Real estate is not like other industries; people are not always in a position to be a client. My financial adviser has the ability to take on clients during virtually any stage of life, but people only buy or sell a home every 10 years or so. The question is, how can we maintain client/agent relationships during the 9 years when they aren’t thinking about real estate?
HELP CONNECT PEOPLE WITH GOOD RENTALS
If your market is anything like mine, rentals are very difficult to come by. Santa Barbara’s vacancy rates are currently less than 1% and the community at large is struggling to find good rentals. I don’t make a dime on rentals, but I have taken it upon myself to help as many people as possible with this rental dilemma.
YOU HAVE RESOURCES MOST PEOPLE DON’T
The average person has one resource for rentals: Craigslist. At least in Santa Barbara, if you are looking for a rental on Craigslist you have already lost. As a realtor, I have access to resources that the average person does not, so I provide them:
- Connections with the top property managers in town
- Rental distribution lists
- MLS rentals
- Word-of-mouth (I eat, sleep, and breathe real estate – I hear about more rentals than the average person)
*Bonus: Allow people (that you trust) to use you as a personal reference on their rental application. Property managers love to see local real estate professionals backing potential tenants.
PROVE THAT YOU ARE THE PERSON YOUR MARKETING MATERIAL SAYS YOU ARE
If I were to read your website, I’d bet it would say that you are a great realtor; a person of integrity that is helpful, kind, and a community servant. Now is your time to prove it! Offer your time and expertise in a situation that doesn’t make you money and I assure you people will remember. You can actually be the person your website bio talks about.
BRAND YOURSELF A REAL ESTATE EXPERT
I want people to think about me any time they think about housing. I need a rental – call Dusty Baker. I need a painter – call Dusty Baker. I need an interior designer – call Dusty Baker. I want to sell my home – call Dusty Baker. Obviously I only make money brokering a sale, but I want my name directly associated with real estate the way that Kleenex is with tissues. Helping renters is just one way to do that.
KEEP THEM THINKING ABOUT YOU THROUGH AUTO-EMAILS
If you really want to solidify your relationship, ask them what they imagine their first purchase will be (even if it won’t be for a few years). Use that information to set them up on an auto-email from your MLS. They get the advantage of keeping their finger on the pulse while they save to buy a home and you get to drip them listings!