There are NO Shortcuts to Growing Your Business
Having worked in the real estate industry as first an agent and now as the owner of a real estate virtual assistant business, I have seen first hand the mistakes that agents are making in their business. Some of these have gotten worse over time. Some of these mistakes are touted as the solution to growing your business, but the one thing you need to remember is that there are no shortcuts to growing your business. Let’s take an in-depth look at how you can avoid making these mistakes or fix them if you notice this happening to you and your real estate business.
1. Transactional clients vs Lifetime Clients.
When you help a seller to get their home sold or help a buyer find their perfect home you have built a level of trust with them that no one else has. Even if the seller is moving out of town they will still know people they can refer to you. What if they decide to move back to your town? If you haven’t kept in touch you won’t get a single referral and you can lose out on the opportunity to service them again. Your buyer will probably only stay in their home for 3-5 years and throughout those years you need to stay in touch and ask for referrals. By keeping in touch with them you gain business for referrals and their repeat business when they decide to move.
2. Over automation and no personalization.
For years now I have heard a LOT of big names talk about creating automation in your business. Automation is a great thing if used appropriately. What I have seen happening are agents sending out the equivalent of the old chain emails that used to go around, old information that is not up to date, and canned emails that came with your CRM with no editing or tweaking to make them your own. Added to that, there aren’t the quality phone call or personal visit interactions to build and reinforce the relationship. If your keep-in-touch plan is to send a branded magazine, a drip email that is so cheesy they can almost taste it, and nothing else you may as well save the effort.
You need personalized touches going out. Stories of your experiences, how you have helped someone in a difficult transaction (no names) to demonstrate your ability. Send holiday cards, birthday cards, make a home anniversary phone call or send a gift. Let them know you are thinking of them personally. Those personal touches are what adds some value to your monthly newsletter or the drip campaign. Make your drip campaigns have punch. Yes, you can still do them, but what if they had helpful information instead of something your past clients and leads can’t wait to unsubscribe from? No one minds getting helpful information. Profile a new business in your newsletter, send out tips for moving, refinancing, or organizing. Make what you send out be of value, and even if it’s automated it will be appreciated.
3. Lack of systems and planning = lack of growth.
It’s the end of 2017 and you haven’t begun to plan for 2018. That means you have no idea where next year’s business is going to come from. It also means you haven’t evaluated what you did right or wrong this year to adjust your marketing accordingly. You have systems, but they are all in your head (Does that sound familiar?). If your system is in your head, it’s not a system. Someone else can’t step in and perform for you if needed if you don’t have documentation to tell them what to do. And if you don’t actually have a documented system that means results can’t be duplicated. Lack of systems and planning will stop your business from growing.
4. Lack of client education.
Your potential clients are getting information from various sources online that may or may not be accurate. Don’t believe me? Have you ever heard of a Zestimate? Point proven.
Here’s another example. Over Thanksgiving, my 75-pound chocolate lab stole a package of stuffing before anyone realized it. I make my stuffing from scratch with fresh onions and celery. Everything you read online will tell you that stuffing is poisonous to dogs in any amount and will cause their red blood cells to burst, causing anemia and death. I called the vet’s emergency line in a complete panic. It takes one pound of onions to be poisonous per 10 pounds of dogs. Now I like onion, but I had nowhere near 7 pounds of onion in my stuffing. Ghirardelli is fine and didn’t even get sick.
The point is, if the buyer or seller doesn’t know something, they are going to utilize Google like I did. If you are putting out relevant content every week when they Google they will find you. They will get the right information and call you.
5. Cheap services vs. quality services.
Some of the biggest names in real estate might tell you to hire an overseas virtual assistant company. Sometimes it works out great, but I have heard more horror stories than I can count since I started my business in 2009. There is no substitute for getting quality services. Would you say the discount broker that puts listings on the market for just a flat fee provides the same level of service as you do? I have never seen that to be true. What about the agent that takes all their listing pictures on their phone? Does that agent compare with you when you are having professional pictures and 3-D virtual tours created? There is simply no comparison.
At List to Close Inc. all of our VAs are located in the United States and are all US citizens. We provide the quality service our clients have come to expect from us. It may be an unpopular view, but we believe that the only way to provide professional services with the level of skill you need is to only use US virtual assistants. That is why we take the time to train every person we hire to work within our company as a subcontractor. We want to make sure we are providing the very best service we can and have found this to be the best way to give the quality services our clients need.
As a real estate agent, you should be the authority in your area that buyers and sellers turn to. As a real estate virtual assistant business, we are the ones that professional real estate agents turn to. If you would like more information about how we can help you grow your business, please feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation today.
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