The other day I wrote a blog, basically admitting that I've lied all this time when I said that virtually all of my real estate business came directly or indirectly from the people I knew, otherwise known as my sphere of influence (SOI).
As part of my re-entry into the wonderful world of real estate sales, I've been more closely analyzing where my business came from the first go-around and had an AHA moment of... "wow - I got a lot of business from strangers!" Now, don't get me wrong, I hadn't forgotten about these Very Important Clients; I just kinda forgot how I met them since, of course, they all ended up in my SOI and many became friends or semi-friends.
But the difference is... I never prospected for the business of strangers. Never cold-called, door-knocked; rarely advertised or farmed. I never, ever approached a stranger with the intent to prospect to them. All of my Business from Strangers was serendipitous...
They say that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. BINGO!
Opportunity: Being out in the world with a smile on your face and your antenna up.
Preparation: Being ready to hand out your business card and spout your elevator speech? NO!!! Preparation means being ready to speak intelligently and knowledgeably about the local real estate market without a hint of a sales pitch.
Don't want to prospect? Then don't. Spend that time learning the heck out of your market. Preview, preview, preview. Read neighborhood newspapers. Preview some more. Visit neighborhood grocery stores and shopping districts. Preview. Visit new home communities, attend meetings on Transit Oriented Development. Preview. Know your office inventory inside and out.
When a Stranger Calls...(on one your listings or while you're on floor duty), you'll get ‘em. When an open house visitor expresses in an interest in the neighborhood... you'll get ‘em. When another guest at a wedding wants to talk real estate investment... you'll get ‘em.
KNOWING YOUR MARKET is the best way to "prospect" to strangers. No fancy business card, well-rehearsed elevator speech or slick closing technique will beat the confidence that exudes from you when you know your stuff. It's magnetic.
p.s. remember the part about leaving out the sales pitch. If you impress someone with your market knowledge, then hit ‘em with a sales pitch, you'll likely un-do all the good you just did. When you're confident and enthusiastic, people will ASK for YOUR business card. It's a beautiful thing. Right, Susan?