“I can’t get any clients because I have no experience, but I can’t get experience until I have clients. Help!!!” If you have ever said this, then this post is for you.
I want you to become a success in real estate, and my guess is that you want the same thing but are feeling stuck. I am glad you found today’s tip and hope that it helps. One of the major hurdles new agents face is the Catch 22 of not having enough experience to attract clients, and no clients to work with to gain experience. I have seen this quandary cripple new agents and stunt their career before it even had a chance at success. The simple habit in this post will show you how to fake it until you make it, and be on your way to becoming an expert in your chosen market.
GOAL: To become an expert in your chosen market.
The real estate market is flooded with agents, most of whom are doomed to fail. Making sure this doesn’t happen to you is not a one step simple solution, and there are no quick fixes. You need to build and work on your business, not in your business. I promise you that if you read and follow the method in this post, your business will get a kick start and you will begin to get unstuck. What I don’t promise you is that you will magically have a wildly successful business by reading this post. Selling real estate is a career, not a get rich quick scheme, so let’s get real, and let’s get to work.
I WANTED TO BE LIKE HER – How it all began…
The ink was barely dry on my license and I was out looking at condos for myself. I was met at one of the units by the listing agent. I arrived a few minutes early and was nervously waiting in the lobby, brand new, knowing nothing, and feeling like a little girl playing dress up. A woman walked in, and despite not knowing what she looked like, I immediately knew it was her. She had a rock star quality. She was dressed to perfection, full of confidence, and when she entered the room, she smiled at everyone, and they all knew her by name. She made eye contact and polite small talk with the doorman and desk staff. They pointed her in my direction, and without skipping a beat, she came over to me with a giant smile and an outstretched hand. I stood up and followed her in awe as she led the way. I trusted her instantly. We toured the unit and she answered all of my questions. She knew details about the unit and building that I hadn’t even known to ask about. That unit wasn’t the right fit, but based on our conversations, she knew of two others that I might want to see, and offered to take me to see them.
In the short time I got to spend with her, I noticed the following:
1.The door man knew her name in every building. They chatted and joked and seemed to have a friendly relationship.
2. She knew all of the inventory in her area.
3. The listing agents all knew who she was and held her in high regard.
4. She knew all of the buildings and the amenities and even the layouts of most of the units, including square footage.
5. She was an expert in her chosen market and clients flocked to her by word of mouth.
6. Most importantly, I noticed that I wanted to be just like her.
Just like you and me, she started knowing nothing and not even having a single client. So, how did she achieve expert status? I asked, and she told. She faked it till she made it!
HER BIG SECRET? – Preview properties. Every day!
This is a simple and free habit to get into that will kick start your business and get you out from behind that computer and into the world every day. It is easy, pressure free and fun and it will energize your business and start you on the path to becoming an expert in your market.
CREATE YOUR OWN PLAN:
1. Identify the target area you will become an expert in. Think about where you want to do business. Consider where you work, live, shop, socialize. Maybe it’s an area that you are unfamiliar with but you have a dream of building your business there.
2. Set up a hotsheet for your target area. In my market, the MLS has a hotsheet option where I can plug in criteria that will trigger a daily update of all activity in my chosen market. Look into your MLS to see if they offer something similar. If not, make it a habit to do a manual search every morning.
3. Grab your coffee and begin each morning with your hotsheet. Become aware of new listings as well as what went pending, what settled, and what came back on the market.
4. Schedule previews on all new listings, as well as any back on the market that you haven’t yet seen. Be considerate and only preview vacant properties as to not inconvenience sellers or listing agents. If there is an occupied property you really want to see, ask the agent if there is an open house or another showing you can piggy back on. Be honest with them and most of them will respect you and help you out.
5. Visit the properties, take notes and create a database for future reference. I use smartsheet for my spreadsheets. If the property is in a building or a community that you are not familiar with, walk around the building or community and ask questions of the door people and staff. Use this time to really get to know the building. Be sure to have plenty of business cards.
6. Provide constructive and timely feedback to agents. Always thank them for letting you show. Kindness and humility go a long way.
