I know real estate agents can easily get overwhelmed with needing to grow their business. It’s not just that you have to market yourself – it’s that you have a thousand voices telling you how to do it. Most of the time, the voices seem like they are just telling you what you are doing wrong and adding more work to your plate!
Over my years of doing real estate, I’ve learned that marketing strategies are always evolving. Of course, there are times to learn and implement marketing tools, and I do. But one thing that hasn’t changed or evolved is the power of personal networking to grow real estate business. Regardless of what’s trending in the marketing world, personal networking is by far the most effective way to grow your business as a real estate agent.
But what if networking feels shady to you? Well, we are going to address that. First, let’s talk about the 3 networking pillars to invest in for a full pipeline and long career. Then, let’s address how to do this with the right mindset.
1.Sphere of Influence
The first pillar is your sphere of influence. If you’re first starting out as an agent, your sphere of influence is probably bigger than you realize. If you’ve been in the trenches for a little bit, your sphere has probably changed since when you first started. Wherever you are in your real estate career, it’s worth taking a moment to think about.
Familiarity helps create trust. People like working with people they are connected to, even if it’s just through a mutual friend. This is often called “second-hand trust.” If someone’s friend trusts you, they are more likely to as well.
So, who counts as being in your sphere of influence? Well, anyone you’ve had contact with! Here’s a list to get you going. Take a break now and make a list based on the following, or come back to it later. The goal is to write down everyone you have or do come in contact with.
Your sphere of influence:
- Former neighbors
- Volunteer organizations
- Former churches
- Former Classmates
- Former Colleagues
- Sports/Recreation team
- Former Sports/Recreation teams
- Friends from the gym
- Social Media Connections
- Local businesses or services you use, such as:
- Coffee Shop
- Hair Salon
- Car Mechanic
Once you have a good list, consider ways to consistently stay on these people’s radar. Perhaps you can do this on social media, through email marketing, or periodic phone calls.
2.Builders and Industry Referrals
Another prime area to get referrals is from others in the real estate industry. As a real estate agent, you come across a lot of people that are involved with building, remodeling, and preparing homes for sales and closings. For example:
Building good relationships with these folks can create opportunities for referrals. A lot of realtors are naturally engaging and great with people. What we aren’t always good at is making the ask. Don’t assume that your builder and industry connections know you are looking to represent new clients. Put yourself out there and let them know you’d love to help anyone they know who is looking to buy or sell a home.
3.The final pillar is business partner referrals. These are people who don’t directly work in the real estate industry, but are closely tied to it. For example:
- Financial planners
- Moving companies
- Roofing companies
- Landscaping companies
- Title Companies
- Any other business!
Networking with people in these spheres can also produce quality referrals. Use social media or email marketing to stay on people’s radars, and also be ready and willing to help your network if and when the opportunity comes. Remember that any business you interact with is an opportunity to make a connection.
The Right Mindset
Some real estate agents can get uncomfortable with networking. It feels slimy and salesy to them. If that’s you, a subtle mindshift can give you an entirely different perspective. Instead of thinking about what you are going to get from an interaction, think about what you can give. If you are a good real estate agent and believe in your services, connecting with people and putting yourself out there isn’t just about you building your business. It’s about serving people. People need to buy and sell homes, and they need a good agent to help guide them through the process. If you know you’ve got what it takes to do that, don’t shy away from networking, and when the situation calls for it, make a bold ask.