Last week, Janie Coffey hosted a teleconference for the participants of my Savvy Prospector program about the magic of niche marketing. I was spellbound by the material and it really made me think about how this business works...
Back to Janie in a sec.
We're all looking for a magic bullet, myself included. While I know I'll have a mortgage payment due NEXT October, I'm far more concerned with the one due in 25 days, the one due in 55 days and the one due in 85 days.
But you know what? Next October will be here before you know it, and THIS October will be a distant memory. Where do you want to be next October? Do you intend to still be selling real estate? Or do you reckon you'll be doing something else by then?
Of course, we all figure we'll still be real estate gods and goddesses and we're all optimistic that things will have turned around by then. Those of us who have stuck it out through these difficult times will be talking for years about how we survived the 2007-2008 real estate season and are now better agents for it.
So, if that's the case - if you really wanna be selling some real estate in a year... in two years... and for many years after that, perhaps now would be a good time to start planning to do just that.
Okay, back to Janie. Janie has created a niche market for herself in South Florida as the Horse Realtor. She began her campaign to be the go-to agent for horsey people about a year and a half ago. Today she's working with five developers across the country (the world actually) who want, heck NEED her expertise in horse properties. They're coming after her!
But that didn't happen overnight - nope, it took a year or so to build her reputation as someone who knows horse properties. A year ago, developers weren't beating down her door, but I'll bet if you ask her, she'll say that these last 12 months have flown by and she's thrilled with the long-term results of her efforts.
There are a gazillion things we can all be doing today to ensure a happy next year. And then be tickled with ourselves when next year rolls around and we're enjoying the fruits of our labor.
Okay, Jennifer, Miss Smarty Pantz, what CAN we do today to ensure a Happy Next Year?
- Nurture your personal relationships. Especially if you've approached the people you know as a salesperson first and a friend second or third or fourth, you may have some repair work to do. Starting today - drop the sales pitch and start reconnecting with your SOI as a real person... who cares about them... who also happens to sell real estate.
- Take a little extra time with not-yet-ready-to-buy-or-sell prospects. Treat them respectfully and stay in touch. Never shuttle a potential future client out the door because they aren't leading you to a paycheck within 60 days. They could very well bring you a paycheck in 180 days.
- Become a Master of Your Market. The only way to really know and understand your local market is to be out in it. Take three hours a week to preview homes. Visit open houses two Sundays a month. Go to every Broker Open you're invited to. Read the neighborhood newspapers.
- Make your current clients your top priority (yep, ahead of your prospecting efforts). Go above and beyond for your sellers and buyers. Believe me, they'll notice and they'll remember. And will reward you for your efforts for years to come.
- Blog. Blogging is a long-term prospecting strategy. If you want to become a specialist in your market or in certain property types or certain client types, get blogging about them TODAY. In a year, you'll be glad you did.
It's possible that NONE of the above activities will result in a sale in 30 days or even 60. But if you're in this for the long haul, I guarantee that in a year, you'll be thrilled with the results.
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