‘Great bones’, ‘solid foundations’ and ‘a timeless design’. As agents we use these terms often, with an eye for properties that have the right foundations and are set to stand the test of time.
But have you ever applied the same lens to your real estate career, considering exactly the foundations you want it to be built on to provide longevity, stability and a metaphorical ‘roof over your head’ for many years to come?
If you set your real estate career up on solid foundations, you can build on it over time.
Get it right, you can write your own paycheck, and watch the value of the asset that is your career grow year after year.
Get it wrong, you’ll find yourself in an unrelenting ‘Groundhog Day’, plugging leaks, papering over the cracks and consumed with ongoing maintenance tasks that take up your time and your energy.
But where exactly do the strong foundations of a real estate career lie? What’s the solid footing you need to build it upon?
Your database is your foundation
Real estate is not complicated. It’s about connecting with people and ensuring they pick you when the time comes for them to sell or buy a property.
That makes your database of contacts the essential foundation to focus upon. You create it, then build on it, adding people to that contact list over time.
You nurture those contacts too, providing them with useful information and ensuring they understand what you do and achieve.
You take care of them as you would the foundations of a property that are expected to remain strong.
You check in on them, maintain them as required, and keep them current.
But sure, you’ve heard all about the importance of building and maintaining your database before.
So, I’d like to pose a couple of quick questions…
Does your database excite you?
Are you excited every time you add a contact to your database? And by that, I mean almost as excited as when you secure a listing.
Because you should be. Every contact you have in your database is a potential listing later down the track, but only if you maintain it well.
Do you ensure you have detailed notes and correct contact details for each person on that list?
Is each contact part of a nurturing program, such as a weekly or bi-monthly email or timely and relevant SMS communication?
Are their trigger points in place for you to reach out and make contact, such as an anniversary, an appraisal follow-up, or the listing, then sale of a nearby property?
Do you know the return of investment on your database? How many contacts do you have, and of those, about how many sell each year?
Now here’s the big question…
Building on your database
If a database is the foundation of a solid real estate career and building on it is real estate 101, what activities do you undertake to increase its value?
How do you meet future potential sellers (and buyers) and add them to your database?
What actions do you take around new listings (yours and your competitors) to increase the number of people in your contact list?
If your answer to these questions is ‘ad-hoc’, then you really need to get serious about your database in the knowledge it is your career foundation.
And if, like many, you have not given your database the attention it deserves, what now?
The answer is best articulated by the Chinese proverb, “The best time to have planted a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now”.
Building, maintaining your database, and adding to your sphere of influence is essential when it comes to remaining relevant and standing the test of time in this industry.
It is the core foundation that your entire career rests upon.
And if you have any doubt just how essential that foundation is to your success, consider this quote: “The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid”.