The 3 most important steps of prospecting for real estate business

You cannot have a successful real estate career unless you learn how to prospect  and become efficient at prospecting.  When followed consistently, the following 3 steps will help you grow your real estate business.

  1. Find people.  Real estate is a people contact business.  You must find ways to meet people if you intend to be successful.  You can choose to knock on doors, hold open houses, join clubs and organizations, socialize online or real time.  The more people you meet increases the opportunities to successfully prospect.
  2. Engage those you meet.  One of the biggest mistake real estate agents make is not taking the time to build relationships.  Take the time to find common interests with those you meet.  People love to deal with those they trust and know.  Get to know them.  Be sincere.  Ask questions, be interested in them.  Taking the time to get to know the people you meet could result in a new friend or a chance to learn something new long before you ever help them buy or sell a home or property.
  3. After you have built your relationship don’t be afraid to talk about your business and career.  Of course you should not dominate the conversation with talk of business.  However, well timed reminders that you are a real estate professional and can help them or anyone they know buy or sell a home will be appreciated to those who know you and who do have a need for real estate help.

In summary remember that in order to enjoy a successful real estate business you need to meet people, get to know the people you meet and then ask those people for business.  Developing solid prospecting efforts now will equal sales in the future.

Wearing a name badge can increase your real estate sales

Most agents who have been in this business for any length of time will tell you that they have picked up buyers and sellers simply because the agent was wearing a name badge when out in public.  The perspective customer noticed the logo of a real estate company and since they were been looking/thinking/wondering about buying or selling a home, the agent ended up meeting a  new client.

There are some agents, however, that do not believe that the wearing of a name badge is fitting of our profession.  They are quick to direct you to the fact that we are professionals and well, other professionals such as doctors and lawyers do not wear name badges, so we shouldn’t either.

That seem to be a valid reason, we do want to put on the best professional image we can, right?  If the professional doctor or lawyer believes wearing a name badge is “unprofessional”, who are we not to follow suit.


We-e-e-l-l-l-l-l-l, there is a bit of a difference between a doctor/lawyer and a real estate professional.  What is the difference?  WE ARE SALES PEOPLE!  They are not.  At the end of the day, we get paid for selling a product, the product being the home or property. 

Sure we provide consultation services, we act as a trusted advisor, yes, we provide information that allows the customer to make their own informed decision but when all is said and done they pay us because of a house or property we sell.

If you need help in seeing the value of wearing a name badge you might want to think of them in this regard.  Think of your name tag as nothing more than running adwords online.  The customer comes across your site (in this case, you in the flesh) and catches a glimpse of your adword (the badge), if  they are in the market they may do the real-time version of clicking on the ad which is approaching you and engaging you in a conversation.  Isn’t that what we want them to do?

Your name tag acts like an adword.  Wearing it when out an about on errands or shopping will put you in front of eyes that might never have met you otherwise.  If it results in one more deal a year, wasn’t it worth wearing?  Slap it on and wear it proudly.  If you are too embarrassed to wear a name badge you are probably in the wrong profession.

Learn how to say no to a listing!

If you are new you may not believe this but there will come a time in your career when you say no to a home seller. Even though you will hear that you must “list to last”, successful real estate agents learn that you do not have to “list everything to last”. You must learn to say no and walk away from listing opportunities and you must learn to identify those listings that you should walk away from.

Unreasonable sellers

The first step of deciding to walk away from a listing opportunity is to recognize when you have an unreasonable seller. If the seller is being unreasonable on pricing, or the seller has a strict guideline of when the home to be shown or they expect you to market their home how they want and not how you know works, all of these are qualities of an unreasonable seller and are sufficient reasons to say no to the listing.

Uncooperative seller

This seller will seem to be disinterested in the entire listing and sales process. It may be that they are selling a home because of a distressed financial situation. They may be unwilling to leave utilities on for the convenience of buyers to not only view, but also inspect the home. These sellers will be unresponsive to your requests for documents that their lender needs to consider a short sale. Keeping the home cleaned and ready to show, making minor repairs are not high on the seller’s priority list.

When you are faced with these types of sellers you will want to turn down the listing. You should be honest and genuine with the seller letting them know that your decision to decline the listing is in everyone’s best interest. Saying no keeps you freed up to handle money making opportunities and not bogged down with unrealistic demands from an owner of a house with no chance of selling.

Photo credit

Provide the home seller a net proceeds sheet

Net proceeds sheet

estimated seller net proceeds





One of the mistakes I find agents making is not providing an estimated net proceeds sheet to the home owner when executing a listing contract.

A net proceeds sheet will show the seller what he can expect to receive when the home sells. The net figure should be based on the cost to sell the home being deducted from the list price.

Providing this information at the beginning of the listing and the following up with a new net proceeds sheet with each offer you receive on the home will eliminate the guess work for the seller and allow you to confidently present the offers knowing that the amount the seller will receive is acceptable.

Top 10 humorous suggestions that will increase real estate sales

Real estate agent humor

Top 10 Suggestions to guarantee success in today’s market:

  1. Prior to cold call nights all agents must stand outside searching for the first star to make a wish upon.
  2. Increase the amount of money tossed into a wishing well from a penny to a buck fifty.
  3. Bulk ordering of St. Joseph statues.
  4. Weekly agent meetings where we sit around singing the Sun will come out tomorrow.
  5. Nightly covert trips to competitors’ dumpster looking for leads.
  6. Sheep and lambs to be sacrificed prior to every business meeting.
  7. Instructions should be provided to each agent on how to cross fingers and toes at the same time.
  8. Direct mail to be replaced with direct begging.
  9. Rub top producer’s head prior to floor time for good luck.
  10. All agents to receive a rabbit’s foot.

