Building a steady stream of buyers and sellers
By Deborah Kearns
When Himani Jain decided to morph her love of interior design into a real estate career, she quickly realized it would be an uphill battle. In her market in Gurgaon, India, it’s frowned upon for women to work as real estate agents.
To complicate matters, there’s no standardized real estate laws or ethical guidelines in her marketplace either, she says.
But Jain wanted to do things the right way, and signing on with RE/MAX Solution Specialists in Gurgaon was the jumpstart she needed. Since joining in May 2015, she’s had to fight for every single listing. Her hard work has earned her a steady stream of exclusive representation agreements to work with buyers and sellers, called “mandates” in India, she says.
Here are her top eight tips on how to get — and keep — new listings.
- Know your value proposition inside and out.
Before approaching potential clients, know your pitch – the what, the why and the how — on how you’ll serve them. Articulate what can you offer above and beyond other agents.
- Focus on what you do better.
Explain how your business is different, and stress the professionalism of how you work. For example, I explain that unlike the broker fraternity here that focuses on commissions only and opening sellers’ homes to as many prospects as possible, I work to protect my clients’ capital investments by pre-screening buyers for security and safety.
- Tap the global power of RE/MAX.
Look for clients leads from developed countries who are more likely to know the RE/MAX brand; they will be more receptive to working with you. RE/MAX has a global reach and well-established credibility throughout the countries it operates in.
- Find business in unexpected places.
Vacant properties or homes that have previously been on the market and didn’t sell (called expired listings in the United States) are great sources of new business.
- Narrow your client prospects.
In the West, this is referred to as working with “A” clients. Professionals who have steady jobs at well-respected organizations and corporations will more than likely recognize the value you offer as a fellow professional. They’ll be more inclined to work with you exclusively rather than an agent who has no structured business model and is looking to make a quick commission.
- Have a strong marketing plan in place for listings.
In order to get repeat and future business, ensure you’re marketing your listings well, whether it’s online, via social media, in print or with traditional signage. The goal here is to get to work right away so your clients see your value and know you’re actively trying to sell their home.
- Ask for testimonials after every single closing.
Don’t be shy about asking each buyer or seller whom you work with to share their experience. I do this through LinkedIn’s Recommendations feature, but use whatever system works best for you (your website, review sites in your country, etc.).
- Use social media to spread the word.
After each closing, it’s a good idea to share the news on your social media channels. Not only does this satisfy the clients you just helped, it also increases the confidence that prospects will have in your ability to help them.