In this week's episode, Jennifer talks about how to grow your real estate business, when tactics like door knocking and cold calling make you uncomfortable. She touches on the one strategy every realtor needs to have laser focus on and how to use that strategy to tap into the 3 business source buckets.
Hello hello Jen Percival here and welcome back to the Women rocking real estate podcast. This week we were supposed to be talking all things money, but unfortunately my guest had a sick child and we couldn’t record the episode. So the plan is to have that episode ready for you next week and based on the outline we came up with, it’s going to be super worthwhile to listen to, so I hope you’ll tune in.
Before we jump into today’s episode, a quick reminder that my upcoming free online marketing masterclass is opening for registration tomorrow morning.
If you’re wondering why some agents are having success with online marketing and you’re not or you don’t even know where to really start, then join me on this webinar where I’m going to teach you my 5 step formula for automating leads while you sleep, without breaking the bank or having to hire a tech person to do it for you. This class will be running the week of November the 4th and there will be 4 time slots to choose from. There will be limited spots for each class, so if you want in, make sure you sign up to be notified when registration opens. I’ll be letting those people in first and it’s possible it will fill up.
Alright ladies, let’s go ahead and jump into today’s episode. One of the most common questions I hear from women in real estate, is how do I grow a real estate business without using old school tactics like door knocking, cold calling, using canned scripts or bugging your friends and family for referrals. Trust me, I had the same question when I got started. Some of you have tried to use these tactics and just feel gross. I on the other hand knew from day one that I couldn’t door knock. You see I’d been there done that and I wasn’t going back.
One summer during University my Dad who Ive mentioned before was a big influence on my entrepreneurial journey, decided that I should get some experience in sales for my resume. He had always drilled it in to me that I should never have a career where I earned a regular salary. His philosophy for success was that I needed to work in a field that had no salary cap. He didn’t care what I did, but he didn’t want me trading time for money and he thought sales was the answer.
So I started looking for a sales job, but not many companies are too keen on hiring a 21 year with no sales experience, so the only job I could get was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. I feel like I’m going to throw up just thinking about it. I’m not sure there could be a worse sales job out there. I had to lug this vacuum cleaner that weighed more than I did, and go door to door with a cheesy sales script asking people if I could come inside their home to demonstrate the vacuum. Can you imagine? Not only was I serial killer bait, but It actually gets worse. Turns out the door knocking wasn’t the worst part of this sales job. The demonstration they wanted me to do, was to vacuum the homeowners bed to show them all the dust mites it was able to suck out. In case you didn’t know dust mites are bugs people. I had to vacuum bugs out of people’s beds for my job. Well after having about 20 doors slammed in my deflated face, I decided to ditch their stupid script and do it my way instead. You see the vacuum cleaner was actually really good and I believed in the product. So when the homeowners at the next house opened their door, I humbly explained that I had the worst summer job anyone could possibly have, but that I believed so strongly in the product, I was willing to do it because I thought it could actually help people with allergies. Lo and behold they let me in and ended up buying 2 vacuums. That was the start I needed and I ended up making a killing that summer.
Once I learned how to sell my own way, I realized I was actually pretty good at sales….but I was never going back to door knocking again. Fast forward to starting my real estate career - I knew from day one it wasn’t an option for me.
Here’s the thing with traditional sales tactics. Using them does work - for some people. But not for me and not for about 43% of other women. That’s almost half of women in real estate. I see new agents spending so much time trying to get some momentum going in their business with these tactics and because they’re not being true to themselves, it doesn’t work. All it accomplishes is reinforcing feelings of inadequacy and failure and hopelessness. In order to build a successful real estate business, you need to be authentic to yourself first. Do that and I promise sales will be the side effect.
So if you’re not comfortable using old school tactics, what do you do in place of them? This is the other trap I see agents fall into. They don’t like making 100 calls a day, so they either don’t do it and then feel guilty or they do it, but it’s so obvious to the people they’re calling that this is not their jam, so they don’t see much success anyway.
Starting today, stop doing things that make you feel gross. Stop doing things that make you feel unauthentic. It’s not working for you anyway and it’s damaging your self confidence in the process. So I give you permission to stop…. but you do need to replace those strategies with other stuff and that’s what we’re going to touch on today.
To reach your full potential as a real estate agent takes one laser sharp focus and that is to grow who you know.
Business is going to come to you from 3 different buckets: Bucket 1 - people you know, Bucket 2 - people they know and Bucket 3 people who don’t know you. In order to build a successful real estate career, you need to be growing who you know in all three of these buckets.
A lot of coaches will tell you to focus solely on working your sphere of influence - which is your friends and family and then to ask for referrals from those people to tap into the second bucket which is are the people they know.
But here’s the problem with this logic. Although, I obviously do recommend you tap into your sphere of influence - that should be a big part of your business, however, I’m very particular with HOW you do that. You need to be really careful because your relationships are the biggest asset you have. Damage them and it could put your entire real estate career in jeopardy.
I personally never discuss real estate with people I know, unless they bring it up first. Even then, I never ask them questions in an effort to fish for business. I answer their questions and I provide value wherever possible, but I don’t ask for business and I certainly don’t ask for referrals. In my opinion, referrals should be earned and not asked for. If you demonstrate that you’re a great realtor, trust me referrals will come. But when you ask for them, even subtly, you can make people feel uncomfortable. And when people feel uncomfortable, they will slowly start to avoid you. They may not do it consciously, but it will happen.
