The Ottawa real estate market right now is different than it has ever been before and with it come a variety of challenges. One of the most common questions that we are hearing these days is “how do I find more listings?” While there are many ways to do this, it is often best, and most cost effective, to go back to basics and work by referral. This business is largely built on relationships and by nurturing your existing relationships while developing and expanding new ones, you are very likely to see a significant return on your investment.
It Takes Time
As they say patience is a virtue. It is always important to remember that the work you are doing right now to generate new listings may take some time to develop and will likely turn into leads and future business that you may not see for at least 60 to 90 days. Right now, you are working to create your business for the fall market. Keeping this in mind, consistency in touching your network is the key to ensure that you have steady business all year round. Industry experts suggest you should put your name and face in front of your sphere of influence at least 30 times per year and in a variety of ways to ensure you’re always top of mind and achieve the greatest success.
You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For
The common misconception of many Realtors is that their network already know about them and will come to them when they are ready to buy or sell. Just because you have already done business with a client or connected with them in the past, does not automatically imply that they will call you when a real estate need may arise. Don’t be afraid to ask for the business! If you are communicating with people don’t be afraid to ask for the business. Ask them the question: “who do you know who is thinking about moving?” This is a great open-ended question that will force them to stop and think; and almost everyone knows someone who may be thinking of moving.
Just Starting Out?
A well-oiled referral-based business can be highly successful but it will take some time and persistence to build up. If you are just starting out, you may not have that many contacts so you will need to expand your database. A great way to do this is to reach out to professionals that work side by side with Realtors. Mortgage Brokers, Home Inspectors, and even Lawyers are great contacts to add to your network and if you make these connections, your network will certainly grow. Also, keep your goals realistic; adding one new contact per week is very reasonable for any Realtor and will grow your network by 50+ people every year.
Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Host an Open House
Open houses are a great opportunity to connect with people and find leads. A well run and advertised open house will draw in a number of people who are likely to be actively interested in the market. Remember to keep an open mind as well; many people who attend an open house are not just looking to buy that particular house, they may also be looking for a Realtor to help them sell their home. Spend some time with each person who attends to better understand their situation. It is important to build rapport with them and be sure to follow-up afterwards to answer any questions they may have and see how you might be able to help them out.
Consistency is Key
Make sure that you are touching your network on a regular basis. This can be done effectively using a variety of platforms. Personal contact is always best so try to create as many of these situations as possible; whether it’s a phone call or meeting for a coffee or taking them out for lunch, that personal connection goes a long way. But since these examples can be incredibly time consuming, it is important to reach out to your network in other ways as well. Social Media Pages, Email Marketing, Mail-outs, Newsletters and other advertising strategies work well in combination with personal contact to ensure you are top of mind all year long.
- Lead generation should always be your top priority.
- Be consistent in all your lead generation efforts to ensure consistent business all year long.
- Right now, you are working for business 60-90 days in the future.
- Try to add one contact to your network every week.
- You don’t get what you don’t ask for; ask for the business!
- To start growing your network, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and lawyers are a great place to start. Remember, by adding one new person every week, you’ll increase your database by over 50 people every year!
- Don’t skip hosting that open house and be sure to follow-up every potential lead.