Prospecting is one of the hardest and tedious parts of a real estate agent's job under normal circumstances. Now that the pandemic has created a lack of community events as a real estate agent, you have to be more creative in building relationships with your community and sourcing prospects.
Here are six ways to revitalize your real estate prospecting strategies while the market recovers.
Promote Yourself as a Neighborhood Expert
Now that many companies have decided to let some of their employees permanently work from home, there are a ton of buyers looking to trade in their tiny, inner-city apartments for suburban houses.
Since most of these workers will have limited knowledge of the cities they're considering relocating to, and many won't want to give up all of the amenities of city life, they'll be doing a bunch of research to find a location that fits their ideal lifestyle.
As a real estate agent, you can capture these prospects by promoting yourself as a neighborhood expert capable of providing an accurate picture of what it's like to live in a particular area.
Here are a few ways you to get started:
- Share photos and stories of local traditions and landmarks
- Write about all of the cool things to do in the suburban areas you serve
- Offer virtual or in-person tours of the most endearing parts of the city
Positioning yourself as a local expert will not only help you attract real estate prospects that are relocating but it can also make your listings more attractive to buyers.
Be an Active and Helpful Member of Online Community Groups
Since the pandemic began, people have resorted to online activities to communicate with their friends and family. Even as counties reopen, people may still be wary of in-person events and will continue to use online platforms to stay in touch with their communities.
To engage with prospects where they're at, be an active member of your community's most popular online groups. While you should engage with posts related to real estate, look for other opportunities to be helpful, including spreading awareness about topics like:
- Lost pets
- Garage sales
- Raising funds for members of your community who are going through a tough time
People will remember that you helped them and are more likely to reach out to you when they need real estate services or refer you to potential prospects that they know.
Stay In-Touch with Old Clients
Referrals are often the highest quality prospects you can get. Since they're actively looking to buy and/or sell a property and already have a good impression of you from the person who referred them, turning them into happy clients tends to be easier than cold leads.
The challenge, however, is getting a reliable flow of referrals so you can depend on them to generate a meaningful part of your income.
The process for getting consistent referrals is simple but often time-consuming. You never know when a former client will know someone who needs real estate services. Maintaining strong relationships with them will help them think of you when someone in their network needs a real estate agent.
To ensure you stay in touch with everyone, you need to leverage a contact management system that includes follow-up reminders set based on meaningful events such as anniversaries, birthdays, etc. or, if that information is unknown, based on time passed since your last interaction.
Getting a system like this set up can be tedious, but it will make generating referrals almost effortless once it's up and running.
Don't know where to get started? Check out our article:
Create Resources for First Time Home Buyers
For most first time home buyers, entering the real estate market is stressful and confusing. If you're the one who answers their questions and alleviates their concerns, you're likely to get their business.
Since most new buyers are young and tech-savvy, they're far more likely to seek information online instead of in-person, which means the pandemic hasn't had a significant impact on their searching behaviors.
Here are some strategies to reach these prospects:
- Create webinars and video series that discuss all the things that new buyers need to know
- Offer to answer real estate questions on social media
- Share Instagram and TikTok posts of clients who you've helped find their first home
Popular platforms vary slightly based on geography and income level, so make sure you're sharing your resources on the platforms your audience uses most often.
Short on time? Check out the article Real Estate Agents: Here's How to Time Block Your Schedule
Run Co-Promotions with Local Businesses
Local businesses play a crucial role in where people decide to live. Some are such an integral part of the community that they convince many of their customers to stay in the area even when they choose to move. Others offer amenities that draw in newcomers.
During this era, where many small businesses are struggling to deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic, they need all of the marketing support they can get. As a well-connected real estate agent, your support can make a world of difference.
In addition to helping you preserve some of the most vibrant elements of the communities you serve, your local businesses' favor helps build a positive reputation among their clients.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Help a local restaurant promote a new deal or menu item
- Make an arrangement where customers can get a discount for mentioning your name
- Create co-branded advertisements to show people that you're a supporter of the small business community
This real estate prospecting strategy can be effective with a wide variety of activities. Instead of limiting yourself to a couple of options, reach out to several businesses in your area and ask them the best way for you to help. Offering this kind of genuine support will yield much better results in terms of content and relationships than convincing local owners to adopt your campaign idea.
Help Sellers Prepare Their Homes
While many potential sellers have put their plans on hold to wait out the uncertainty, they have invested in home improvements, so they're ready to sell when the time is right.
You can engage with these prospects by creating content that teaches sellers what kinds of home improvement projects contribute to the house's market value.
Since buyers' trends vary based on geography, it's challenging for many soon to be sellers to figure out precisely what they should be doing to make their house more attractive. As an agent, you have a keen understanding of your local real estate market and can provide advice that helps sellers prepare their homes for top bids. If they found your content valuable, they'll likely enlist you to help sell their house.
Ultimately, the key to generating a steady flow of real estate prospects during this dynamic time is being as helpful as possible to as many members of your community as possible. This will help you build a strong reputation where people trust you to act with their best interests in mind.
About the Author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.