Partner with a Real Estate Agent to Double / Triple Your Sales
Realtor Can Be Your Best (& Free) Marking Tool
In today’s episode: We discuss how any business that provides a service to a homeowner who is looking for your services can see dramatic increases in their sales and profits by just hooking up with a few real estate agents!
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Episode 11: Partner with a Real Estate Agent to Double / Triple Your Sales
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.
Today we are going to take a look at how some local small business owners are making a killing by partnering with a Real Estate Agent
Today I want to talk about a topic that I’m really passionate about and it impacts quite a few of the Local Small Business owners, especially the ones listening to our podcast, specifically to those that take their businesses into people’s homes. And you'd be amazed at how many businesses actually are done at a client or customer's home.
What I want to do, is I want to discuss a way for these types of businesses to double or triple their sales. And I am not joking on this one. And, if you are a new business just starting out, this is a great way for you to build your business. I’m actually amazed at how much this is such a well-kept secret.
Those that have figured it out though, are enjoying some great growth in their businesses; and they probably don't want you to know it anyways. If you are a Local Small Business owner whose primary customer/client is a homeowner, then you need to learn this major game changer for your business.
The secret? Simple! It's just partnering with a Realtor to Double or Triple Your Sales.
Four years ago, I ended up closing my brick and mortar business; and I needed to figure out what I was going to do. And I really did not have any desire, whatsoever, to go back to corporate America. And I loved this whole Local Small Business concept; it really had become a passion. So I started to think, “What could I do with limited funds?” , but something I could attack right away and make a difference.
So I have, I mentioned this (I think) back in episode 0, but I have a passion for obviously home improvement since I did that. I owned a bunch of real estate for rentals and stuff like that. That's a whole other nightmare I got to deal with. I'll take that back, it's been fun and bad. I guess it's got both sides to it, but when I was trying to figure out what I needed to do, I decided to become a Realtor. I knew some folks there. And I knew that I could build this local business. And believe it or not, there's a lot of real estate agents that do not think of their business as a Local Small Business. It absolutely is.
You are building a business with the folks within your town, your servicing people that are coming into your town and servicing people that are leaving your town, city or community. However, you want to do it. The successful agents that are out there, think of their business as a business; and those that do are very, very successful. Those that think of it as just a job or just something they do, it's a casual thing. Yeah, they're never going to build anything big, but if you truly look at the successful real estate agents, they absolutely have the heart and passion of a Local Small Business owner. So now that I got that rant out of the way.
THE AMAZING SECRET I LEARNED
So when I became an agent, I never would have guessed how powerful this tactic would be that I'm going to go over today. And to be honest, I had never noticed it before, but once I got into it, I mean, mind blown. After watching the impact it had on these Local Small Business owners. It really is an amazing opportunity that I have shared with every Local Small Business owner who will listen. If someone goes into people's homes; and they're willing to listen, trust me, I am preaching this and telling them how to maximize the return from tackling this. Now, I really want to share with you why I feel so passionately about this.
You see, Real Estate agents are connectors. They are constantly being asked for references for plumbers, electricians, handymen, landscapers, home cleaners, trash pickup. Not to mention a whole other list of specialists who do decks, fences, pools, garages, bugs you name it. If it's done in the home, trust me, I've been asked it. So have other agents. Trust me, you want to be one of these connections from a real estate agent!
Think about it, real estate agents are dealing with homeowners when they are coming and going. They are getting requests both on the move in and on the move-out. Real Estate Agents represent both sellers and buyers. So in some cases, you might do a great job for a seller with some repairs they need to sell their home, and then when they get to their new home you get to work for them again because of the great service that you did on their new home as well. So you're getting two for the price of one.
Let’s take a look at some key things though that you need to know.
1: Real Estate Agents are Loyal
Most real estate agents like having folks they can refer on a dime. They are not wanting to keep bouncing from person to person. They want to have a go-to guy or gal, and you want to be the person they are lining up to do the work for their clients. When they get that phone call, you want to be top of mind for them to reference.
Now, since they are so loyal, they will send you a steady stream of business. The more successful the agent, the more business you will get. Sometimes they will even drive you nuts with how successful they are and all of their business. I have had 5 or 6 deals going on at the same time, and my poor handyman was run ragged. And I'm sure when my name popped up, he did not want to hear from me because he wanted to finish what he had already going. And the thing for most real estate agents is sometimes we forget we're not the only clients for these connectors that we have. So I'm sure like I said, I drive my handyman, specifically, nuts with all that. While they are all needing attention now, I also know that I’m not my handyman’s only source of leads. Since they are loyal, you will find that there will be times that their loyalty, will drive you nuts when they want you to drop everything for them. But remember, this loyalty to you and your business, can be worth a whole heck of a lot of money.
