When I began my career in real estate, I came into the office at the same time as a few other people. We were all new to real estate and would share what we were doing to drum up business with each other. There were a variety of techniques people were using to get more business. It was a great experience to be able to talk with other people in the same position and see what they thought might work for them.
For me personally, my mantra was that I was looking for as many creative ways to get my name out there for as little money as possible. I didn’t have a steady flow of clients at the time, and I wasn’t willing to put out a lot of money if I could find ways to get my name out there for free.
It has been interesting to see what is working out for people. I have seen some people really invest in their business and spend a fortune on advertisement. Full color brochures and a long list of postcards being mailed to particular communities is the way they felt would result in some good business. You do look successful when you spend that kind of money on impressive looking material. After a few months of waiting and watching, I honestly haven’t seen a return on the value of putting that much money into an advertisement campaign.
The hardest part about advertising is it is a slow process. It takes months of continual placement of your advertisement before you start to see a glimmer of results. This can be frustrating. You don’t want to feel as though you are wasting your time, but there really is no overnight magical way of doing things where you will see a quick response from your ads (at least I haven’t found or heard of that yet).
So where do I fit in? What have I been doing? The first thing I did was advertise to friends and family that I was in the business. Every now and then, an email will go out with information on the housing market or some decorating tips etc… Something to remind people that this is my career. I have also spent endless amounts of time passing out black and white flyers to the neighborhoods I really want to work in. I can get the paper and copying done for free at work and so I have taken advantage of many hours spent walking in neighborhoods.
I have known of some people who have experienced a small amount of luck passing out flyers, but I haven’t had any calls from my flyers yet. I consider passing out flyers as more of a way to get people used to my name. The more they hear it, the more successful I will appear and the more business I will hopefully get. I am only working in a particular area so this plan might eventually pay off.
The best area that I have had success is through the internet. You can do quite a bit for free. I began by setting up my own website. I made sure I had a presence on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, then I branched out. I got busy on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I also have a strong presence on some smaller sites. I then started this blog and am online in the Oakland Press.
Free has definitely begun to pay off for me. I have gotten two potential clients from Twitter and one from my website. I have had several companies reach out and try to recruit me on LinkedIn. I have even gotten some offers to write about real estate.
I truly believe that when you first start out, free is best. Why spend huge amounts of money when you can get the same results for free? No matter what you choose to do, it will take a while before you begin to see the results of your hard work. Be patient and persistent, it will pay off. Lastly, do what you can on the internet. It’s an incredible way to touch an extremely high amount of people with very little time invested.