10 Ways To Build a Profitable Real Estate Practice

By Alex Camelio, CEO - Posted on
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Last Updated on April 7, 2022

Over the last 20 years, Agent Inner Circle has helped thousands of agents and brokers find better, easier ways to grow their businesses into profitable real estate practices.

Below are TEN strategies that will help you generate more clients, and build a long-term viable business.

1. Prioritize Your Marketing Time, Money and Effort According To the QUALITY Of The Prospect/Market

“Quality” is defined as how well the prospect already knows you and how pre-disposed they are to use you over any other agent. You never want to chase cold prospects at the expense of higher potential prospects. So here’s how I believe you should prioritize your marketing:

  • Build a “Power List” and market to them on a monthly basis (this is your “market share,” where 70% or more of your business should come from – more on this later).
  • Market off “Transactional Leads” (from your listings for buyers) and other listings (once you have them).
  • Work hot leads – follow-up is essential.  At the very least, you know they’re in the market to buy/sell, and most agents hopelessly ignore follow-up.
  • Do your research to select market niches that have the most promise, and work them (i.e. fish in a stocked pond). This includes geographic markets (farms) and specialty markets (resort, golf, vacation, etc.).
  • Work FSBOs and Expireds – but notice the low quality of this group.  We both know the reason, and here’s a revealing fact. The National Association of REALTORS® produces an annual research report called Profile of Buyers and Sellers.  It’s filled with lots of facts and figures, but the most startling fact they’ve discovered is that over 67% of all Sellers list with an agent because the client either 1) knew the agent already, or 2) was referred to the agent from a trusted source.  This means that 2/3 of all sales happen because of a relationship. Yet less than 11% of all agents have any “systems” to harvest deep relationships and build market share.  So about 11% get the lion’s share of business and 89% wrestle each other over the scraps.  THIS fact alone is why I told you (above) to create a “Power List” of friends, family, past clients, acquaintances, etc., and market to them first and foremost.  They already know you and will trust you to represent them when purchasing or selling a home.   This is why we created the Service For Life!® real estate newsletter as a ready-to-use tool to capture this “easy” business- start building your profitable real estate practice now- check it out!

2. When Starting Out, Spend 80% of Your Time Prospecting

Whether it’s cold prospecting or establishing marketing systems, focus your resources on getting business.

Keep in mind though, cold prospecting has a terrible return on investment if you value your time.  Not to mention, it makes you feel like a sleazy person, always begging for business.  There are much easier, more effective ways to generate new clients.

However,  if you’re new to real estate or starting over, and have no money, you have to get the ball rolling. So, until you establish marketing systems (read this article for  more info) focus your time and energy on meeting new people and getting business to build your Power List.

Don’t allow distractions (self imposed or otherwise) to interfere with this task.  And remember, don’t neglect establishing other marketing systems so you can quickly stop manual prospecting.

3. Get a Hotline and Use it

Your hotline will become the foundation of your marketing systems, and will become the “mechanism” that generates leads and clients automatically from ALL your other marketing, so you can do your job: working clients, closing deals and cashing commission checks. You’ll use it for classifieds, display ads, sign tags, info tube flyers, listing presentations, and lots more. Go to www.SixFigureHotlines.com and subscribe to the free course there and examine Proquest’s hotline service – it’s first-rate and they give you extra marketing tools to use in your practice.

4. Product-Ize Your Real Estate Services

The real estate industry is a mass-commodity of agents all screaming the same thing to prospects — professionalism, dedication, integrity, blah, blah, blah.  You need to be seen as DIFFERENT.   And in ways that are important to your target prospects.  So, create unique “products” out of your services.

  • For example: “Your Maximum Value Home Marketing Plan,” or “Preferred Buyer Program.”
  • Another example: Rather than give CMAs, agents will offer a “Maximum Home Value Audit” to examine and determine ways to maximize the value of a home and sell it in the least time.

The secret is to weave the greatest benefit for the client into the name.  Then, make a simple list of everything you do for the client as part of your program – even if other agents do it, it’s likely they don’t promote it, so you have the advantage.

