Becoming a real estate agent is not as easy as starting a new job. Unlike a regular 9-to-5, you can’t expect a steady paycheck at the end of the month. You have to rely exclusively on your personal and professional network to find new clients. Buying or selling a house is very much a word-of-mouth business. Getting involved in your community can be a great place to start.
The key to a successful real estate business is to start locally and to become an expert in your area. As more and more people see your “For Sale” sign on houses in your targeted neighborhood, they are more likely to trust you with their property. Your first clients will often be friends or family members. However, if you want to expand your client base, you will also need to expand your network. Getting involved in your community is the best way to be visible and create a personal connection with people. But where to start? Here are 10 of the best ways to get you started!
A great way to meet new people is to take on volunteering opportunities in the community. There are dozens of local organizations in need of an extra pair of hands. From local churches and schools to animal shelters and historic preservation, there are many ways to get involved. No matter your interests, there is a non-profit organization for you. The more genuine you are in your involvement, the more likely you are to make great connections with other volunteers. If you aren’t sure how or where to get started volunteering in your community you can search local service opportunities here!
2. Sponsor a local team
Local sports teams and young athletes are always looking for sponsors. It is a great way to get your name out there as well as show your support to your community. Parents and family members will be grateful for your involvement and be more likely to contact you for their real estate needs. If you want to go the extra mile, take the front row seat to the game. It is the best way for your potential clients to put a face on the name or the logo on their kid’s jersey.
3. Advertise locally
Marketing is expensive, especially when you are just getting started. Get the best bang for your buck by focusing your efforts locally. If you are going to send postcards, target your neighborhood rather than the entire town. If you are going to display signs, do so in places you actually go to. Locals are more likely to remember you if they see you in person around town. For example, Terraboost allows you to advertise in local pharmacies and supermarkets where 85% of the customers live or work in a 3 to 5 miles radius.
4. Give a part of your proceeds to a local charity
Show your community that you are not “all talk” by giving back a part of the proceeds of your real estate business. You can allow your clients to choose the charity of their choice. Additionally, you can offer it to a deserving local family going through a rough patch, or give a good chunk to your preferred local organizations. In some cases, it could even be a tax write-off!
5. Join neighborhood events
From National Night Out to neighborhood potlucks and block parties, there are many ways to meet your neighbors in a relaxed and friendly setting. It is the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and get to know people that could very well be your next clients. Don’t forget to carry business cards with you.
6. Get involved in local social media groups
Social media groups on Facebook or Instagram have become one of the primary sources of information on local happenings for newcomers and old-timers alike. From a lost dog to the best place to grab a coffee in town, locals often turn to their co-citizens to get the scoop. Put yourself out there as a local expert by answering questions and participating in threads. Also, it is an excellent opportunity to pick up new clients when someone asks about finding a real estate agent.
7. Start a local blog or newsletter
Show your city some love by starting a blog or a newsletter focusing on local news and events. You can include the latest local real estate trends to show your expertise on the matter. It is a great way to get in touch with people and get email addresses even if they are not on the market to buy or sell a house at the moment. It’s also a great way to meet local influencers and put your name out in your community.
8. Join a local organization
From churches to local sports clubs, theater groups, or your kids’ PTA, it is essential to see people and be seen every day because being social is more than a lifestyle: it should be part of your business plan.
9. Host an event for new buyers and sellers
First-time homebuyers and sellers are often full of questions: where to start, what to look out for, who are the different actors involved in the real estate transaction? Invite them to an informal meeting in a local restaurant or bar to discuss their experience. You can also arrange meetings with local experts to give them the rundown of what buying or selling your house is like. It is a great way to pick up new clients and present yourself as a friendly expert.
10. Get out there!
Going out for drinks at a local bar, attending your children’s end of the year school play and tagging a local business in an Instagram post, are great ways to get involved in your local community. It represents many opportunities to meet new people that could turn into new clients. Building a real estate business isn’t done in one day. However, becoming an active part of the community is the best and cheapest way to get established as a real agent in the long run.