The estimate is that there are about two million real estate agents (2018) in America. The market has bounced back since the crash of 2008. It has bounced back solidly with the number of housing development, reaching nearly 139 million in 2018. But property brokers, agents, and business owners must remain cautious and note the real estate guides and trends to expand their customer base. So, how can they expand their customer base to maintain stable earnings? Here are a few ideas to consider to help you strategize on how to grow your customer base.
Two million. That’s a pretty crowded market. If your pipeline of potential customers isn’t being replenished regularly, you might find yourself suddenly in a slump. If you’re still considered as “just” an agent, you might want to transition to becoming a realtor officially. Yes! While used almost interchangeably, there is quite a distinction between being an agent and a realtor. Realtors need to become a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pay annual fees, and abide by a specific code of ethics.
Chances are if your business card reads “Realtor,” your customers will feel a bit more confident.
Strategies for Expansion
So, maybe you’ve hurdled the beefing-up-the-credibility aspect and have now become a realtor. You’re now ready to take on your competitor. Here are a few things to include in your strategy bag.
- Increase and sustain your pipeline. The act of brokering properties is still primarily sales work. And sales work depends heavily on a deep well of prospective customers. Never mind if they said “no” or “not interested” during the first encounter. Keep track of their details in an organized fashion. One way to increase your pool of prospects is to be deliberate in your networking efforts. One, you need to attend as many relevant events as possible, and two, target the people who can help you. The connection you seek isn’t to customers alone but also to people who can give you advice or share their insights. These people might end up giving you leads for your pipeline.
- Understand and maximize technology. Filling out a form, submitting it, and waiting for a response are traditional processes that take a lot of time, which render the customer experience not very satisfying. Make sure that you can understand and maximize technology when processing deals. For example, using a tablet with customized apps is now the trend in processing documents in businesses, such as the insurance industry or the hospital industry. Similarly, time management is critical for brokers. An app like Trello helps brokers better manage their time and focus on priority tasks.
- Connect with your leads. Remember the “no” prospects? They’re in your CRM tool. Make sure that you follow up with them through email or a private message. Re-establish rapport by reminding them how you met and asking how they are doing. Segue slowly into discussing the latest in your offerings or better yet ask if they would be interested in joining you for a field visit any time they’re free.
- You need help. As your pipeline grows, so will the need to meet potential customers. You can’t handle all the administrative and logistics requirements of such an operation, from booking a restaurant for a meeting to finalizing proposals. Get an assistant to share the burden. Doing this will make you more efficient.
You need to continue seeking referrals. You need to maximize your social media presence. This list could be longer, but these four points with added research on your part should yield favorable results in expanding your customer base.