Phone Isn't Ringing? Then Get Busy!

By
Home Stager with Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging

I don't know how things are in your neck of the woods, but what with the mortgage woe's and Real Estate Market, conditions are less than perfect here in Tucson!

Having your own business whether that  be Realtor, Mortgage Broker, Home Stager or Pet Sitter involves a lot of hard work and dedication. And one thing is for sure....  you can't just sit home and wait for business to knock on your door. You can't just create a website and wait for the phone to ring. You have to go out into the world and create your own business. In other words..... network, network, network!!

Most of you already know this, but perhaps some of you have just recently started your own business, and if you are a new business owner, then this blog is for you.

One of the first things you should do after you start your own business is join a large networking group. You can go online and check out your area, but I'm sure that most cities can offer oodles of networking groups. These groups meet regularly and at any given monthly event you can expect to exchange business cards and conversation with any number of business owners. You should also consider joining a group like BNI (keep in mind that BNI is a networking group that requires committment and dedication, but they also offer a great deal of support, encouragement, and leads.)  Or consider joining the rotary. Think about joining or creating your own mastermind group. Mastermind is usually a smaller group, perhaps 4 or 5 people that work together to grow each others business, it is NOT about leads or referrals. You can find out more information about Mastermind online. Make certain you get involved in your community. Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, or participate in a committe involved in the "Race for the Cure." But get out there and get active, not only will you feel better for contributing to community causes, but you will also make contacts, and business often comes when you are "doing for your community,", not "doing for yourself." Consider writing and submitting and article to your local paper, or local home publication magazines. You need to cultivate your business. Things won't happen overnight. You need to plant little seeds here and there, and then you need to water them and watch your business grow!

If things are slow, don't get dejected, get busy!!

Comments (23)

Nannette Turner
Keller Williams Lynchburg - Lynchburg, VA
Online Marketing Home Ownership Advocate Specialis
Great Post Nancy!  It is about netWORKing.  Building solid relationships and taking it to the bank!  You got the right idea!
Feb 12, 2008 11:40 PM
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Nancy, This is a great timely reminder. Not long ago I read an article concerning when to advertise which is only a small part of marketing. What I remember that seemed so important was that we need to market, market, market all the time. The article mentioned that marketing only when we have slow or down times is much akin to closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. BTW, my brother who lives in Tucson calls me frequently and he has mentioned more than once hearing radio ads about home staging. Is that yours? 
Feb 12, 2008 11:58 PM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Really Great Advice!  I think it is important for business owners to remember that when it is slow they still need to put at least their 40 hrs into their business - sometimes that may mean finding the opportunities to make relationships or personally market (not just paper pushing marketing). 

When you do become active, you can't slow down either..... to get to the point of consistent business, you must always be marketing yourself and networking!

Feb 13, 2008 12:02 AM
Bevin Googer
First Impressions Home Staging and Interior Redesign - Mount Pleasant, SC
www.StagingAndRedesign.com
Thanks for the blog - great tips. I couldn't agree more - you must ALWAYS be working your business. Constantly networking, marketing, etc. You get out what you put in!
Feb 13, 2008 12:12 AM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!
Nancy- I also think it's necessary to have patience. It's easy to get discouraged when you are making a big effort in marketing and not getting results. I think all of us here can testify, that the business may not come right away, and it may not even come from where your focus has been, but there will be a payoff in the end!
Feb 13, 2008 01:13 AM
Kathleen Garvey
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver - Denver, CO
Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales

You never know when you will meet someone who can help you!  People like to know you are a Home Stager and I have begun to bring it up more often in conversation when appropriate.

Just last night in my yoga class, there was a gal I was chatting with who turned out to the be area sales person for Sherwin Williams and was so excited to know that this is my line of work.  She works with and knows many builders in the area and could be a great potential contact!! You never know...Works for my ZEN!!  : )

Nice post! Regards-Kathleen G

Feb 13, 2008 03:39 AM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA
Great advice Nancy. Besides networking with a neighborhood group or charitable cause, I think it is very valuable to network with your peers - for us, that would be home stagers. Because of the Roundtable we had here in Los Angeles, I have gotten a few job referrals from other stagers who attended and couldn't do a job due to scheduling conflicts or location. Also, I network privately with a group of stagers I met here on AR and we have been a big help and support to each other. It is nice to have people who understand your business, but who aren't direct competitors, to bounce ideas off of.
Feb 13, 2008 07:25 AM
Sandra Hughes
Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia - Fairfax, VA
Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia

Nancy -

One of my goals this year was to join one or two networking events.  I have joined one so far and am considering another.

