Today's episode is about lead generation and getting new business. Our guest, Sean Carpenter, shares his definition of relationships, and several different ways you can generate leads using "RELATIONSHIPS" as an acrostic. REALTORS® are always trying to generate new business, and the best way for agents to do that is through consistency, value, and RELATIONSHIPS.
Relationships are the key to the real estate business. Most agents spend more of their time on business support when they should be focusing on business development. Building and maintaining relationships is a great way to encourage business development activities.
R: Return Calls, Relocation
Returning calls in a professional and timely manner is one of the easiest things a REALTOR® can do to build relationships. Having a system in place for checking your calls and voicemails can keep you in control of your phone. Getting to know other agents or brokers around the country can help future incoming business. Regional and national networking is a critical way to grow your business.
E: Eager Learner, Email, Expired
It's never too late to learn something new — explore new sources of information so you have more conversation topics and can see things from different perspectives. When it comes to email, you want to make sure you're sharing quality messages — make sure it has a specific subject line, and because most people consume email on their phone, you want to make sure it's to the point. Sean's biggest tip for expired listings is to ask the homeowner if they still want to sell. This is a great jumping-off point to determine how to move forward. To avoid competition, reach out on expired listings that are older, rather than the more recent listings.
L: Loyalty Cards, Look Around You, Listen vs. Talk
As REALTORS®, we are trying to earn loyalty from our clients. You can create a loyalty card as part of your customer loyalty program, by partnering with businesses in your area for incentives. Look around you, metaphorically and physically, for clues and signals for people making a move in the near future. This can help with potential clients. Looking around your community lets you create with intention and changing perspective. Sometimes listening instead of talking can allow you to find out what problems, opportunities, and excitement the people in your community are facing. Listening will help you relate!
A: Attitude, Ask, and Appointments
One of the most important ways to get more business is by bringing a good attitude to everything you do. Your attitude influences everyone around you. Ask and appointments go hand and hand. As an agent, take opportunities to focus on appointments. You won't sell anything if you don't have an appointment, and you can't have an appointment unless you talk to people. Set at least three appointments a week.
T: Thank You Notes, Target, Twitter
Write handwritten notes! The gesture of a handwritten thank you note is immeasurable. This meaningful act is a great way to show appreciation for past clients. Know who your target audience is, and make sure what you're doing throughout the day is working towards getting business in those avenues. Finally, Twitter is a great social media platform to listen, engage, share, and support.
Instagram is another great social media platform to engage. Have a presence on Instagram, by looking and sharing. Leaving comments on stories and posts will drive traffic to your account as well. Commenting purposefully is huge for earning awareness.
O: Open Houses, On Purpose
During this time of COVID-19, following safety practices and precautions is very important. But you should still have them, whether in person or virtually. Open houses are a great way to create relationships — not only with buyers but also with potential sellers as well. Be in control of your schedule so that you are operating your business on purpose — everything should be done with intention.
This is maybe the second-most important aspect after attitude. When you see someone you know from a previous relationship, or out in public wearing a nametag, use their name! Using people's names is a small way to express gratitude and make them feel valued.
S: Sales Meetings, Schools
Sales meetings are one of the most important ways you can stay informed, as well as a way to find potential buyers. Being active in a child or grandchild's school is another way to gain top-of-mind awareness.
H: Have Fun, Happy Hour, 4H Club
Build relationships, solve problems, and have fun. No matter what you're doing, find a way to make it fun. Having a happy hour with friends or clients is a great way to support your local businesses (and grow your own) and develop relationships. Sean shares the way he puts seeds in the ground to grow and maintain your network. This includes handwritten notes, hot sheets, happy birthdays, and high fives. This is an easy way to touch at least 25 people in a short amount of time.
I: Ice Cream Social
An ice cream social, or a similar idea, is a good way to show your appreciation and gratitude for people in your community — teachers, firefighters, etc. This is marketing for you, and a way to support local businesses. Put good energy out, and the business will come back to you.
P: Preparation, (Past) Clients
If you want to get good business, you have to be prepared. Keep your database clean and organized, so your sphere of influence is prepared. Make sure you are still touching your past clients on a regular basis. You can decide what schedule is right, but you never know when past clients will become your future clients.
S: Schedule a Time, Serious
Make sure you schedule a time to do your lead generation, client appreciation, etc. If it's not in your schedule, it's probably not going to get done. And finally, be serious about your business, but don't take yourself too seriously.
Everything you do could turn into an opportunity if you take advantage of listening and acting on it. There are tons of takeaways here — which ones can you apply to your lead generation today?
"Relationships are the key to our business. We all think that the house is what we focus on, and that's just the widget we use in our business. It's about the people that live in those houses and the relationships we have with those people." — Sean
"When you bring a good attitude, other people feed off that. You either lighten up a room because of the attitude you bring, or you lighten up a room when you leave." — Sean
"Your name is the one thing in this world, that even if you lost everything tomorrow, you still have your name." — Sean
About Sean Carpenter
Originally licensed as a REALTOR® in 1998, Sean Carpenter is the former Agent Development Director for the Ohio NRT companies. He jumped back into a sales role with Coldwell Banker, serving buyers and sellers throughout Central Ohio. He founded Sean Speaks in 2018 to expand his speaking, consulting, and facilitation opportunities. His most popular sessions focus on creating memorable customer experiences and maximizing social and digital media, as well as business planning, leadership, and sales.
Formerly recognized by Inman News as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate, Sean was named as one of the "Top 20 Most Influential People in Social Media for the real estate industry" by The Swanepoel Trends Report for the third year in a row. Sean recently received the Joseph McKinnon Award from the Columbus REALTORS® as their 2017 Instructor of the Year.
Sean's mission is to "teach with passion and enthusiasm instilling confidence and excitement in his students," and he lives by his philosophy — build relationships, solve problems, and have fun.