I recently wrote a blog called "Hang in There, Rookies! It Gets Easier, I promise! which was about how once you get a few SPC's (satisfied past clients) under your belt, this job really does get easier - the bringing-in-business part of it anyway. SPC's are by far the best source of business in our business and if you have enough of them... who know where to find you... you can pretty much be set for life. It's a beautiful thing.
However, in the meantime, while you're searching for those soon-to-to-be SPC's, you need to come across as a Reasonably Competent Human Being (RCHB) to everyone you know and everyone you meet. An RCHB is someone who is reliable, intelligent, organized, ethical and knowledgeable and can be trusted to show up and work hard. Whether they sell real estate or take your order at the Village Inn - you can just TELL if someone is an RCHB, can't you?
If you're new, but are perceived as an RCHB in your social circles, it will go a long way toward generating business and referrals from the people you know. Perhaps even more than being friendly, although being friendly will help a lot, too.
So, how can you demonstrate to the world that you're an RCHB?
- Be on time
- Return phone calls promptly
- Strive for 100% error-free written material
- Watch your language
- Be emotionally mature
- Do what you say you're going to do
Be on Time is self-explanatory. Don't be late. Not for business appointments, social engagements or your massage. Every single person you come in contact with has the potential to be your biggest fan. Don't blow it by disrespecting their precious time or looking too unorganized or flustered to show up when promised.
Return phone calls promptly. Ditto. Return all calls as soon as you can, not just business ones. Call even if you don't have an answer yet. Call even if you don't want to.
Strive for 100% error-free written material. Obviously, this includes any promotional material you create (personal brochures, newsletters, website, etc.) but also any personal communication between you and your SOI. Your announcement or reconnection letter, and even your emails should be pretty darn clean. Not everyone is a terrific speller or grammar-phile, but please make the effort. I'd hate to see you run off even one referral because you can't find the spell-check button or figure out how to capitalize the first word in a sentence.
Watch your language. I hope the following doesn't offend you. If you want to demonstrate your professionalism to the people you know, you need to cut down on the four-letter words. It's a habit many of us have, but unfortunately is a habit that can cost you business. I have a friend who is an insurance agent, but her language is so rough I wouldn't dream of referring anyone to her. I'm sure she wonders why. Does she behave that way with her clients? I don't know, but I'm not willing to take the chance with my precious referral business.
Be emotionally mature? Huh? This is another potentially touchy subject. And, females, it's mostly directed at us. Some of our friends have seen us at our most pathetic, haven't they? And we've seen them at theirs. But, as someone who is hoping to project a professional persona to her friends, you might have to tone that down, or at least be very particular to whom you... um... "talk" to. It may be difficult for your sob-sister to see you as a competent professional. I've had a few girlfriends in my life whose personal lives were such a mess I truly couldn't imagine they could perform professionally in a work environment. I'm sure they did, but, as much as I loved them, I simply wasn't confident in their professional abilities.
Do what say you're going to do. Strive to never let anyone down. Don't cancel at the last minute or simply not show up. Learn to love a to-do list if you don't already. If you tell someone you'll call, call. If you RSVP to a party, go. If you promise to put a check in the mail, do it NOW! If you owe someone money, pay it promptly. If you borrow a book, return it in a reasonable amount of time
Notice that none of these items are specifically about being a good real estate agent. That's because if a friend or acquaintance has never used you as a real estate agent, there's no way to prove to them that you're a good one until they do. And, of course, it's not effective to simply tell someone how great you are - you have to show them, which you can't do until they hire you. But if you come across as a generally reliable, responsive, intelligent, competent person, most people will assume that you're a good real estate agent, too.
And then... you're on your way to having some SPC's!!!
Confidence Builders for Rookie Real Estate Agents