Feb 13, 2008 09:13 AM
Sandy Ridgway
Designs For You - Columbus, OH
Designs For You
Thank you for the posting.  I do happen to be one of the newer people in this business.  I am not in any networking organization yet and would love to join one.  Need some advise on how to go about finding some in my area.  ??????????????????????????????????????
Feb 13, 2008 10:13 AM
Audrey Hoffman
VoteAudrey blog - Columbia, SC
VoteAudrey
Networking is so essential, especially in a slower market! Thanks for the reminder :)
Feb 13, 2008 11:54 AM
Tony Giglio
KeyRealtyGrp.com - Cincinnati, OH
You can also consider joining your local community council.  Not only will you know what is going on in your community it is a great way to promote yourself while giving back!
Feb 13, 2008 12:46 PM
Yoana Toth
Toth Real Estate Group, Inc - Sunny Isles, FL
P.A.
Excellent post Nancy... It's a bit slow here in Miami compared to a year a go. I'm glad I read your post, I have been working on my networking, updating websites, and learning lots from my groups at ActiveRain.  
Feb 13, 2008 12:52 PM
Janis Gaines
Staging Sells Eugene Homes - Eugene, OR
Home Stager Eugene OR - The Notably Well-Dressed H

The Homebuilders Association in your area, the Women's council of Realtors, etc are also good organizations that allow affiliates like us to join. I have to say that I have been a bit discouraged recently because of the downturn in December and January. I pushed ahead and did some of the things mentioned in this blog and it really helps. Also talking with your colleagues in your city and other locations helps. When we find out that others are struggling, it at least makes us feel that we're not alone. 

You also have to just put one foot in front of the other and realize that you may not get the job that you think you're working toward, but if you keep moving ahead, something usually comes about, sometimes from out of nowhere!

Feb 13, 2008 06:45 PM
Renee Pratta
Renewed Rooms - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Renewed Rooms - SC

Nancy...I have a presentation scheduled every Tuesday of the month at Realtor Sales meetings.

Feb 13, 2008 10:57 PM
Nancy Morrish
Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging - Tucson, AZ
Stage Tucson!

Thanks everyone for your great response. Apparently this is on a lot of peoples' minds right now.

Yvonne- I know the commercials you are talking about and nope, they aren't ours.

Elaine-I agree, it's so hard to be patient and your advice about not getting discouraged is right on the mark.

Sandy- I checked out your area. If you aren't terribly far from Columbus - they have a NAWBO chapter there. You should check it out, even if just to attend a luncheon as a guest, I think you can attend three lunches before having to join. Also, look into the Galena Chamber of Commerce.

Janis-I'm so glad you responded to this post. It's comforting for other stagers to hear that business is slow right now. Just last week several of us stagers here in Tucson met for lunch as we do every so often, and we all felt better to know that things were a little slow all around and that all of us have had more proposals than usual rejected lately. Oddly enough, my biz partner and I are attending a lunch today at the Women's council of Realtors. Patience and Persistence!

 

Feb 13, 2008 11:00 PM
Diana Young
Staging Seattle, King & Snohomish Counties - Edmonds, WA

Hi Nancy,  I'm just considering joining a local Chamber of Commerce.  Thanks for all of this great info and the discussion you have started on networking.

I've kept a calendar for each year we've been in business, so I have been able to track the ebb and flow of things.  January is usually really busy, followed by a slower February, busy March, etc.  It helps to have this history to look back on and know that business will be coming in again at a rapid rate in the near future if history repeats itself. 

Feb 14, 2008 01:13 AM
Karel Rogers
Real Estate Staging Unlimited - Reno, NV

Work doesn't happen by accident...it takes a lot of preparations in all areas of the business.

Feb 14, 2008 02:18 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Nancy, good point. Activity yields results if productively engaged.
Feb 14, 2008 06:23 AM
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Found It, LLC - Manassas, VA
DMVRealEstateChick
I was always told to mine your leads for gold!   
Feb 14, 2008 06:46 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes
Completely agree... It's a numbers game... more contacting means more contracts... especially in down markets.
Mar 01, 2008 04:44 AM