Sometimes, you are your own best competition when it comes to getting the business of potential clients.
Sometimes, you are your own best competition when it comes to getting the business of potential clients. You may think you have an active presence in your local or even your online community, while in actuality you may be absent from the radars of many potential customers.
So put yourself in the layperson’s shoes and imagine what you might do to find an agent or broker without significant prior knowledge. According to Realtor.com, people look for agents in a variety of ways.
The power of referral
Never underestimate the influence that positive client relations can have not only on those relationships themselves but also on the relationships you forge with future clients. According to the National Association of REALTORS, the majority of first-time buyers find their chosen agents through a friend.
Two-thirds of first-time buyers only contacted one agent before moving forward, which means that if you aren’t someone’s first option, the odds are that they’ll never come to you at all. On the upside, you can look back on many of your first-time clients and realize that you were probably their first choice.
However, with so few people shopping around for real estate agents, it is imperative that you have a good referral network so that you can snag potential clients from the get-go. The knowledge that many people choose not to shop around can also encourage you to provide the best experience possible to a client, so that they will never think of looking anywhere else and you will stand out to them as a wonderful first-time experience that they are more likely to recommend to friends and family.
The internet is a formidable beast, as it comprises everything from social media to Google itself. It is important to have a solid presence on major social media outlets, but one of the best things you can do for your business is to make sure that you have a Google presence.
This means making sure that your hours are posted and that you have profiles on one or more reviewing sites, such as Yelp. Your Google listing should include your address and a working phone number, one that is likely to be answered during all business hours. Uploading pictures of your business is also a plus, especially for people who want to place your business in the context of the local neighborhoods.
Trial, error, and chance
Many people also find agents on a more chance basis. For example, some attend open houses to see if they hit it off with the attending agent or agents. Others simply keep their eyes open for agents’ signs posted in the neighborhoods where they live and work. These may not be the most effective vetting strategies, but it is all some people have.
As long as you are aware of this, you can put some effort into maintaining your local presence, and treating every open house not only as an opportunity to find buyers, but to find future clients of all varieties.
A stable presence in your community will ensure that you meet with a high percentage of those clients who are hoping to just “stumble upon” someone just like you.