Updated: Jan 29
A lot of real estate associates who have just started their real estate career have no idea how to get customers. They may want to go into real estate because it is their passion, or they may just want to make a career switch. A real estate career does not guarantee that you will make a lot of money. Real estate is a service business. Real estate agents use their knowledge, time, and effort to help their customers. They share the customer’s worries and burdens and help them to solve their problems. The goal in helping people to buy, sell and invest in the real estate properties is to facilitate the transaction and make it easy and effortless. Real estate agents need to study and improve themselves continually. It is a lifetime learning career. If you are a new real estate sale associate you may not have a clue on how to get customers. Here are some simple ways you can generate new customers.
1. Work within your spheres.
When you just become a real estate sales associate, you should start by reaching out to the people who you already know. Work with the people who are on your contact list. Email them, text them or call them to let them know that you are in the real estate business, that you are extremely excited to be a real estate agent and that you are ready to help them if they need any real estate service. When I became a real estate agent, my first customer was my best friend. It was a recession time. I did not know anything about real estate investment because I had just become a new agent. I sensed that the real estate market would soon start to recover and that it was a great time to invest. Later my intuition proved to be right. My friend has steady rental income form the property she purchased, and it has also doubled in value over time. At the beginning, she was hesitant to invest and constantly asked me if the market will recover. I just honestly told her that I could not predict the future, but I felt that it was a good time to invest. When you become a new sales associate, you need to learn a lot of things. Be honest and work with your customers and always tell your customers the truth. When they ask you how long you have been a real estate agent and how much experience you have, you just honestly tell them that, even though you do not have too much experience, your broker and your real estate organization will work with you to facilitate the transaction.
2. Cross field referrals.
You can refer work to insurance, mortgage, engineering, and real estate development companies and they can in turn refer customers to you. Just like you, insurance and mortgage companies are always looking for new customers to help. If you are just starting your career it is better to concentrate on building a relationship with just a few insurance and mortgage companies and then ask them for referrals. Real estate development companies always work with real estate agents to monitor the current trends in the real estate market. Based on their research, they know where and what type of new developments should be built. You can start by sending research to these companies and asking if you can help them buy and sell their properties in the future. You may be able to work as their on-site real estate representative on one of their projects. Some big real estate companies only work on commercial properties. You can ask them for referrals as well. Some non-real estate companies, such as engineering, medical, finance or high-tech companies, relocate their employees all the time as they expand their business. There are always great opportunities to work with these companies and help their employees in connection with these relocations.
3. Develop new relationships.
Working within your sphere and seeking cross referrals may bring limited success when you just become a new real estate agent. You also need to constantly work on developing new relationships. You can meet people who share your hobbies and get involved in a few organizations that interest you. You can also get involved in a community service or charitable organization. It is good to spend your time in activities that you enjoy and causes that are important to you. You can also develop new relationships with people in these organizations who care about the same things that you care about. For example, if you love photography, join a photography club to improve your photography skills while you make new friends who share your interest in photography. These people, and their families or friends, may need your help with a real estate matter in the future. If you like exercise, join an exercise club, these people may be your future customers too. I wanted to improve my public speaking skills, so I joined a toastmaster’s club. I have made many dear friends in the club, have improved my communication skills, and have also developed my real estate career through my relationships at this club. Steve Jobs made a famous statement: Do what you love. Real estate is the same. Do what you love and participate in activities and clubs to sharpen your skills and develop new relationships and new customers.
You hear all time about networking when you are in the real estate area. The word networking has two meanings. One meaning of networking refers to the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional and social contacts. The second meaning is the linking of computers to allow them to operate interactively. Both types of networking help you in developing your real estate career. There are a lot of organizations that help real estate agents increase their knowledge and develop customers. For example, National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP), Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Commercial Real Estate Women Network (Crew), Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) etc.; these organizations have a lot of professional experts who have extensive knowledge and years and years of experience in the real estate area. These experts can be a great resource for you as you learn more about the real estate business and build relationships with leaders in the industry. As for computer networking, there are also a lot of commercial companies, such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtors, Hotpad, LoopNet, Costar group etc. These companies work in conjunction with local real estate organizations to help real estate agents to advertise their listings and qualifications and obtain new customers.
A real estate career requires life-long learning in a constantly changing business. The real estate market trends and needs are influenced by new technologies and economic and political changes. Keep increasing your knowledge and never give up on building your relationships if you chose a career in the real estate. Working within your spheres, developing cross field referrals and new relationships and networking are simple ways to help you to develop your new career and increase your customers.