7. Mention the property to any clients who might be a good match.
8. Share with other agents in your office. (Trust me on this one. We will discuss it in a future blog post.)
9. For outstanding properties share on your own social media or to your email list. #houseporn
BENEFITS OF PREVIEWING PROPERTIES:
Now that you know what to do, here are some reasons why you should do it.
Learn how to use a lock box without a client watching. I often say that opening doors is the hardest part of my job. It’s quite stressful to fumble wth a lock or locating a lock box in front of your buyers. The first time I showed a house, I didn’t know how to open the lock box. I stood on the porch and sweated while I fumbled. It shook my confidence and set me up for failure with that client. Go to as many properties as you can to get familiar with different types of lock boxes, where agents like to hide them, and practice getting to know the quirks of jiggling keys to make a lock open. One of my favorite tricks is to use a tube of lipstick to pound a frozen lock box open, but I had to learn that the hard way.
Know your way around the building. Find out where the elevator is and how the floors are numbered. Scope out the buildings in your market. Walk the floors to get an idea of how the units numbers are laid out. Feel confident in the building so you know where you are going when you have a buyer with you. You can ask management for a layout of the floor, or just make a simple drawing for your files.
Become a regular. In buildings, get to know the door person and staff. Say hello. Ask questions and tell them you are brand new. Most staff I have met are really friendly and want to help. They intimately know the building and the occupants and are usually willing to share their knowledge. Ask about amenities and if you can see them. Discuss the condo rules. Find out if they allow pets and rentals. Ask where the mailboxes are and how residents receive packages. Start asking questions and see where the conversation leads. Take notes and take advantage of being by yourself so you can take your time and enjoy some conversation with the staff. You will get to know each other, gain some confidence, and maybe even meet some interesting people.
Meet the block captain. When showing houses, you might bump into neighbors who are curious about you and why you are there. Don’t think of them as nosy neighbors, think of them as networking opportunities. Jump on this chance to chat! The person who comes forward to talk to you is probably the person who talks to everyone on the block. Get to know them. Tell them who you are and you are previewing this property for a client. Exchange contact information. Make friends with one person on the block, and they might introduce you to the rest of the neighbors.
Get to know the inventory. Anyone can look up a property online. Be the agent who actually knows them by walking through them. Check out the view, the smell, the energy of the place. Walk through and take notes. Ask the listing agent questions if they arise.
Create hyperawareness. I am not into cars at all, but I had to buy a new one last summer. I decided on an SUV and began researching and test driving them. I had it narrowed down to two different models, and was out on a bike ride with a friend. I found myself stopping every time I noticed one of my two choices. All of a sudden, they seemed to be everywhere! All of my research and test driving created a hyperawareness of SUVs that had never been there before.
What if you do the same thing with previewing properties? What if houses are on your mind all the time? Go see as many as you can, as often as you can and notice how many opportunities you have to join a conversation about real estate in your market. Create hyperawareness by getting out there and previewing properties every chance you have.
Get your name out there. Every appointment you make is a chance to get on the radar screen of agents in your market. There is value in creating relationships. I want you to think of other agents as your coworkers rather than your competition. These are the people you will be doing deals with, so it is important to leave a great impression on them. Be courteous when showing. Be on time and professional. Leave the property in the condition you found it. Pay attention to which lights were on, which interior doors were open, and follow any directions the agent or seller has left for you. Provide constructive feedback if requested, and be sure to notify the agent right away if something in the property needs attention, like a broken lock, weird odor or burned out light bulb. Leave your card. Wipe your feet before you enter. Treat it even better than you treat your own home. A little bit of courtesy goes a long way.
Get your head in the game. There were times in the beginning of my career when I felt like a fraud. I knew I had a job as a real estate salesperson, but I wasn’t actually doing anything. I got into a rut and woke up every day aimless and waiting for something to happen. Is this how you feel? Get out and make something happen. Start now, right now and go preview one property. Just pick one and go. Get your head in the game. Start acting like the agent you want to become.
Start faking it, and you will make it.