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A guide for new agents: How to pick up clients!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty
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How to get new clients and keep past clients

You want a “cookie-cutter” recipe for generating leads and making sales happen? Here’s how you start:
1. Pick up the phone and call somebody. Create a database on a spreadsheet program with everyone you know on it. Once it’s compiled, pick up the phone and start calling everyone on the list. Make 10 calls a day at first or pick a bigger number if you’re feeling gutsy. Let everyone on that list know that you have a real estate license. Ask how they’ve been doing. Chat for a while, play catch up… but make sure you do one thing before hanging up; ask them if they know anyone who has been talking about selling or buying a home. If the answer is yes, ask them if they could give you a name and number, and if it’s okay that you mention who you got the information from.
2. Create a “farm”. I disagree with a lot of old school agents on this one. Since you’re a noob and you don’t’ have any sales under your belt, don't fall into the trap that most new agents do. DO NOT START SPENDING MONEY HAND-OVER-FIST ON MONTHLY MAILERS TO A FARM AREA. Instead of starting a mailer campaign that will cost you $300 a month to mail out to your neighbors on a regular basis, compile a binder with all of your farm’s addresses and phone numbers. Start calling 10 a day and introducing yourself. Ask the same important question as above and write down any lead information.
3. Market to expired listings. This is how I built my business. Do a search on your MLS everyday looking for the newly expired listings. Look up the owner’s name and residence on your county website. Then look up the owner’s phone number on yellowpages.com or a similar site. If the owner is not on the ‘do not call list’, then give them a call and set up an appointment to meet so you can discuss what your company can do to get their home sold this time around. I also spend about $100-200 a month mailing marketing materials to expired listings. I include a business card (with a magnet on the back if I can afford it) and some printed information about me and my company. If you’re able to do this on a daily basis you will pick up continual listings from it.
4. Market to For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). Sorry FSBOs but you can be difficult to get along with at times! The best way to approach a FSBO is to give them a call and ask if you can preview their home. Start a relationship by looking at their home and asking if they would be willing to pay a 3 or 4% commission if you were able to bring them a buyer. Maintain the relationship, give them advice. Since 70% of FSBOs end up listing with an agent, who do you think they’ll come to when they decide to list?
5. Buy a pocket notebook. In my opinion, this is the best investment for the money. I carry one around always. If you talk to someone who’s interested in buying or selling, take their name, number and email address…. Then hand them a business card. Don’t rely on them to call you, call them routinely and see how things are going. Set up a buyer consultation or listing appointment as soon as possible. Also, use your pocket notebook to write down FSBO phone numbers when you see their signs. Write down addresses of homes that look like they’re being flipped or renovated to prepare for sale.
6. Update your database of met prospects and clients and mail to them. Once you have some cash to invest, get an automated mailing campaign going out to all the clients and prospects you have met and worked with. Send them something new and useful every month and make sure you ask for referrals somehow in the mailers. This should help your prospects remember you and will help you pull in a few extra sales a year. Remember to contact your past clients and ask for referrals as well.

Dustin Nulf
Keller Williams Realty
cell: 412-496-8811
***If you're an agent who is focused on long term gains and interested in keeping 100% of your commission, give me a call or shoot me an email because I want to talk to you! ***
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

I'm not a new agent but read your blog anyway just to see your tips.  I think you have a great formula for new agents to get started in the business and succeed.  It is also good tips for struggling agents who are adjusting to the market changes - in order to stay in the business they may have to come up with a new game plan - change can be good!

Jan 14, 2010 06:47 AM
Dustin Nulf
Keller Williams Realty - Pittsburgh, PA

@ Terry:  I agree on the struggling agent thing.  I've seen a lot of experienced agents who are very lost right now, but if you stick with the basics you can't go wrong :)

Jan 14, 2010 06:54 AM
Mike Sparks
The House Company Galveston Texas - Galveston, TX
Galveston Island Real Estate

Tried and true methods.. always works, I liked the expired listing and fsbo methods best.  At least a new agent is talking to someone who has a real estate need.

Jan 14, 2010 07:15 AM
Dustin Nulf
Keller Williams Realty - Pittsburgh, PA

@Mike:  that's right, get out there and start meeting people.  That's what worked best for me and let me practice the talk.

Jan 14, 2010 07:17 AM
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I started my farm by walking the neighborhood with my beagle, handing out chatty newsletters I wrote myself. It was my biggest source of clients until blogging kicked in. Hmmm ... I don't see blogging on your list. 

Jan 14, 2010 09:58 AM
Dustin Nulf
Keller Williams Realty - Pittsburgh, PA

@ Joetta:  actually I haven't received one lead via blogging :(  I guess I have to keep it up... or maybe I'm doing something wrong?  You want to write a blogging guide for me or can you direct me to a good one?

Jan 14, 2010 10:20 AM