This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.
This article was last updated April 26, 2022.
There are a limited number of hours in each day to accomplish the tasks that will help to grow your real estate business, so the ability to systematize your efforts and build powerful processes will directly impact your success.
To ensure that your real estate business fires on all cylinders, use the following 12 real estate agent tips and systems to fuel your growth.
1. Next-10 lists
Identify the next 10 buyers who will likely buy from you, the next 10 sellers who will list with you, and the next 10 clients who are likely to send you a referral. For my own business, I posted these lists on my wall directly across from my office chair so that I saw their names every day. It reminded me to connect with those people personally, through text, email, video or phone calls at least weekly.
Keeping the next-10 buyers’ names top-of-mind cued me to notify these folks when I saw something in which they’d be interested. The next 10 listings reminded me to inform them when any homes like theirs came on the market, went under contract, or were sold because that might affect their home’s value.
I also looked for ways to deepen the relationship with my 10 most likely referral partners by making sure they knew they were top-of-mind for me and keeping me on their minds.
Adding consistent value to this next-10 list will increase your conversion rates and allow you to do more business.
2. After-sale marketing plan
Let the neighbors in the area know when you’ve closed a successful sale. Whether you represent the buyer or the seller, let the neighbors know that their value went up due to that sale.
Our most successful campaigns right now are where we make the buyer or seller the hero by telling their story. If you worked with the seller, for instance, include something like:
After raising their two daughters in your neighborhood, Tom and Betty Smith decided it was time to let another family build their own memories in the house at 123 Oak Street. So after deciding to move closer to their grandchildren, we had the privilege of selling their home and helping them make new family memories in Orlando.
If you’re considering a life change, it would be our privilege to make your next move a smooth transition.
If you worked with the buyer, include something like:
Tom and Betty Smith are so excited to be your newest neighbors! Along with their two daughters, they found the perfect home at 123 Oak Street. It was our privilege to work with such a great family and help them find the perfect place to make family memories in your great neighborhood.
If you’re considering making a move, we would love the opportunity to help you transition to your next home by maximizing your sales price in the fastest and smoothest fashion possible.
A system of sending mailers to the neighbors after every closing will create opportunities to list more homes.
3. Unsolicited video CMAs
Make sure you don’t lose track of the people you’ve already worked with on purchasing a home and who already know, like and trust you. Send them unsolicited video CMAs every six months. These recordings are done with a video screen recording tool such as BombBomb or Zoom.
Have the comparable homes pulled up on a tab along with an estimated net sheet to the seller if they were to sell. Record your screen going over the details of the current value, and email it to the owners.
You can also send these to people you’ve met at open houses, those who live in your farming community or any homeowners you’ve previously talked to about real estate.
Systematically have the video CMA in your calendar to be recorded and sent to the homeowner every six months. The compounding of doing two to three of these per week will reap an abundant harvest of listings over time.
4. New property notifications
Include every buyer you’re working with on an e-alert or a similar system that notifies them of new properties meeting their search criteria. If you aren’t notifying them the second a new property hits the market, someone else will. Pitch new properties and allow your buyers to see them first.
5. Systematic farming
Become the expert for at least one neighborhood so that people recognize you as the go-to agent for those homes. Learn every detail of the home sales for that neighborhood, and build relationships with the people who live there. Systematically mailing once a month and calling owners in the neighborhood at least once a quarter is a system that will generate listings.
Not only will you be able to take market share of the listings from this neighborhood, but you’ll also have the opportunity to find buyers for those listings once they recognize you as the go-to person for that area.
6. Consistent database communication
Consistently add value to the people in your database to build rapport and to speed up the process of them getting to know, like and trust you. This can be a weekly email or any other communication that keeps you top-of-mind.
The more personal your interactions with the people in your database are, the more likely you are to build relationships that allow you to know more about them, which will enable you to service them better by providing the information they want and need promptly.
The key is to be consistent in your communication — systemize the communications to go out on the same day every week or every month. Consistency builds trust, and trust fuels business growth. Your repetition will build your reputation as the trusted local resource for all things real estate.
7. Property value notifications
Schedule all your past buyers who are now owners to receive consistent updates about the value of their homes. A great tool for this is Homebot.ai, which provides a detailed financial analysis of the home’s value and potential opportunities for the homeowner.
The monthly email is like a stock report that shows them where interest rates are, whether they are candidates for refinancing and what opportunities are available to them.
Because of the shifting real estate market, owners are very curious about the value of their current homes. By consistently providing them this information, you’ll be their go-to when the time comes for them to sell.
8. Social media content calendar
Consistency will drive your social media success, and there are tools available to help you schedule these posts. A few great tools that are either free or very inexpensive for post scheduling include Buffer, Hootsuite and Sprout Social. These tools allow you to schedule posts ahead of time and build a system that drives engagement.
I used to schedule each week’s posts on Sunday afternoon. I kept a consistent schedule where Monday’s posts were “Motivation Monday.” These included quotes and inspiring content. Tuesdays were “Tuesday Tips.” These posts were personal tips on maintaining a home or what to expect through a buying or selling process.
Wednesdays were “Local Hero Wednesdays.” These were days I posted about local heroes like nonprofit volunteers, restaurants, or businesses supporting a local event or charity, or maybe just someone who stands out as a local hero.
Thursdays were “Local Lifestyle Thursday,” which focused on a favorite restaurant, park or local business. “Friday Favorites” highlighted a favorite home of the week. Saturdays were “Shout Out Saturdays.” These posts involved thanking someone who helped my clients or me that week — maybe a lender who helped a client, a local air conditioning company that fixed my AC, or even a local company that helped make a closing basket for my clients.
Authenticity is king on social media. Systemize your post schedule, and stay consistent. Be yourself, and you will draw your ideal clients.
9. Daily video
Video helps you filter through a crowded field to find the people who are a good fit for you and your business. These videos can be about a particular property, they can feature the area you serve, they can answer frequently asked questions about real estate, or they could be video email communications that personalize emails with a tool like BombBomb. The critical part about video is implementing it into your business each day systematically.
Whether you post these videos on social media or YouTube or simply include them in emails — the more you do, the more results you will see.
10. Accountability system
Find a mentor, coach or mastermind to help you stretch yourself. It’s usually true that we can only go as far as we can see, but if we surround ourselves with people who have accomplished the things we’d like to do ourselves, we’ll hear other ideas and find ways to improve our own business.
I’ve never had an area of my life that I added accountability in that didn’t improve. If you want systematic growth, increase the amount of accountability you have in place.
11. Real estate conferences
We won’t be limited by the pandemic forever, so start saving and planning for business conferences you will attend later this year. You’ll hear ideas that are working in other parts of the country, and it will inspire you to take action.
The true power of real estate conferences is the networking opportunity. Make sure you find at least 10 people at each conference who you will keep in touch with after the event. Nurturing those relationships will lead to referrals and a broader view of what is possible in your business.
12. Industry knowledge
Strive to learn more about the business and the industry daily. Read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts that expand your knowledge so you can better serve your clients. Our business is rapidly changing, and the speed of change is only accelerating.
It’s not a matter of if our businesses will change. The question is: Who will adjust the quickest? Seeking knowledge each day will put you in a position to pivot and take advantage of new industry opportunities quickly.
These 12 systems will improve your business. If you’re doing any of these, your business will grow; but your business will grow exponentially if you do them all. Take action, and you will see results.