“So how do you go about getting people to sell their homes with you?” Mike Mooney, my coworker at Harper Woods High School, asked on my last day of my teaching career.
Well Mike, (and everyone else who has been asking me how it’s going) let me answer that for you now that I’ve spent a little over a week in the trenches.
The real estate gurus say that to generate a profitable business, we should make 20-30 new contacts a day. But just how do we do that? How do we generate something from nothing? All of my coworkers who’ve been in the game for awhile say there are tons of ways to do real estate and that eventually I’ll find my niche. Some people have built their business on straight cold calling and other ways to basically “spam” strangers who may have no interest in selling or buying. Others love sending cute mailers and handwritten notes to known or unknown prospects. Some say we just need to start being more social and strike up real estate convos with random (or not so random) people while we are out and about. Many people preach that contacting FSBOs (for sale by owners) is the best strategy to gain a listing, while others like to pounce on old expired listings, promising that they can sell the contact’s home even though another agent couldn’t. Others work the divorce or probate market by either contacting attorneys or finding ways to contact the prospects directly. Some people prefer building relationships with lenders, title agents, and insurance brokers to gain leads from them. Some like door knocking; some suggest “farming” a neighborhood (real estate speak for contacting people in a specific neighborhood); some pay for internet leads; some advise new agents to host other people’s open houses to find potential buyers; some pay for Facebook to send targeted ads; some use the free Facebook options like documenting work we are doing or advertising on our own page. Well y’all, during my first week….I tried them all. 😅 Let me share my experience with just a few of these strategies.
First of all, I am in no way, shape, or form, a salesperson...so this has been interesting to say the least 🙈. My brokerage gave me the perfect mentor: Joe. He is everything I’m not. He’s the smoothest talking cat you’ve ever seen. I think my jaw drops to my chest everytime I hear him speak to a potential client. Up until literally yesterday, listening to him talk made me feel like an idiot. 😂 Even though I was taking notes in my head at each session and attempting to parrot his performance on my drive back home, I couldn’t help but feel a little discouraged. Am I ever going to be able to talk like that? Am I ever going to be able to so confidently and aggressively insert myself into other people’s lives? Now you might ask, well then why on Earth did you get into sales if you don’t like to sell?? Fair question. I want to be different. I want to be the relationship agent. When every other agent focuses on getting listings only, I want to be the buyer agent who holds first time home buyers’ hands through one of the most stressful and exciting processes of their lives. I’m still a teacher at heart, so I want to teach; I want to help. I don’t want to sell. However, I can’t start building relationships if I don’t have clients. So, I have to bite the bullet and do the weird salesy stuff right now in order to jump start this career. 🤷🏻♀️
So that’s what I’ve been doing. One day last week I went door knocking on a street in my city and passed out free home value analyses to a few neighbors. One lady actually talked to me for quite awhile. Then at almost the end of our conversation she said, “Wait, are you a realtor?” 🙄 Damn, should I have put on my blazer for door knocking in 90 degree weather? 🤦🏻♀️ Another lady, after about two minutes of talking, actually asked me if I wanted to come in her house. My shocked facial expression when I said, “Well... sure, if you are ready for that!” probably made her uncomfortable. Whoops! I suppose I should have just confidently said, “Yes, I’d love to,” and walked right in. Next time. During a cold call, an older guy talked to me for probably 20 minutes... all for him to say he didn’t want to sell until he died. 😅 He ended the conversation by saying, “Well dear, you’re a great listener, but I don’t think you are cut out for this industry.” Thanks bro. 😑 Finally...the mailers.... Lord’t! That’s a lot of money! Between stamps, envelopes, and paper, my advertising budget was blown on day one! Needless to say, I didn’t have the money to buy those cute little custom made mailers you see on Pinterest. So I had my tech savvy wife create them for me. My admin at the Sterling Heights office fell in love with them and posted them on Facebook for me. Then I thought….shit, am I breaking some type of copyright law by recreating these mailers? 🤔 I guess I’ll find out!
So, what did I learn from all of this? Well….turns out that a strength in teaching (consistently giving these teenagers an “unbothered” vibe) is actually quite a flaw in real estate. Looks like I gotta show people I actually want their business. I need to lessen the chill and turn up the assertiveness. Lord (or universe or whomever) help me learn how to walk the thin line between appearing like an overbearing, desperate salesperson and a “youngin” (as one man put it this week) with an IDGAF sticker slapped on my forehead. 🤷♀️ Either way, it’s only been a little over a week and I’m already feeling way more confident. As I used to tell my athletes, our only goal is to simply be “better than yesterday.”