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When you first passed your licensure test, you were probably told to put together a list of all of the people in your sphere of influence, then handwrite a note to each one — enclosing a business card or two.
Almost everyone starts out their real estate career with this. It’s the very first marketing strategy for most agents. Just because you are reaching out to your sphere, however, doesn’t mean you have to accentuate your inexperience.
Here are five strategies that will allow you to make those same contacts while emphasizing what you have done as a real estate agent, rather than what you haven’t done.
1. Hit the ground running
Whether you’re writing handwritten notes or starting an email blast, your first contact should emphasize your experience. Because it’s your sphere, you don’t need to introduce yourself. You simply need to talk about the business of real estate: What’s going on in the market, current trends and other real estate-related news and insights.
The idea is for the recipients to register that you are a real estate agent without knowing when or how that happened. They’ll be left with a sense that you’ve been busy building your career rather than thinking that it’s your first day on the job.
2. Create content around your area of expertise
Content marketing — whether through a blog, podcast or video series — is a great way to raise your profile online and make yourself the market expert. The good news for newbies? You don’t have to create content around real estate.
The purpose of content is to show that you are the expert on your neighborhood or metro area. You can do that by talking about the best restaurants in town, the best hiking trails or the best local farmer’s markets.
Find your group, and engage with people who love the same things about your community that you do. When you create content around the things that you’re great at, you leave readers or viewers with the impression that you would also be great to work with on their next real estate transaction. In addition, you create shareable content that your friends and followers will want to pass along.
3. Send out market snapshots
Just because you’re not yet an expert in the local market doesn’t mean you can’t share statistics and movement in the area. Your local association releases data on a monthly basis that you can share with your sphere through an email blast, with your social media followers through an infographic or in a video on your YouTube channel.
Take some time to analyze those statistics, and discuss them with a mentor or trusted colleague. You’ll not only build your own expertise, you’ll share your insights with potential clients and grow your reputation in the process.
4. Nurture relationships
Develop a list of influencers in your sphere. You know, those people who seem to know everyone, have a strong business network and are great connectors. Make it a point to contact each of these important friends or acquaintances, and invite them for coffee, lunch or whatever makes sense in terms of your relationship.
As you chat, you will have the opportunity to bring up your work in an offhand way — a client who’s looking in their neighborhood, something funny that happened in the office or the response to your latest blog post.
You’ll also have the opportunity to ask them if they know anyone who might be thinking of buying or selling and to ask them to keep you in mind for referrals.
5. Talk about new designations
As a new agent, one of your goals is probably to develop your expertise, perhaps through an industry-specific certification or designation.
Instead of talking about yourself as a new agent, talk about your new area of expertise. The assumption will be that you have some experience as an agent and that you are continuing to grow and define your service offerings through this additional training.
Use your marketing and messaging to redirect your audience away from the fact that you’re a new real estate agent. Put less emphasis on what you don’t know, and draw the attention of your sphere to the things you already know, the things you already do well and the ways that you can be of service.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.