If you’re like many real estate agents, finding clients is high on your “to do” list. 

Many “gurus” out there tell you “it’s a numbers game.”  Just sit on the phone and keep calling people – the more you call, the more clients you’ll get.  Or they’ll tell you to hit a neighborhood and doorknock.  Just do it, they say.  You’ll figure it out.

Well, they’re WRONG!

Real estate is NOT a “numbers game.”  It’s actually not a “game” at all.  Real estate is a business.  A profession.  And it’s not about trying everything to see what sticks (cold calling, doorknocking, etc.)  Rather, real estate is about HEART. 

At its foundation, this business is about connecting with people.  It’s about relationships. 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  If you don’t get out there and talk to people – every single day – your business will likely flounder.  You DO need to talk to a “number” of people.

But spending your days doing things that are not “you.”  And failing to prepare and strategize as to what to say, when to say it and how to say it.  Well, this will likely lead to few true prospects in your pipeline..and very little in the way of actual clients.

Instead, take a step back and assess your strengths & weaknesses.  Identify what you enjoy. 

Then make a plan – a strategy – based upon what you’ve identified as fitting with your personality.

You see, you DON’T have to cold call or door knock to be successful.  There are other ways to speak with people and meet with people to find clients.

One alternative to cold calling & doorknocking is nurturing your Circle (what some call your “sphere of influence”).  (Request a copy of our Comprehensive Circle List, identifying nearly 100 categories of people to include in your Circle.)

In fact, many successful agents have built their entire business around this one powerful lead generation (and referral) source!

And that makes sense, right?

Real estate is all about relationships and your Circle are people who already know you or at least have some familiar with you in some way or another.   So focusing on speaking with those in your Circle is a perfect place to begin. 

First, be sure to identify everybody you know and write their name down on your Circle List.  Second, reach out to EACH of them, ideally by phone or in person (or Facebook voice note).  In that reach out, the purpose is NOT to “sell” them anything.  Rather, the purpose is to re-connect.  Ask the other person how they’ve been.  What they’ve been up to since you last saw them.  Be sure to ask about THEM.  I can guarantee you that after you talk about them for a while, they will turn the conversation around and ask how you’ve been and what’s new with you.  Then you can let them know about your AWESOME real estate business!  Third, delete those in your Circle who don’t engage – that is, those who don’t bother returning your phone calls or emails over a period of several weeks.  That’s not harsh.  That’s a being a smart businessperson who, in doing so, is avoiding spinning your wheels later.  Fourth, identify those in your Circle who were particularly excited about you and your real estate venture – i.e., your biggest cheerleaders or champions.  Going forward, be intentional about contacting those people at least quarterly (perhaps monthly).  You’ll want to vary your approach – perhaps an invite for coffee or lunch so you can be face-to-face.  Later, maybe you connect on Facebook (with a comment on a pic or post of theirs).  Perhaps it’s a phone call or a handwritten note.  Where possible, give those in your Circle something of value, something they “need” or “like” or will appreciate (all these you should know about your Circle members because you have an ongoing relationship with them).

Whatever the contact with those in your Circle, remember:  coming from a place of GIVING will always result in a better relationship and, ultimately, more referrals. 

Other ways you can find leads offline is by hosting a Launch Party or Client Appreciation Party.  Or by aligning yourself with other business owners in areas you service and co-hosting events or marketing efforts.  Or by farming a neighborhood and becoming the neighborhood expert, sponsoring fun neighborhood get togethers (perhaps bringing Santa to them) and/or offering small, thoughtful gifts at various times throughout the year. (To learn other amazingly effective offline lead generation strategies, check out our 4 Powerful (& free) Strategies to Win New Business webinar!