There are a multitude of ways to gain business.
Social media of all forms.
Reminding EVERYONE you know that you're in real estate.
And of course, referrals from other agents.
Now obviously the odds are better if you're associated with a large community with lots of people coming and going.
We live between Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio in Warren County. While we don't serve the entirety of those markets, I'll work the east and north parts of Cincinnati's suburbs and the southern parts of Dayton, and under the right circumstances I can push that boundary a bit further.
Now I don't expect people to find Warren County Ohio on a map, just as I generally don't know the counties of other agents here in the Rain. So if I want referrals from other Rainers the burden is on me to make it easy for others to know our service area. Again, there's a variety of ways to make sure I increase those odds that you'll remember I'm in the general Cincinnati area:
1. Blog topic choice. Once upon a time I wrote a LOT of local events and info posts. But back then I was writing 10-14 posts a week and now that I'm down to a post a day, chances are my blog topic is going to be more purely real estate over local interest. However, Rainers that have a heavy proportion of local info posts are going to be top of mind for me when I need to make a referral, or when I'm cruising a Facebook group and someone asks for a referral for a certain area and I can recommend someone (did it this morning, hopefully it leads to something for the best agent I know in the upper north of Maine).
2. Geographic identification. In your comment tag, profile, blog signature block, etc. Edit your profile and blog signature as needed to make sure you're leaving the geographic bread crumbs to be found. We include a service area map in our signature block to make it easier to associate us with our area.
3. Participate in the community. Comment heavily on blog posts, answer Q&A, write the occasional post that is meant to engage the ActiveRain community.
4. Build up your audience. Blog regularly. We've been here a long time and we've topped 3,000 followers (now how many of them are ACTIVE members of the community and actually read what we post...that's a far lesser number!). But the reality is that if we post, we know we have a core group likely to see what we write. And if I'm doing my job and keeping WHERE we work out in front, the odds are better that group will remember us when they have a referral opportunity.
5. Don't be a jackass. I've got a mental list of who I'll refer to, and another mental list of "when Hell freezes over". It's NOT the differences in opinions that will kill your business, it's how you go about expressing them that'll pull the rug out from under you. My thought? Your judgement in this community, on Facebook, etc. are a solid indicator of how you handle your real estate business. If you're a bull in a china shop, I'm choosing another agent.
6. Demonstrate your knowledge and skills. Show me you know how to present a listing. Tell me how you've helped buyers. Give me a feel for how you do business. If I don't know you that well, I'm going to read through your blog roll and see what it tells me.
7. Climb the leaderboard. Gaining ranking may be the ticket to getting noticed.
Now even doing all of this, gaining a referral may be a long shot, especially if you live in a smaller area. So optimize the things you can, but don't lose focus on the most likely people to find your posts and hire you: home buyers and sellers.
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz