Updated: Mar 4, 2021
"Pretend every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “make me feel important”. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.Pretend every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “make me feel important”. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life." - Mary Kay Ash
As a new real estate agent, many of us thought our days would be filled with showing beautiful houses, dazzling sellers with hi-tech listing appointments and maybe even negotiating against one of the “Million Dollar Listing New York” guys. The reality is that some of our days as professional real estate agents are filled with exactly those things. Okay, maybe not negotiating with the MDLNY guys, but beautiful homes and listing appointments. What many of us don’t consider in the beginning is where exactly those buyers and those sellers will materialize.
I think most of us agree that the definition of “Lead Generation” has an eye rolling effect. It immediately brings to mind “old school” door knocking and cold calling and maybe even sitting on the phones in your office, waiting to get struck by lightning. What should we be telling new Realtors®? How about, that their #1 job in real estate is to attract business and to remain top of mind with the people in their world. What’s needed to be successful is full on “Network Engagement”.
Network Engagement is what we do to generate business and referrals. It’s a call to action that revolves around implementing systems that consistently create interactions with the people in your world. The primary goal, to keep top of mind with all of the people in your existing network in order to grow your network. Network Engagement is the bridge between lead generations and sphere of influence. It is a full on strategy designed to build a thriving client base that runs on referrals and repeat business.
For many years, those of us on the Broker and Team Leader side of things have hammered into our people the importance of “Lead Generation”. We have talked endlessly about “Sphere of Influence” and droned on and on about how important it is to have a current contact list, and that a minimum of 2 hours a day must be devoted to lead generation. We have all been to those classes and camps that had you call your people at 10am and tell them how they could help you win a contest by referring someone to you that was buying or selling a home. I was actually taught early in my real estate career to begin that conversation with, “Hello Bill, this is so and so with so and so and this is a business call…” My particular network is heavy in first responder families who mostly work shiftwork. My network would find everything about that script offensive from the 10am call to “this is a business call”.
Network Engagement is about knowing and understanding your network in a way that nobody else does. It’s about treating people not the way that you would like to be treated but the treating them the way they would like to be treated.
The questions isn’t what are we telling new agents but what aren’t we telling them? What have we left out that draws a much clearer picture of what it takes to build a thriving real estate business? As a Broker I have a responsibility to make sure that my agents know not only what is expected of them as agents and professionals, but what may be required of them to be successful in this business.
A successful and purposeful Network Engagement plan may include, but is certainly not limited to the following activities:
Social Media Marketing
The list goes on and on. Many Agents quickly become overwhelmed with so many “lead generation” options, and just as many are hampered by trying to implement activities that simply aren’t a good fit for them or their personality. By recommending that new agents select 3-5 of the over 30 great network engagement activities and track those activities on a consistent basis, we have seen great results and sales increase across the board. It seems that the “what” isn’t nearly as important as the “when” in the form of systematic-sustained engagement. It must be all encompassing, all consuming and it must be our focus as real estate agents.
By focusing efforts and activities towards the people who already know you, like you and trust you, the likelihood of repeat business and referrals grows exponentially. Recent stats seem to indicate cause for concern due to the high failure rate of agents overall.
Recent data suggest:
87% of real estate agents fail in their first 5 years.
80% of new real estate agents fail in their first year.
The average salary of a real estate agent in the U.S. $42,183.
Only 4% of real estate agents stay in touch with their network.
Without question, focusing on your network and engaging in a systematic, sustained way can elevate sales numbers but, more importantly, it can elevate relationships. Most of us can agree that real estate is first and foremost a relational business. We may have to continue finding new and innovative ways to stay top of mind with our network. There’s no doubt “Network Engagement” has never been more important. Perhaps it’s time for a new real estate term that better describes what we do and how we do it.
Debbie Remington is the owner/broker of Remington Team Realty (remingtonteam.com) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She is a retired 911 dispatcher and is married to a retired police officer. She is also the inventor of the Real Estate Mentor App. For more information, please visit www.myrementorapp.com.