary, or a just a simple, “I am thinking of you” message.
- Send a handwritten note.
- Pick up the phone. Leave a voice mail if you don’t reach them.
- If you see them in the store, restaurant, park or wherever, stop and chat.
- Swing by their house if you are in the area and say hello, bring a small gift or leave a note on their door.
As a general rule of thumb 20 to 40% of your communication will be real estate related, while some will be generic. Other communications will be specific and relevant to your contact, i.e. annual home valuation reports, current market or neighborhood updates, local events or pertinent industry news.
The remaining 60 to 80% is personal; remember you are building a trusted relationship! To your contact, you should be more than someone interested only in a transaction. Understand, you won’t become their best friend overnight and frankly the purpose of this system is not to become their best friend. You are simply a trusted person who is showing more interest in the individual rather than just helping them with a deal.
In order to be consistent, you will have to maintain good notes in your database. There are many great systems out there, don’t over complicate the selection process. Start with an excel spreadsheet if necessary.
Again, applying the math and based on the success of many agents who have employed this process.
20 contacts x 5 days per week = 100 connections.
100 connections x 40 weeks = 4000 connection per year.
These 4000 connections or approximately 10 connections to the people in your database, consistently will translate to 40 transactions or more per year.
Step 4 – Be patient, persistent and diligent with the process. Consistency and discipline will pay off for you. The most important thing you can do every day in order to build your real estate business is make your 20 contacts daily. This activity is the catalyst that will get you in front of clients, procure listings, capture buyers and ultimately lead to plentiful and successful transactions.