Think your pipeline is empty? Feeling discouraged about the dreary housing market? Think buyers are scarcer than snow in July?
Guess again, my friends. Your pipeline is full. In fact it is so chock full of buyers (and sellers) right now you have no idea how much you can grow your business!
How am I so sure about this? Let me explain.
Over the past five years I added approximately $12.5m in sales to my bottom line by using a very simple technique that was so successful it has resulted in my cutting ties with my broker at the start of 2009 and launching my own real estate company.
Here's how I did it:
- My first client was a guy I met in a park (my then 4 year-old struck up a conversation with his daughter) (two transactions totaling $363K)
- I sold a house to the cashier at Ace Hardware ($302K)
- I sold a house to the salesgirl at Pottery Barn ($430K)
- I sold a house to the part-timer working at my son's after-school program ($195K)
- I sold a house to the photographer who took the photo for my business card ($145K)
- I sold a house to a guy I met at my son's after school program ($179,900)
- I sold a house to the guy who installed the siding on my house (he bought two properties!) ($600K)
- I sold a house to a guy I met in Paris 20 years prior for not more than 10 seconds and never saw again until he moved from MN to WI ($415K)
- I listed the parents' house of a girl who had played with my older siblings 30+ years ago when I was growing up, who lived out of state, and whom I had never met until she was referred to me by a neighbor ($257K)
- I listed a flat-fee MLS listing that I had showed (the owner's Mom and my Mom were friends years ago) and several more listings and sales of unrelated properties over a period of two years (total $2.3m)
- My biggest client turned out to be a guy my then 5 year-old met as a result of petting his dog while waiting in line for an ice cream cone (multiple transactions & referrals for Madison real estate over nearly five years totaling $7.12m)
What is the point here? It's that absolutely none of the above business came from my broker whatsoever (in fact, in five years I can count on one hand the number of referrals I got from my broker) and none of it came from direct marketing (in fact I have never done a direct mailing piece in my entire real estate career). All of it came from talking to people and handing out my business card (although most of the time I didn't even offer it unless they asked for it).
So the point is that if you think you don't have any good prospects, my friends, think again! All of the above business came completely naturally as a result of simply interacting with people who came into my life in very normal, mundane ways. As a result of all this extra business I've been in the top few percent of all Realtors in the South Central WI MLS every year for the past five years!
I currently have listed a very cute East Side bungalow belonging to my massage therapist ($150K) and am working on my AT&T customer service rep, three tellers at my bank, an old high school acquaintance, the receptionist at a local title company, and my sign designer! I'd probably have a lot more going on right now but I stopped talking to people for about two months while I was busy working on my new Madison real estate website!
So in these challenging times, folks, stay positive, believe in the value of your services, and don't underestimate how many people you already come into contact with on a regular basis who WILL turn into paying clients if you keep engaging them in an interested, genuine way!
In fact, whether you are feeling discouraged or not, whether you feel your pipeline is full or not, whether or not you're excited about the 2009 housing market, I challenge every single person reading this blog post to go out and ask every single person that you come into contact with on a regular basis for their business. And keep doing it, even if they're not interested at first. Then report back here how your business has grown.
It might take awhile, so go ahead and bookmark this page so you can find it when you're ready to report back later!
I also welcome hearing from anyone who has already bought or listed a property on behalf of someone they met just going about their daily business like the examples I've shown above.
Thanks in advance everybody - I look forward to reading your success stories!
P.S. Guess what I found when I was helping my seller stage his house the other day? A fridge magnet from the agent who sold him the house!! That is the power of talking to people, folks (I've been talking to this seller on and off about his house for the last two years) rather than relying on marketing gimmicks.