When you treat people as source of potential business, trust me they can feel it and that’s not being respectful. That’s essentially using people.
The other problem when you rely solely on your sphere of influence to build your business is two fold.
First of all, you have to know a pretty big sphere of people and in order to build any relative momentum, those people all need to be in a stage of life where they’re buying and selling homes AND all those people ideally need to be all buying and selling in a localized area.
Remember the life cycle of buying and selling real estate is usually a minimum of 5-7 years. That means you need to be creating an entirely new client base every single year, for 5-7 years before maybe getting a few repeat clients a year.
If you’re doing lots of deals, but they’re not localized, it’s not helping you build your empire. Never fall into the trap of thinking you’re doing well strictly based on your bottom line. Making money is one measure of success of course, but that’s not how you build a successful long term business.
If you’re not building momentum and a reputation as a well-known realtor in a specific community, you will be chasing new business your entire career, and that’s exhausting. Not only that, but when you’re working all over the place, no one knows that you’re a top producing agent. They’re not seeing your signs up around the neighbourhood and forming an opinion that they should be calling you, if they’re thinking about buying or selling. The more local you are, the better. When buyers and sellers are interviewing agents, one of the deciding factors they base their decision on, is whether the realtor specializes in their community.
So if you don’t specialize in an area, Your phone will never ring from anyone in that 3rd bucket. Your business will solely be based on your sphere of influence and how much they refer to you. You might be really well networked, but on its own, this old school approach simply doesn’t fly in today’s competitive market. The average person already knows at least 5 realtors that they could use themselves or refer someone to. And that means that to truly reach your potential AND make inroads as being at least one of the go-to agents in your area, you need to be working all three buckets. The people you know, the people they know and the people you don’t know that live or hope to live, where you work.
Ok just to recap where we’re at. If you don’t want to use traditional tactics to build your business you need to have a laser sharp focus to grow who you know. I recommend you aim to be meeting 1 new person every single day and I recommend you actually keep track of it. I created a custom annual planner for the ladies at my brokerage and it is our bible. When you’re consciously trying to grow who you know and you keep track of who you’re meeting, it changes how you interact with people. Here’s the key though, you can’t approach this with the intention of getting business from these people you’re meeting. No no no. You’re meeting people for the sake of meeting people. You’re making new friends for the sake of making new friends and that’s it. As soon as you change the intention to be for your future gain, the energy shifts and it doesn’t shift in your favour.
Ok so Once you’re regularly meeting new people, your goal is to provide value for them about anything and everything. I talked about this in one of my earlier podcasts. To sell soulfully, you need to shift your focus from getting to GIVING. It’s not about you or the services you provide - it’s about the other person and what’s important to THEM. It’s about serving and giving.
So what do you give? What makes a great salesperson great at sales, is that they are not focused on getting business. They focus only on creating VALUE for people and when they do that consistently, they create a spreading sphere of goodwill wherever they go. They become known as the go-to person.
So take some time to brainstorm all of the ways you can help people. Think about all of the ways you can provide value for people. Again, not related to real estate, but just related to life in general. Perhaps related to their kids or their aging parents or a business they’re starting up or a job they're looking for. The options are literally endless. Just get in the habit of trying to leave every interaction you have with people, having given some sort of value that they appreciated. I promise if you do this consistently, people will start contacting you when they need to buy or sell or are thinking of referring someone who is. You will naturally be one of the first people they think of.
Ok What about the third bucket of people? The ones we don’t know. How do we tap into that bucket without using traditional tactics?
First things first, the only time people who don’t know you, will hire you as their realtor, is if you meet three things. 1) you need to be actively buying and selling real estate in their community. 2) You need to be a well known brand name and 3) you have to have a great online reputation, with glowing reviews.
The next piece of the equation, is that regardless of which bucket potential clients fall into, they will only consider using you as their realtor if they know, like and trust you.
How do you get people in this 3rd bucket to know, like and trust you? One of the ways is to meet them online and this is where my 5-Step Formula for online marketing comes into play. In my 1 hour free masterclass I walk you through exactly what you need to be doing and why, so if you’re interested in learning more, sign up to be notified when registration opens. You can find the link at the top of my website at jenpercival.com.
Ok so we’re growing who we know by one person a day and we’re nurturing those relationships by creating value everywhere we can. Then you are going to implement my 5 step online marketing formula to tap into the 3rd bucket of people that don’t know you yet. The key here is that you’re always trying to build your business from all 3 buckets. When you ignore one and only rely on the others, your business will suffer. Make it a part of your overall strategy to be watching closely to see where your business is coming from and aim to keep it equal in the beginning. As my business became more established my ratio switched to 60/20/20. 60% of my business comes from my marketing, 20% from my network and 20% from referrals and the reason is pretty simple. I can’t control when or if people in my sphere are going to buy or sell real estate. But I can control being able to consistently generate leads online from people who are buying and selling.
So growing your online marketing business should be a huge priority as it will insulate you from having to rely on your network for business.
Alright ladies that brings us to the end of this week’s episode. As I said earlier next week we will be chatting about money mindset, best practices for money management, how to implement the profit first strategy and how to protect yourself financially. I hope you’ll tune in.
Don’t forget to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any future episodes and if you’ve got a burning question for me, you can submit a question on my website at jenpercival.com/askmeanything.
Remember the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.
Until next time!