Have $3000? Here are 3 ways to spend it on your business
If you're ready to invest in your real estate business this year, a few thousand dollars can make a significant impact.
Before spending any money, agents should take stock of their business to determine what's going well, where they have gaps, and where they want to be.
Real estate is a people business, so investing directly in clients is a good place to start.
Technology upgrades, even small ones, can improve efficiency and give agents an edge.
The frenetic pace of last year's housing market has slowed, giving agents the time to review, reboot and reimagine their businesses. Which led us to wonder: If an agent has $3,000 to invest in their business right now, how should they spend it?
We posed this question to a few industry veterans. They all agreed the specifics would vary depending upon an agent's experience, location, existing book of business, market niche, and brokerage support — but the same three general suggestions kept popping up.
If you're ready to invest in your real estate business, determine what's going well, what could be improved, and where you want to be in six months, a year, five years — and then consider putting some money toward one or more of these areas:
1. Prospecting for new leads
Buying leads is expensive, and $3,000 won't get you many. But if you're at a point in your career where leads are what you need, targeted geo-farming may be a good investment.
"With this kind of budget, buying leads in a ZIP code or certain part of town isn't feasible," says Chris Speicher, co-founder of the Speicher Group, a team with agents across the Mid-Atlantic and Hawaii. "Instead of neighborhoods, I'd suggest looking at people who've been in a specific neighborhood for seven years. And then look at the corner lots from those results because those listings will get more traffic."
Targeted farming may be a way to raise awareness of your brand, gain listings and ultimately earn referrals.
2. Nurturing relationships with clients
If you've got a great book of clients who repeatedly send business your way, you might be wise to spend some cash thanking them, says Mike Pallin, president of The Floyd Wickman Team, a real estate training and coaching company based in Naples, Florida.
"You might choose your best 200 repeat and referral sources, and show them your appreciation," says Pallin. He knows agents who've held barbecues or bowling parties for large client groups. Others, he says, have had success sending clients a note urging them to stop by the office to pick up a holiday pie. "It's all about connecting with your clients face to face," he says.
"Everything stems from conversation, so setting up a scenario in which conversation can occur is ideal."
If a large-scale event isn't your style, you might spend the money on your best 30 to 40 clients. Take them to dinner or a ballgame. Pallin also likes the idea of hand-delivering gifts to what he calls "platinum level" clients. One of his favorite gift ideas? A nice, engraved utility knife. "A high-quality gift that your client can regularly use — and be reminded of your agency every time they do — can be a very good investment," he says.
3. Upgrading your tech
Exit Realty President Tami Bonnell says she'd encourage agents to spend a good chunk of the $3,000 on a 5G phone. "That would give them more bandwidth for connectivity and the ability to stream large amounts of information without Wi-Fi," she said, noting the phone could be used to create real-time tours or video clips to be sent to clients. A lighting kit would be another great investment, she says. "Professional-looking videos and photos can make a real difference," she said.
Other good technology investments may include a good client relationship management (CRM) tool, data management systems, social media marketing tools or a remote online notary service.