While I'd love to take all the credit for what I write, I must give credit where credit is due for the divine inspiration.
Over the years, I've had many teachers, coaches, and mentors who have contributed to my personal growth.
One of them is Jay Abraham.
And while I've never met Jay in person, I consider him to be a great friend.
I shared a quote from Jay on the epigraph page and the Day #1 email.
In case you missed it, here it is again:
"Those who have done it have a responsibility to teach it".
That one single quote changed my life and launched what I refer to as the R.A.R.E. Agent movement.
When I realized the tremendous impact I could have on real estate agents by sharing my own personal experiences, including decades of bumps, bruises, failures, and successes...my remaining life mission became clearly defined.
Recently, I began answering questions on the Quora website. If you've never heard of Quora, you should check it out.
It's is the world’s largest Q&A database.
You can literally ask any question you want, and your question will be directed to people who are qualified to answer.
Imagine always being able to ask an expert in the field you are interested in (as opposed to asking the opinions of your Facebook followers).
I was recently asked the following question: “How would a real estate agent stand out in a town with hundreds of other established agents?"
Here is the answer I posted on Quora:
This, my friend, is the most important question in the real estate business.
First of all, you can’t buy an easy button at Staples to make this happen. And if there was a simple answer to your question, everyone would jump into the business overnight.
With that preface, let me be honest with you. While it is possible to sell a few homes, list a few homes, and cash a few commission checks in the first few months of being in the business, being a Realtor is a full-time job that requires a long-term commitment to indeed be successful.
Breaking into a geographical territory where an established group of agents has a stronghold position is possible...but it will take a lot of work on your part. And unless you are willing to invest hundreds (actually thousands) of dollars into lead generation and lead referral programs, it will take some time.
The existing group of agents in your chosen territory has most likely been there for a while. They have made names for themselves. They have built a sphere of influence who refer them to their friends and neighbors.
They've paid their dues.
Your goal is not just to become another one of them, but also to push them out of the way and one day be preferred over them.
Yes, the business can be brutal.
Here are some tactical things you can do:
1) BE VISIBLE. Join network groups. Attend community functions. Participate in school activities and mingle with parents. Take walks in your neighborhood and introduce yourself. Walk your dog. Say hello to everyone you meet.
2) HOLD OPEN HOUSES. This one is critical and absolutely non-negotiable. You need to hold open houses every single weekend… (unless you are busy showing homes to buyers). Holding a house open will put you smack in front of potential buyers. You'll need to master specific dialog skills to extract people’s names and contact information for your CRM, but if you do this every week, you will soon be working with new buyers. (RARE Tip: If you do not have a listing to hold open, consult with your Broker for opportunities in your office).
3) BUILD VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS. You are going to need the services of other professionals to do your job at a high level. You'll need multiple lender relationships, home inspectors, handymen, plumbers, electricians, roofers, painters, carpet and tile cleaners. Make a long list of vendors who serve your targeted area which you want to be your “preferred vendors” and invite them to Starbucks for coffee (on you). DO NOT ask them to refer their friends to you. INSTEAD, ask them how you can best refer people to them. Your goal is to leverage the law of reciprocity, which by human nature will cause people to bend over backward and pay you back for the referral you provided them by providing a referral to you in return.
4) CO-MARKETING. This one takes some people skills, but the payoff can be huge. The tactic is to approach other businesses in your community to partner with you on postcard mailings to local residents. You will both benefit, so offer to split the cost. You get to market your message to the community, and they get to tag along with a coupon promotion. This happens all the time…just look through your mail this week, and the examples of others doing it will jump out at you. Now it’s your turn to do the same.
5) APPROACH FSBOS. Knock on doors of homes that are "For Sale by Owner". Tell them that you are working to build your business in the local community and are willing to work with them and a reduced fee for the opportunity to list and promote their home. While I am not usually a fan of reducing commission, these sellers are not actively listed with an agent, and you need a listing. So, don't get greedy...just get the listing. As your skills improve and you get a few closings under your belt, you can promote your experience as an alternative to reducing your fees. Note: Review this strategy with your Broker.
6) AVOID BEING TOO “SALESY”. This is hard for salespeople. But the truth is, people do not like to be sold. Instead, people want to feel like they made a wise decision on their own by choosing to work with you. If you want to break into a residential community where there are dozens of other established agents, you'll need to be ready to answer the question, “Why should I work with you?” And you will need to answer it better than your competitors.
There are dozens of lead generation strategies and tactics, but these are my "Top 6" when breaking into a new territory and standing out like a unicorn amongst a wild herd of thoroughbred competitors.