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01.12.2015 Sharon Spano, Ph.D.

Realtors Beware: You Can’t Hunt from the Cave!

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is, “You Can’t Hunt from the Cave.”

What this means is that he gets up every morning with the intent of generating more business. Then, no matter what the market is doing, he goes out and gets it.

A “hunter” knows what he’s hunting for, and he has a systematized plan and the right tools to gain the prize. More, importantly, he knows he has to leave the cave to earn that prize.

I’m talking about a systematized approach to prospecting and marketing. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather spend the time and energy on delivering direct products or services.

This is particularly true if you’re a real estate professional. If you’re busy with listing appointments, showings, and closings, it’s easy to tell yourself you don’t have time or the need to prospect or market.

Be intentional in how you hunt outside the cave, and you’ll increase your business in record time.

Top produces understand the importance of having multiple systems. Consider the value of daily activities in at least three major areas:

  1. What is Your Prospecting Strategy?
    Beyond the obvious earning and farming targets for 2015, you need to have a strategy for prospecting. Top producers understand this. Below average realtors wait in the cave hoping that business will stumble in the door.
    Your prospecting strategy shouldn’t be hit or miss. It should align with your earning goals. You’ll want to clearly define your daily prospecting activities, set aside time to do them, and make it happen.

    Realtors who fail to generate a substantial income often do so because they lack a prospecting system; they work hard each day and hope that the business will fall their way.

    Imagine a cave man telling his family, “I don’t think I’ll hunt today. I’ll just stay inside and stoke the fire hoping a bear will walk in.

    The point is to make prospecting part of your daily ritual. You can always adjust your schedule as needed, but if you make a commitment to a systemized process, you’ll magically meet that target a majority of the time.

    Sales is a numbers game. How are you generating leads? How many prospecting calls are you making each day and week? What is your system for keeping in touch with former clients?

    These are few of the questions that most realtors are aware of, but for whatever reason, often fail to do on a consistent basis.

    More importantly, your prospecting strategy should include a clear understanding of your ideal client. If any client will do, chances are you’ll find yourself running in circles working with a lot of painful people in the wrong price range.

    Spend some time writing down the characteristics of your ideal client. This kind of focus will help you achieve your prospecting goals with less pain. You’ll alleviate the stress, hit the tipping point of success, and your work will start to fill more like fun than drudgery.

  2. What is Your Brand Recognition Strategy?
    It’s important to have personal brand recognition. This component is not up to your broker. It’s up to YOU. Brand recognition allows you to build your data base and therefore your opportunities for repeat business.
    Many realtors fail to understand that you have brand recognition whether you realize it or not. This recognition stems from your clients’ experience of you and how you do business.

    Prospective clients need to know what you stand for and what differentiates you from the other guy. Doesn’t it make sense,then, to be more intentional in how you market your brand?

    What is your personal brand? What is your process for marketing that brand? What is your brand promise to your clients?

    If you’re new in the business, it’s particularly difficult to think about spending dollars on marketing yourself if you’re not yet earning much income. If you don’t market your own brand, however, you’ll never meet your financial goals.

    Here’s the rule: Start small. Think about the least expensive marketing you can do. For many realtors, it’s card mail outs. For others, it’s an ad in the local magazine. Maybe it’s more cost effective to start out attending local chamber meetings to meet key players in your farm area.

    Whatever it is, you need to have a strategy for being visible in the community where you’re trying to gain personal brand recognition. Once your business grows, you can move into bigger and better marketing options.

  3. What is Your Sales Marketing Strategy?
    Many real estate professionals get overwhelmed by marketing because they think that all marketing is equal. It’s not. You’re strategy for brand recognition should be different from your strategy for actual sales.
    Your sales marketing strategy should answer the question of how you’re going to translate your listings into sales. A listing is a promise to the seller. The #1 reason realtors are mistrusted is because they take a listing and then fail to get the home sold.

    Every time you lose a listing, you diminish your credibility in the marketplace. Isn’t it worth it, then, to do everything humanly possible to sell that home?

    Here again, think about your daily activities. Are you hosting Broker Opens? Open Houses? Ads in local or national publications? Consistently accessing social media sites?

    Are you tracking website hits specific to the property? Number of showings? Ask yourself what can you do more, better, or differently to market the property beyond the obvious. How can you differentiate yourself from other professionals in the field?

Bottom line. You want to consistently fill your pipeline, brand yourself as a top producing real estate professional, and honor your promises to your client.

Take the time to develop a three-part strategy in this areas, and watch your business soar!

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. January 12, 2015