5. Make Yourself A Self-Proclaimed “Specialist” in Your Market

Farming a resort area?  Make yourself a “resort property specialist” and title your product specifically to it: “Ventana Canyon Golf Property Specialist” and “Ventana Canyon Maximum Value Golf Property Program.” Use your creativity and match your services specifically to the market or type of property you sell. Your success requires intense focus on your highest priority activities. 

6. Use Education-Based Marketing To Prospect

No one wants to get “sold” yet everyone loves to buy. “Selling” implies manipulation; buying implies control. Use marketing that prospects will welcome, or even desire. Help your prospects understand the important tips, issues and secrets related to their buying or selling situation and you’ll win their hearts.

Use the pre-written special reports I provide in the Service For Life!® personal marketing system (www.ServiceForLife.com) to attract leads with your marketing, give valuable information, win their hearts and minds, differentiate yourself, and generate them as a client. And don’t forget to follow-up. Even dead leads can go onto your database to receive Service For Life!® each month.

7. Use Direct Response in ALL Your Marketing

There are many elements to direct response, but remember this:

No one will reply to any of your marketing without a specific, self-serving REASON to respond.

90% of the agent community is hopelessly ignorant of this fact and they keep using “image” advertising with the same lousy results. I’m talking about making an OFFER to prompt response from prospects:

  • a special report
  • an area analysis
  • your “Maximum Home Value Audit”
  • a “Free Home Package” of a listed home

Make sure everything gets an irresistible offer and call to action to prompt response.

8. Sell With Emotional Benefits

Whether it’s a listing presentation, lead generation ad, classified, home ad, showing property, etc….people buy because of what the home, offer, etc., will DO for them.

Features are what something IS (3 bedroom, pool, tennis court, etc.), benefits are what something DOES for the prospect (save/make money, minimize time, beat other buyers to the market, reduce hassles, etc.). Know the difference.

People buy for the emotional benefits they perceive they’ll get – then they justify their purchase with features/logic.

9. Give Compelling Social Proof

People are skeptics. No one believes your own claims. You must give as much believable proof as you can of the benefits you offer. Generate testimonials from every client after close (you can even get them from friends or family at the outset), and make them believable by including:

  • photo
  • full name
  • city, state
  • quote
  • story

Then use them everywhere: ads, listing packages, etc.

One agent I know created his “Little Blue Book” – a blue booklet overflowing with testimonials. He uses the testimonials and booklet in all of his marketing.

Other examples: Use statistics to give yourself/your brokerage the competitive advantage. Use media clippings to prove a point. Get interviewed or write an article about real estate, then clip the article and use with farming, listing presentations, etc. It will prove you’re a professional and expert. Bottom line: Give people more than your word to rely on.

10. Make Using Your Services Risk-Averse

Agents are afraid of risk reversal because they think their clients will take advantage of them. Just the opposite happens: Ten-times more people will use your services because of your risk reversal than will ever take advantage of you.

Examples: “Easy Exit Listing Agreement”…

“If you buy a home from me and within the first year don’t like it, I’ll sell it for you for free” (seller commission would apply), etc.

If you’re not willing to stand by your own services, why should your clients? Your risk-avoidance is designed to let people know you believe in your abilities, and make the “yes” decision easier for them.

Pick Your Priorities Wisely

This list will get you started down the right path of where to make changes to grow your real estate practice this year, and for the future. I’m truly excited to see you implement these strategies as thousands of other agents have successfully.

So, let me ask. Have you used any of these tips in your own practice to build a profitable real estate business? Please share your story with us below, in the comments!

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Alex Camelio
Throughout his career, Alex has personally helped over 15,000 Agents and Brokers, including some of the Top REALTORS® in North America. His passion for marketing, technology and business development has translated into more than a decade of cutting edge technology and contributions to the real estate industry. As the CEO of the Agent Inner Circle®, a 40,000-member real estate agent community, Alex focuses on providing agents with education and actionable strategies to grow and optimize their business, ultimately building some of the most successful careers in real estate today. Alex is an internationally recognized educator who’s shared his thoughtful and energetic presentations with various National Associations and industry organizations. As always, Alex is excited to share his expertise with everyone.
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