Real Estate agents will NOT let you disappoint their clients. So they are loyal until you start causing more headaches than you solve. Their reputations are based on making things happen and keeping their clients happy, and as long as you have the same agenda you are in. Mess it up. You are out. You may not be out the first time you mess it up, but I'll guarantee you that the second or third time that they start having clients nip at them for what you did, they're going to let you go.
You must keep in mind, that due to the nature of the business, you are an extension of them. Every person that touches this real estate deal, is an extension of the real estate agent. That's just the way that the client thinks; and since real estate is a relationship based business, anything that potentially damages that long-term relationship with their clients will cause them to drop you and find a new go-to person.
I know what some of you are thinking, “If they are loyal and already have a go-to person, how on Earth can I become that go to person?”
That's a Great question! Some folks will already have a #1, so your goal with these folks is to become their #2. This way when the #1 can’t meet the short notice or begins to perform poorly, they will start shifting to their #2; and you want to be set and ready to roll. Trust me, some of the folks I use today, were my #2 and they just worked their way up due to somebody retiring or someone's customer service dropping. So #2 is not a bad position because it really is setting you up for the future.
HOW TO HOOK UP WITH THE REAL ESTATE AGENTS
The best way to work your way in is to introduce yourself. Then each month drop them an email and stay in touch and continue to offer your services. Acknowledge that they have a current go-to person but you would love to be their backup person. And, once you get that first back up position, trust me, at some point you're going to get a job. And when you do – Show them what you got! Show them that you are ready to take on the first position; and I promise you, in time you will.
Another opportunity you will want to jump on is staying in the know of who the new agents are. These are folks that have yet to build up their vendor list, and yet they will be looking for folks. So while they might not have customers yet, they will soon; and you will want to be the first person they think of. And trust me, when they are having that first deal, they're nervous as heck so if they have already built a relationship with somebody, that's who they're going to call. You want to be that person, and you never know which of those new agents are going to be the next superstars in your area. So, you want to make sure you get in with those new agents, just as much as the existing ones because if you don't introduce yourself to these new agents, I guarantee that they're going to go with the recommendations of somebody else's vendor list; and you're going to be left out. Which leads to…
2: Another great lesson to learn is, Real Estate Agents Are Great at Sharing their vendors with Other Agents
Agents can be the gift that keeps on giving from agent to agent word of mouth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I have a great handyman or great landscaper, a maid service. Whatever the situation is. This just happened the other day someone asked for a great bug person because they had an issue and their bug person, they couldn't get ahold of. Agents will turn to each other first instead of going out looking for another person. Remember, they want to trust the person they send to their client’s home. So who better to trust than another agent that they trust because they know that agent will only accept the best for their clients as well? So if you think about it, not only get this clients business, you potentially will get other agents as well. So for example, my handyman now helps out about 5 or 6 agents in my office. While I might still be the bulk of his business, others will still call him when needed. Just earlier today I was asked for his number again by someone who has used him in the past. Never underestimate the referral part of the business with any real estate agent.
Now let’s discuss how you will be actually doubling or tripling your business.
The stronger agents will keep you busy. They will constantly keep coming to you with jobs both large and small. Make sure you do them all! You never know what it's going to lead to. Show them that they matter. Remember, the true growth happens when the homeowner tells their family and friends. So for example, let’s just say you do a small job at Home A (the agent refers you to their client). You do this small job with a smile and great service. Then the homeowner tells their aunt about you, and the aunt calls you for a job on her house and it is even bigger than the little one you did at Home A. She trusts you and says, ” Oh, my niece only had the best things to say about you. And next thing you know, that ball starts rolling in for referrals because she's going to tell people; and they're going to continue to pass you along. You eventually become that family’s new go-to person.
Trust me, I have watched it happen. You already know it is true. How? Because you've already seen the power of referrals in your business already. People love to do two things, brag about people they love; and put on blast those they don’t. Which camp will you fall in?
Remember, you are trying to create the domino effect. You know when those folks line up those dominos and then just by touching of them, one little domino, they all come crashing down. They make that little (domino sound) thing. The power of one domino actually creates a strong enough chain reaction. And that's exactly what you want to do in your business.
HOW DOES THIS ALL WORK – How Do You Double Your Sales?
So let’s take an example of how this helps you grow your business. Let's take a look at an example. Let's just say you connect and build a solid relationship with Agent A. Now, Agent A starts using you for all of their clients. Heck, when Agent A even needs work at home personally they call you as well. I know I call my folks. Then Agent A’s clients start recommending you to their families and friends. Then, Agent, the “A” starts recommending you to other agents; and the cycle continues because Agents B, C, D and E start doing the same pattern over and over. And pretty soon you are swimming in business! All from that one connection, you made in the beginning. That first domino you set in motion.
Now, a Word of Caution:
When that ball starts rolling, do not make the critical mistake that I’ve seen happen to many small business owners. Once your business takes off; that first agent calls you up because they have a new client what will happen is your so busy you actually blow them off or tell them you don't have time. And then, next thing you know, it happens once, it happens twice, it happens three times. And then guess what? That hungry #2 who has been waiting in the wings, now gets their shot.
