50 Ways to Riches in Real Estate
#17 - Neighbors
Neighbors define "local and social" perhaps better than anything else. Let's start with Your neighbors. Go meet them. Take a pie. Pie creates smiles. Pie opens doors. Pie creates invites for coffee and easy conversation. Remember to tape your business card to the pie box and leave the pie there when you go.
Now that you've met your neighbors, you'll have to keep those pies coming. Neighbors are like friends, in that they forget you are a real estate professional. They forget your livelihood depends on word of mouth and personal contacts. It is common that a real estate agents neighbor will list their home with someone else. When asked the common answer is "I forgot you were an agent." or sometimes "I didn't want to bother you, you seem really busy."
Constant reminders are required; "Hey Bill, I'm doing an open house in a sweet condo with a great view, is your Mom still looking to buy?" or "Hey Bill! I'm doing an Open House, here are a couple flyers in case you have any other friends that are looking to buy." or "Hey Bill, I have a buyer looking for a place exactly like yours, you interested in selling, you Know I'll work for you if you list with me. Something to keep in mind!".
Maybe host a monthly get together, at the local coffee house, where your neighbors meet and exchange business contacts. Have fun with it, "check-in" and note that you're discussing real estate with your neighbors over Great Coffee at *insert name of the coffee shop here*.
Host a neighborhood garage sale. Wear your name tag. Offer coffee, pie, water (with cards taped to the bottles) and give everyone that shows up one of your business cards. Shake their hand, give them a card, tell them you're a real estate agent.
Don't be too concerned about being "over the top" with this sort of constant reminding. When it comes time to sell their homes, your neighbors are going to remember how hard you work to market yourself. They will know you will work that hard to sell their home for them as well.
Now, about that new listing, you just got. It probably has neighbors. They like pie too. This is a great way to learn about your new listing and the neighborhood that it is in. Your sellers will have their story, but it is also great to get the neighbors point of view as well. The neighbor will also remember this and how nice you were. When you show the house, you can wave at the neighbor and receive a happy reply. Your potential buyers will recognize your due diligence in vetting the neighbor, as well as the house, as part of your job. Leave some business cards with the neighbor in case they have any friends or family that might be looking to buy or sell.
When you work an Open House, take pie. Offer some to the neighbors of the Open House. Ask them about the listing you are showing. Ask them if they or their family is looking to buy. Leave them your business cards.
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