Fresh flowers are on the dining room table, furniture positioned just so and the house is wafting a hypnotic scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, your listing is ready to show! You’ve meticulously staged your house, what about your image? Your image will determine your fate; are you polished and poised for success?
Your image or personal brand has 2 main components:
- Your Appearance: Dress to impress and make sure you radiate confidence.
- Your Reputation: How do you conduct business? Are you known for being proactive and organized or constantly late to meetings and disorganized?
A successful real estate business is based on face-to-face networking. While online networking through social media is important to brand building and disseminating marketing messages, it’s the in-person conversation that seals the deal!
The goal is to have a positive impression with all of those we connect with, whether they are prospects, clients or a colleague. Lisa Morrison, a Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Newport, RI says, “Reputation is key” to having a successful business. Inconsistency with your image can confuse or turn-off your prospect or referral source and poof, the deal is lost!
Follow these 6 Strategies to build a lasting & profitable real estate business:
- Network outside the box, not within – It’s important to know other agents in your industry, but this is not the best use of your time said Morrison. She suggests aligning with philanthropic or charitable organizations as one lucrative source. This is a great way to introduce your clients to a cause that is important to you as well as source out new prospects. It doesn’t hurt that many members of said organizations have the disposable income to invest in your properties!
- Warm up the Cold Call – Most introverts and extroverts alike agree that cold calling is their least favorite mode of sales. To make cold calling more effective, leverage your relationships. Find someone with a personal connection who can make an initial introduction for you. That way, when you make that “cold call” it is already “warmed up.” This truly breaks the ice!
- Dress to Impress – Holly Applegate, a Real Estate Agent with Residential Properties summed it up best, “To build trust and make a positive first impression, it’s all about your image!” Whether you are at an event, a showing or even the grocery store, your appearance should always be consistent. Dress professionally and appropriately for each occasion. At a networking or charitable event (unless golfing!) men should wear a suit or sport coat, women a dress or pant suit. Make sure you look just as good if not better than the property you are selling. Wearing jeans or a too casual outfit sends the resounding message; I do not care about you! You can kiss that prospect goodbye!
- Mirror-Mirror on the Call – Mirroring is the art of mimicking the other person you are in conversation with. It is a useful tool that subliminally puts the other person you are talking to at ease. When networking with a potential buyer, watch their hand movements and the way their bodies shift and emulate that. This is the same for tone of voice. If someone is soft-spoken, take your tone down a notch. If someone speaks fast, try to pick up your pace.
- Let me get back to you! – Technology has created the need for instant answers, even if you don’t have one. Don’t risk losing a potential sale or even worse tarnish your image by giving an incorrect answer. The best course of action is to set proper expectations. If you need time to accurately answer a question, let the buyer know, and tell them you will get back to them by a specific date. Now you are able to properly answer the question and have awarded yourself a marketing opportunity to reach out to the prospect once again.
- Refer + Respond = Respect – BNI (Business Network International) has a motto: “Givers Gain.” This means, the more you give the more others will want and feel obligated to give back to you. Building a strong brand and reputation depends on this. Find opportunities to refer business to others in your circle such as attorneys, contractors or brokers. It’s also important to be responsive when a question is asked to not only your clients but to your network of vendors too. Respect takes time to earn yet is very easy to lose.
It’s equally important to stage your image as you would your listing. When you do, be sure to have a pen ready for your buyer to sign on the line!