A real estate agent makes money by getting people to sell or buy houses with that agent. There are many companies that will sell leads to agents like Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia. In my experience, leads you pay for can lead to sales, but leads that you create on your own will be much more effective and generate more sales. A real estate agent’s circle of influence is how a real estate agent makes money. Some of you (like me) may not be the most outgoing people and have a large circle of influence. You can create systems to make your real estate business run smooth, and you can also create systems to meet more people and nurture existing relationships.
Is Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com a good source of leads?
I am a Zillow premier agent and that means I show up to buyers and sellers on Zillow when they are looking for a house or looking to sell their house. I used to be a Trulia agent and we have had experience with Realtor.com as well. In my opinion Zillow has been the best lead source so far. Zillow gives us less leads, but they are higher quality. Zillow is a little more expensive than some other sites, but I think it is worth it. I did have to wait a while before my area was available as well. It is not guaranteed that you will get on with Zillow right away.
Why is it so important to use you circle of influence as a real estate agent?
Most people like to do things that are comfortable to them. They like to hang out with people they know and do business with people they have already done business with. When someone has to do business with a person they have never met, there will always be a certain level of cautiousness until they trust the new person. For some people, it may take a day to trust someone new, for others it may take years. When real estate agents get new leads from their website, an open house or advertising; these leads are strangers. The leads will not trust the agent until they get to know them and will have no loyalty towards that agent.
If someone is looking to buy a house or sell a house and they know their agent on a personal level, they are going to trust that person and have a sense of loyalty towards that agent. There is a better chance personal relationships will end in a sale for a real estate agent over a brand new lead. The best way for agents to make a lot of money is to increase the people they know and nurture great relationships. Not only will people want to use a real estate agent they know and care about, they will tell their friends and family to use that agent as well.
Tell everyone you know you are a real estate agent
You have heard this over and over and that is because it is important! Do not be scared that your friends, family or acquaintances will think you are trying to “sell” them by telling them you are a real estate agent. Most people are going to need a real estate agent at some point in their lives and you are providing a service to them. Is it better for the people you know to use you as an agent; someone who will act in their best interest and do an awesome job for them? Or is it better to let your friends and family use an agent who may or may not have any idea what they are doing? You are helping people by telling them you are a real estate agent and by selling houses for or to them.
If you have not talked to someone for a while and you are afraid it will sound like you called to tell them you are a real estate agent, then tell them something else first. Call to talk and catch up on your lives, I guarantee at some point the other person is going to ask what you are doing and how your life is going. This is the perfect chance to say you are going through a huge change in your life and just became a real estate agent. No need to sell anyone, just talk about what is going on in your life, and you will have succeeded in letting them know you are in the business.
How do you create a system to meet people and nurture relationships?
I have my team working with a training program called “The Core”. The training program is for lenders and real estate agents and is all about building relationships. The more relationships you have, the more sales you will have and the more money you will make. Once you sell enough houses, you can hire a team and they can start using systems to sell houses. Then you can drop your leads off to others and lessen your work load while making more money. It is a simple concept and it works great.
A system to create relationships has to be written and you have to be held accountable. The best way to do this is to have goals every week for different tasks. How many people are you going to call each week? How many people are you going to see in person? How many people are you going to have lunch, coffee or breakfast with? How many events or outings are you going to plan and invite people to?
Once you have goals for what you have to do to meet people and nurture relationships, you have to keep track of how you do. I don’t mean keeping track in your head of how many people you think you called last week. Every day you have to write how many people you called, how many people you saw, how many people you met with, etc. If you don’t meet your goals, you need to think of a way to punish yourself.
For more information on ways to generate leads, how much money real estate agents make and much more check out my book: How to Make it Big in Real Estate, From a Millionaire Agent available at Amazon as a 133 page E book or in PDF format here.
What are good punishments for not meeting your goals as a real estate agent?
If you decide to punish yourself by putting $10 in a jar that you can’t touch for 6 months, that is not much of a punishment. You need to do something that hurts and you do not want to have to do. Monetary punishments can work well, but many times we would rather lose a little money than make a few extra phone calls. Good punishments are things you will do anything you can to avoid. I can’t tell you what these things are because it is a personal thing for all of us. I think a good way to make yourself meet your goals is to make a bet with a co-worker or friend. The other person decides what the punishment is and they need to make sure it hurts.
How many people do you need to contact a week as a real estate agent?
The more people you talk to, the more leads you will get and the more money you will make. The amount of people you need to talk to is up to you, but it needs to be a lot! In a beginning program, you should call 50-75 people a week, go out to eat or have coffee with 5-10 people a week, meet face to face with 10- 20 people a week and have an event each week. When you start bringing in business and you can hire people to take care of leads, you need to increase how many people you meet and talk too.
What are events and why are they important?
An event can be a happy hour at a bar or restaurant, a dinner party at your house or a celebration at your office. The great thing about events is you meet a lot of people face to face and it takes care of many of your weekly requirements for contacting people. An event has to be hosted by and paid for by you, you can’t attend someone else’s event. People remember who hosted a party, not the guests that were there.
Events are a great way to build real relationships with people. Talking for five minutes on the phone is great, but it is not the same as spending an hour with someone in person. Events are a great way to build meaningful relationships and gain lifelong clients.
Who do you call every week as a real estate agent?
There are many people you can call each week to keep in touch.
- Family: close and extended, long lost cousins, in laws, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts etc.
- Friends: close friends, friends you lost touch with, school mates, Facebook is great for this
- Co-workers: people you work with now or have worked with in the past
- Business partners: bakers, lawyers, accountants, dry cleaning, pet grooming, title companies, other real estate agents, property managers, whoever you do business with
- Clients: people you work with now or have worked with in the past
Calling people and meeting with people is one of the hardest parts of the job, but the most important. The more you do it, the easier it will be and the more money you will make. Create a system to make yourself contact people and it will be the best money you ever spent. Do this before you spend money on a website, advertising or lead generation tools.
If you are thinking of becoming a real estate agent, here is a great article on how much money you will need to save.