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We invited the twittersphere to tweet questions to Ryan Serhant using #AskRyanSerhant, and this is what emerged — with Ryan’s advice added.
1. @CooleSanDiego asks: Do you find Realtors prefer working with federal home loans vs. conventional home loans?
Tricky question. In New York City, it’s rare to work with federal home loans because of the expensive [nature] of homes.
When I first started in the business, I worked to get PERS approval and then FHA approval for a condo project I was selling in the financial district. FHA loans were great for me at the time because they were the only way I could sell the units.
The only downside was the time frame — an FHA loan could take three to five months to close, whereas a conventional home loan could take 45 to 90 days.
In general, I believe that Realtors prefer working with buyers who are well-qualified to purchase the home they would like to live in, thus making any loan process far simpler.
The last thing we want as agents is to work for months and months finding a home for our clients, only to then lose the deal because of financing.
2. @CJMullins1 asks: How do you prospect for new clients? What works best for you and your team?
Great question. I wake up every day and think about how I will prospect and what I can tell my team that will help them create new, better leads.
The most important and effective way to prospect for new clients is very simple. So many agents think that a lead is someone who is buying or renting a home that day. If they aren’t, then they’re garbage to be forgotten about.
This notion is insane to me. Everyone on the street is a client. They all live somewhere, right? Even if they live in a tree, they probably know at least one person who lives in a house.
So, a warm lead is better than a cold lead — and any lead becomes a warm lead with consistent reminders that you’re a real estate agent.
Knowing this, I make each of my agents meet five new people every day, and get all of their contact info. The five people can be billionaires or people who barely make a living — it doesn’t matter.
The point is to build a contact list. Emails are free, so every week all my agents send an email out to their contact list with interesting information — new listings, open houses, market statistics, etc.
Each of these five people — who are not cold leads who you don’t know, but actual people you have at least bumped into — then become part of your sphere of influence.
After a year, just by doing this exercise, you have added 1,825 new people to your contact list. If you keep it up, in three years, you will have added almost 5,500 people.
All of those people have their own spheres of influence, and every week you will remind them — which will in turn remind their circles — that you are a real estate agent who knows what you’re doing.
3. @savvyjenifer asks: How do I create a business like you in Charlotte, North Carolina — best advice?
That’s a tough question. On the surface, even I could never do what I do in Charlotte because the volume is so much smaller.
But if your question is asking how to be more successful, I would say two things: One, see my answer to question No. 2 above. Never turn down an email address, and religiously add every new person you meet to your contact list.
Real estate agents don’t sell houses. Have you ever sold a house to a house? No. We sell relationships. A relationship is a currency, and the more people who know you and the more relationships you have — by default, the wealthier you will be.
Two, never take a day off until you’re satisfied with your success. You will pick up the missed opportunities from Realtors who are so rich they can go on vacation. And when you do take time off, it will be because baby, you’ve earned it.