They now become this agents #1 because they have made time for this agents clients, and that's all of what matters to that agent, is getting their client taken care of. And as long as #2 gives great customer service and does a fantastic job, they will get called more and more. Every time they're blown off by #1, #2 gets another shot at that door. And remember, if your that #2, you're excited because you now have moved into that first place. So slowly what happens to the old #1? Their business starts to slow down and they don’t even realize why. They just go, “Wow business really sucks lately. It's not as busy as it was.”
What they haven't realized is because they didn't take care of the original person who was feeding them the pipeline, their business starts to dry up. Now, I am not saying that's the case every single time but I have watched it many times. That people become a victim of their own success; and they forget that they actually need to stop taking on new business and cultivate the old business that they already have. So whatever you do, do not get the mindset that you have enough business; and the loss of one agent shouldn't be a big deal. The problem is they might have been the main cause for the ripples of success in your business.
Now, I don’t tell you this to say make Realtor’s #1, they are all that and a bag of chips, hardly. I tell you this because I have seen how powerful this referral business can be on somebody’s business. I have personally witnessed businesses take off in our office due to how we pass around the name of a new vendor.
It's actually pretty amazing to watch. It's an amazing opportunity if you can crack this nut and get into this referral pipeline
ADD TO YOUR TOOLBELT OF SALES
Listen, Real Estate Agents might not be your #1 focus. And I understand. However, they are as important in your funnel as any other advertising that you could possibly pay for. Instead of buying ads online or passing out flyers, you get great word of mouth through the agents. They are your personal walking, talking billboards. They will do all the advertising for you since you are solving a pain point for them. They want to be able to recommend folks on the fly and if you can solve that pain and fill that need, you will have a loyal funnel in your business.
So, if you are ready to increase your sales today then let’s highlight again what you will want to do. Pop into real estate offices and introduce yourself. Even if you only talk to one person make some type of connection. Put a face to your name. Grab the agents business cards on the counter, they probably have a bunch of them laying around. Write an email to those agents, introducing yourself and the services that you provide. Don't go crazy on them, but just do it in a nice, friendly manner. When they need you, they'll go looking through their old emails because they're like, “Oh, didn't I have somebody that reached me?” Especially if you have a more unique type of business.
Now, don’t just focus on the “big dogs” we talked about. Sure top agents have a lot of business but they also have built strong vendor relationships already. You want to connect with the new agents for sure and those with steady businesses that might not be those top dogs. Now I'm not saying don't go after the top dogs, but I'm just saying don't forget that the new agents need vendors, and the mid-level people who don't do them as consistently probably lose touch with their vendors so they're also easy pickings. Basically, you're looking for folks who might not already have a “team” they can count on. Because remember, even the less busy agents will need you one day. Just make sure it is you that they remember!
And when you have a connection, even if it is for a small job, ask that agent how you can continue to earn their business. Ask them if they know of any other agents that might be looking for folks to use. I know I'm personally always telling my folks who were are the new agents; and that they need to connect with. It warms my heart when these new agents finally give them a call and a new relationship is formed.
Remember, let them know that you want to be part of their team! That's the biggest thing, is that you want to be part of their team.
Listen, If you provide any service, no matter how small or large, that a homeowner might need someday, then YOU MUST tap into this huge lead generating source. You need to get to know as many active real estate agents as you can. You will be surprised how one or two great connections can skyrocket your business!
Hopefully, you have picked up a few ideas from this episode. If you have, make sure you write them down and capture them. Speaking of which, since you are listening to podcasts; and hopefully you are going to be getting some ideas, whether it's mine or someone else's make sure you always keep a notepad in your truck or car to capture your thoughts. If not, they will be gone when you try to recall them later. Another great thing that you can do, is actually speak them into your phone because if your driving, there's a little record thing on there; and you can just record it or when you get to the stop light or your destination make sure you jot it down right away, whether it's on this notepad or in your phone.
I personally do it several different ways. I have a notepad in my truck and also one in my bathroom since I do tend to get a lot of ideas in the shower. I also take notes on my smartphone. If the idea is strong, I make sure I capture it somewhere so it isn’t lost. There is nothing worse than when you know you had a great idea about something you want to do in your business and then you can not remember it. Then, next time your working on your business, make sure you review it and decide if it is an item you will work on this week or notate it for a future project.
Hopefully, as I said, you've gotten 1 or 2 great nuggets or ideas that you can implement.
So until next time, remember, if you like what we are talking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode; and if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please head on over to iTunes and leave a 5 star review so other Local Small Business owners know this is a podcast that they can not miss.
Also don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. Remember, you can leave it on the speakpipe button or just shoot me an email. I'll see you on the next episode.
By for now.
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Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:
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