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2. Engage With Your Community
Building relationships with people in the neighborhoods you want to work in is a great way to get your name out there. You can do this by volunteering at community events, donating gift baskets at charity auctions or even having giveaways to local businesses. The more people you can reach, the bigger potential client base you’ll have.
Eventually, if you do enough genuine outreach, people will come to know you and your services by name. And when it comes time to sell or buy a house , you’ll be the first one they think of.
3. Ask Existing Clients for Referrals
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 68% of people who used a real estate agent found that agent through their family or friends. That means your existing clients can play a huge role in getting you new customers.
As long as you provide excellent services throughout the transaction, your clients likely won’t need any prompting to recommend you to others. Still, it doesn’t hurt to offer a small financial incentive, such as a $25 gift card, for any client who brings you a successful referral, leaves a review of your services or posts on social media about how you helped them.
4. Create a Website
Did you know that 69% of real estate sales agents have their own website? If you don’t have one, you’ll be missing out on valuable web traffic, since 51% of home buyers use the internet to find the home they want to purchase, according to NAR .
The most common type of real estate website is an internet data exchange (IDX) site that automatically showcases all of your MLS listings. That way, you can promote your seller clients while also attracting new buyer clients. However, you can also have a more basic website that lists your specialties, affiliated brokerage, track record and a contact form.
Not sure where to start? Learn how to create a website .
5. Post On Social Media
Social media is another big tool for attracting clients. NAR estimates that 20% of its members get 1% to 5% of their business from social media, while 10% get 6% to 10%. You’ll want to have profiles on all of the major services, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
6. Specialize In a Niche
Your local area probably has dozens of run-of-the-mill real estate agents, but how many luxury real estate agents does it have? Or farm real estate agents? Chances are, fewer people specialize in areas such as these, meaning you’ll have less competition to fight against.
Once you pick a niche and advertise yourself as the local expert in that specific type of situation, you’ll become the go-to person in your region. Of course, building yourself up as an expert takes time. You’ll likely need to start blogging about your niche, partnering with brokers who already have experience in that niche or even sending mailers to people who fit your niche.
7. Try Cold Calling
No one likes cold calling, but sometimes, it can be a really valuable way to track down leads. In particular, it can help to curate for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers trying to list their homes by themselves or expired listings that never had any takers.
8. Host Open Houses
Open houses are often a realtor’s best friend because they give you the chance to network with interested home buyers. Many realtors include a sign-in sheet where house hunters can write their names, email addresses and phone numbers—which you can then use to get in touch with them later.
However, what if you don’t have a client who wants to host an open house? You may be able to ask another realtor if you can host an open house for them. Often, experienced realtors are busy and don’t have time for open houses, so they’ll appreciate the help.
9. Contribute to News Articles
If you really want to get your name out there as a knowledgeable agent, one way to do that is by contributing to news articles. By offering up your expertise and acting as a source for journalists, you can position yourself as an expert in your field. One place to get started with this is Help a Reporter Out (HARO) , which connects journalists with expert sources.
When people are reading an article where you’re quoted, they’ll turn to you if they have more questions or want help selling or buying . Being quoted in an article also gives you the chance for a backlink, which can improve the visibility of your website.
10. Offer Free Services
Everyone knows that selling a home is expensive , so do your best to assuage sellers’ apprehension by offering some free services. For example, if you include professional photography in your services, that can save the seller a few hundred dollars. Make sure you mention this in all of your advertising to help yourself stand out.
You should also be offering a free comparative market analysis to all clients—even before they sign on with you. Sure, it’s a little more work for you, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra and can make sellers more willing to partner with you.
11. Join a Real Estate Referral Network
Referrals aren’t just reserved for friends and family of past clients. You can also get them from plenty of other people and companies in the real estate field. For example, you might be able to form a partnership with these types of professionals:
- Mortgage brokers
Simply ask them if they’d be willing to recommend you to their clients. In turn, you can recommend them to your clients as they navigate the buying or selling process. It’s a win-win for both parties.
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Now that you know how to get clients in real estate, it’s time to get to work. Over time, clients may come to you, but when you’re first starting out, you have to come to clients. Do your best to advertise yourself online and in your local community, and you’ll start to build up a solid client base. Though it will take time and effort, eventually, you’ll find client-sourcing methods that work for you.