I’ve always believed activity breeds more activity, so maybe creativity breeds more creativity. If you want to give your business a boost to a new level this year, try being creative or even crazy.
Two ideas off the top of my head this morning; start prospecting ‘For Rent by Owners,’ and try an Open House Giveaway for the neighborhoods you work. For Rent by Owners are popping up all around. In this fairly good rental market where more and more people aren’t qualifying for mortgages, owners are just putting out a sign and running a small ad to rent their properties – I know because that’s what we did with one of ours. So why not treat them just like For Sale by Owners?
I’m sure you have had this experience too, a quiet afternoon shattered by the sound of the phone ringing and the voice at the other end asks if you can help them find a rental home or better yet a ‘Rent to Own’ property. I’ve had it happen a lot lately. Our firm doesn’t handle rental properties, but some of our agents do own them. So my response is only to disappoint them. So why not use this traffic to get to know some of the local property owners who have inventory to rent and ask them if they are considering selling some of them? It works the same as my approach to a FSBO. Call them up and request a preview, then get to know them and provide a valuable and helpful stream of information. As they get to know me they see me as a local real estate expert and when I can convince them it’s time to use a professional, I’ll get the job, or at least an opportunity to compete for it.
Remember who some of these FRBOs are, expired listings who started too high, FSBOs who didn’t sell and now their property is vacant and they are grasping for anything they can get, owners or investors who are upside-down on the property and don’t know how to sell it short and negotiate with the banks; you know how to solve all these problems! So give them a try, see if you can’t pick up a few more transactions.
Another idea for livening up a farm area is to start a giveaway contest at an open house in your farm area where you reward a neighbor for bringing a friend who lives outside the farm area.
Here are the rules; everyone visiting your open house gets one entry, if they live in the neighborhood they get two entries, if they are accompanied by another neighbor they each then get three entries, and if a neighbor brings someone who lives somewhere else they both get four entries.
You’ll have to market this heavily in the neighborhoods you are working the open houses with postcards, flyers and some canvassing. Have a drawing once every quarter for a prize that’s meaningful to homeowners like a local HVAC guy to do a system tune up ($100), a local locksmith rekeying the whole house ($75), a special seasonal lawn service treatment ($150). What’s the payback? More visitors willing to give you all their contact information to get their prize, more buzz in the neighborhood so that you’ll get the next listing in the neighborhood, and the seller feels like you doing something really great for them.
Try something new this year. If these aren’t you cup of tea, then keep your ears open around the office or even the family dinner table. Sometimes a stray comment can spark a great new idea.
Make it a great day!
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