If none of these tips are help, then try going back to basics.

The best marketing efforts require skill

Skillful marketing requires effort

The best real estate marketing keeps an agent or company name in the minds of customers long before they are even aware they need you. Too often agents marketing consist only of mass mailings that agent’s confuse as farming. The majority of  real estate agent marketing revolves around our selling or listing a home, we are million dollar producers or that we are having an open house.

Impact marketing

Real estate agent marketing efforts rarely touch on the many concerns and interests of the  customer who is not thinking about buying or selling a home.

This type of marketing could include the following:

  • New businesses coming to the area
  • City or county issues impacting real estate
  • Where you can see fireworks on the 4th of July
  • Where will children be able to visit Santa
  • Upcoming social events
  • How and where to adopt a pet
  • Local dog park and pet friendly businesses
  • The easiest golf courses to play
  • Personalized marketing give aways

The list can be added to using your own imagination and experiences.

The best marketing keeps your image, your brand, your success in the mind of the person you are attempting to reach and at the same time providing a message that the customer can use even want to receive.

It is time to take your real estate career seriously

One of the most common expressions I hear when an agent’s business falls off or fails to start is “I guess I need to go find a real job”.

That attitude is the main reason their real estate career is faltering or never took off to begin with. Forget for a moment that a career is much better to have than a job and if they simply viewed what they are doing as a real estate career, the positive impacts would be noticeable. What I like to remind those agents that say the “get a real job” line to me is if you just treated your real estate career like a job, you would realize success and an income that exceeds any job you might find.

If only you felt obligated to work a set number of hours like a job, taking 10 minutes for a break in the morning and afternoon and an hour for lunch and with the rest of the time you devoted yourself to your job of finding buyers and sellers you would earn an income and reach a level of success that no job would ever offer.

If only you listed to the instruction of your Broker, trainer or coach as you would a boss and then followed through with the instruction you would find that this “job” would be so much easier and profitable.

The facts are that being a successful, professional real estate agent and enjoying your real estate career has nothing to do with working a job and there lies the problem for most. A real estate career takes strong discipline, dedication, a desire to succeed no matter what and a belief in yourself that, come what may, this is your career choice and failure is not an option!

Learning to prospect early on leads to continued success

Prospecting is not simply holding an occasional open house or sending out a post card once in awhile

Realtors who learn how to prospect correctly at the start of their career usually will enjoy success at a level that the majority who enter this business never achieve.

What most agents are never told or never learn on their own is prospecting is not simply holding an open house or sending out a post card. Many agents confuse prospecting with marketing and build their business around their marketing efforts alone.

Prospecting is getting your hands dirty, doing the things that you might not enjoy, want to do or think you should have to do. In most any real estate office you will be able to find an agent in the kitchen or break room who will tell you that picking up the phone, knocking on doors, interviewing local investors, open houses or emailing your COI is a complete waste of time.

Take a look at their sales volume and make your own determination if what they are dispensing, is sound advice.

You need to make sure the home is priced right at the start

Proper pricing of a home to sell

Proper pricing of a home to sell is critical if you hope to have success as a listing agent. The following is a candid look at why the obligation falls upon you to obtain the reduction.

You should check your active listings at a minimum of every thirty days and identify those that have had a reduction in price. Work with your sellers and give them the dialog and strategies to help them understand why they need a price adjustment. It is your responsibility to help your Sellers understand why they need to reduce their prices. If their homes are not selling, then the market is telling us and them that there are better values elsewhere. That’s the simple truth.

When you are preparing for the listing presentation you need to focus on pricing centered on what has actually sold, not what is active. Active prices mean nothing in a market with limited buyers and an over supply of available homes. Your success and/or failure are pretty much determined during the listing presentation itself. Either you are in control of the pricing process and have structured the listing agreement so that the odds of selling are favorable, or the Seller has taken control and dictated to you what the price of the property will be. You need to be prepared to WALK AWAY from overpriced listings where the Seller wants to dictate terms and conditions.

Sellers who did not listen to you at the listing presentation regarding price, who will not reduce their asking prices nor invest in upgrading their properties to make them show room ready, are the listings I would encourage you to withdraw because they aren’t going to sell. No amount of internet exposure, no amount of bulk mail, no amount of advertisement, no amount of open houses and no amount of wishful thinking is going to sell an overpriced home in today’s market. As the true professionals your continued success regardless of market conditions will be determined by your ability to get the appointment and provide the customer with a sound pricing and marketing strategy that increases their chances of selling of the home.

Presenting the offer to the home seller

Presenting an offer to your seller

You receive a call from your office or another agent letting you know that they have an offer for you on one of your listings. What you do next may help you when presenting the offer to the seller.

You need to present the offer in person to your seller, whenever possible. Either have them meet you at your office or arrange to meet them at the home. Presenting an offer over the phone leaves limited choices for you and your seller.

Yes or No.

When you present an offer on the phone the seller will rarely hear more than the offering price. If the offered price is less than the asking price, the seller may not hear another word you say.

When presenting face to face you will have a better opportunity to highlight the pros and the cons of the offer. You have a better chance of getting your seller to at the very least counter the offer in writing, keeping the deal alive.

Resist the urge to present offers to your sellers until you are face to face with them. You will find more success by doing so.

How to build a successful real estate career