Those of us in the real estate profession have chosen the field for differing reasons: For some of us, it may be we like the competitive nature. Some entered the field because we like helping families with major life decisions and still others followed family members into the business.
But for all of us, the bottom line is we do it to make a living. And, the cornerstone to not just making a living but making a very good one in real estate is prospecting. So today, let’s review a few of the best practices for prospecting that ensure you work smart – not merely hard – and so you can reach your goals.
• Scheduling. This sounds so simple but it’s impossible to overplay the importance of setting a firm schedule for prospecting and sticking to it. You can’t treat prospecting like an occurrence that happens some days and doesn’t happen on others: Prospecting is the lifeblood of the industry and only by creating and following a schedule and system for it will you succeed. Most top brokers suggest establishing your call time in the morning, as you are fresh, and you leave the rest of the day open for return calls. Use a database for tracking your calls, and you don’t have to be fancy – Excel works just fine – as long as you include relevant information for every person you meet.
• Preparation. Many agents, particularly new ones, dislike prospecting calls because they don’t feel knowledgeable and prepared, but there’s an easy fix for that. As you wrap up one business day, get set for the next by pulling together a list of your next 200 prospects. When you commence the next day, your call list will be in front of you and you won’t waste time scrambling for leads. Second, and at least as important, is script practice. There’s nothing like being wholly comfortable with what you are going to say to prep you for cold calls, so practice with fellow agents or even call family members and friends for role play to acquaint you with common questions and rejections.
• Build partnerships. No man (or woman) is an island, so don’t try to find prospects all by yourself. Forge partnerships with vendors and professionals in the local market. Plumbers, home inspectors, contractors, title attorneys – you are all looking for the same type of customers but approaching from different angles. Create a master list of vendors and check in with them every week or so to refer business and ask them for prospects.
Finally, don’t think of prospecting as drudgery. As important as any other tool or technique is the need to enjoy yourself. This may be as simple as ringing a bell every time you set an appointment or finding some way to reward yourself for incremental successes. No matter how long your real estate career is, one surety is that you will continue to prospect so finding systems and learning to enjoy it early in your career is a necessity.