50 Ways to Riches in Real Estate
#15 - Friends
Friendship has many rewards. That's one of the things that is so cool about having friends. You can count on them, they help you move, they do fun stuff with you, they help promote your real estate business, they ....wait...what was that last one? How do they help promote my real estate business? How does that work? Well, let me tell you...
Your friends are your friends and you know stuff about them, they know stuff about you. Be absolutely sure that they know you are a real estate agent and your business and the family they love so dearly survives on word of mouth advertising. They also need to know that they can turn to you for real estate advice and should the need arise, buying or selling their home.
Real estate is one of those areas that blur the line between what you do and who you are. It's a full-time job, like being a fireman, or a police officer. It's more of who you are than what you do. It's a job you live. Your friends are part of that as they will live it with you (as it is who you are, not what you do). You've been building that real estate "Brand" with them for some time now,"I'm Bill the Realtor, how the heck are you?". You stop to answer your phone and walk away during the weekly poker game. Your HOA sends you letters about the billboard parked in your driveway. If these things are happening, man, you are in the groove and making it happen!
So, back to your friends....the other side of the friendship is you have to help them to remember that you are a realtor. Becuase they will. Then you'll discover that your friend lists their home with some other realtor and you'll say "Why did you do that?" and they say "Well, I forgot you were a real estate agent." and they will mean it. So you have to keep reminding them.
Maybe make it worth their while. "Bird dog" fees could include markers for moving, dinner at a great restaurant - on you, its win-win all around because they are your friends and assumably you like hanging out with them anyway!
So, tell your friends, often, over and over, that you are involved in real estate. Tell them about your new listing. Ask them to tell two friends, please!!
You can use your showings and open houses as topics for stories over coffee. Preferably in a public place so folks around you can hear as well. Make them funny but innocent and never ever make them bad against the customer. Only tell the good stories that make you and your customer look good!
Friends can also help with Open Houses. Ask them to do a walk through with you and express their opinions. They might see some things you didn't or offer a fresh perspective on something that you had not thought of. This also serves to help pass the time on those more lonely open houses :)
Give your friends your Business cards, often. Drop them in their car when you walk by it. Leave them on their kitchen table. Put one on their refrigerator. Carry a cooler of bottled water with your business card taped to the side and hand those out during softball games with your friends. Yes, it's over the top, That's the point, they will remember. especially if you express why you do this when they ask.
This is how I feed my family and make my income. I like to do business with people I like. You are those people. I know I can trust you and you know you can trust me.
This is, after all, what friends are for.
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