Updated: May 18, 2020
Do you want to know how to make six figures in real estate? It might be easier than you think.
Here’s a simple five-step plan to help you achieve your first six-figure year in real estate.
Step 1: Prospect Every. Single. Day.
If you don’t have leads, you don’t have a business. So the first step in becoming a six-figure agent is getting comfortable with prospecting every day.
Who to Contact
New agents typically start by contacting everyone they know: relatives, friends, former colleagues, acquaintances from social groups, etc. (collectively known as your “sphere of influence”). Why not touch base with your sphere regularly to see how people are doing and if they have any questions about the market. Aim to call five people from your sphere every day.
Here are a few other key groups to contact as part of your daily prospecting:
Owners of expired listings
For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) property owners
Asset managers who may have foreclosures to list
Companies who bring new employees to the area
In most cases, a personal phone call is most effective. But a text or social media message may also be appropriate depending on your relationship to the prospect.
Step 2: Stay Top of Mind with Your Client Base
Earning repeat business from former clients is a key component of making six figures in real estate. But giving your clients a positive real estate experience doesn’t guarantee that those clients will contact you for future real estate needs. In fact, agents lose 20% of their clients every year due to attrition. The most common reason? The agents simply failed to stay in touch.
To earn repeat business, you need to stay top of mind with your client base. Here are a few ways to make that happen.
Targeted Social Media Ads
Some social media platforms, like Facebook, allow you to target specific people with your ad campaigns, so you can add your clients to your on-going social media advertising efforts. This will make sure your clients see you on Facebook from time-to-time, even if they don’t follow you.
To make the most of your ongoing ad campaigns, use these ads to provide value. Quick market updates are a good way to keep your target market informed without annoying them.
Snail mail can still be an effective way to remind your clients that you’re ready and able to help them with their next transaction. The more relevant you can make your mailers, the better. Monthly calendars of local events, seasonal home maintenance tips, and visually interesting market updates all provide value to your clients while reminding them of your local expertise.
Digital catalogs are an innovative way to maintain regular contact with your client. Every month, everyone in your client base can receive a polished, professional digital catalog full of listing photos (complete with links) and useful homeowner articles.
Companies like Catalogs.com can even personalize your digital catalogs to include your unique branding, your listings, and articles relevant to your local market! If you don’t have enough listings of your own to warrant a full catalog, talk to your broker about doing a catalog for the entire brokerage. That way, everyone in your firm can stay top of mind with their clients!
Step 3: Get People Talking About You
Staying top of mind with your client base will help you earn repeat business, and get you closer to making six figures in real estate. But what about referrals? How do you get your clients to recommend you to their friends and family?
Strategic Closing Gifts
Your closing gift should serve multiple purposes. It should show your sincere appreciation for your client’s business, should be something your clients will use or treasure, and should give your clients a reason to talk to their friends and family about you.
You want to give a gift that your client’s friends and family will see and be curious about. If you get people asking “where’d you get that?”, your clients have an opening to talk about you as their considerate real estate agent. Things like personalized wall art, serving dishes, and home decor work well.
Just please don’t put your branding on the gift; you don’t want the gift to be invasively about you.
Public Displays of Appreciation
Another way to make sure your clients tell people about you is to send a token of appreciation to your clients at work. What happens when someone gets a bouquet of some kind (flowers, cookies, fruit, or balloons) at work? Everyone asks about it, right? “Oh, what’s the occasion?” And your client gets to respond, “We just closed on our new house today, and these are from my real estate agent.”
You can send a similar thank you bouquet for each referral. It’s another occasion to get people talking about you and possibly generate more referrals.
Step 4: Outsource Tasks When Possible
If you’re serious about learning how to make six figures in real estate, you’re going to have to let a few things go. Too many agents try to do everything on their own. But when you’re closing enough deals to earn six figures, you need to focus your time on income-generating activities: setting and attending appointments. Everything else can be outsourced.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is an excellent candidate for outsourcing because it can be so time-consuming. You can hire a social media manager who understands the ever-changing algorithms for the major social platforms and knows how to maximize engagement on your posts.
In the age of freelancing, you don’t need to take on an employee when you’re ready to hire an assistant. You can simply pay a VO (virtual assistant) to handle your administrative tasks remotely.
You can even hire a transaction coordinator to handle all your properties through escrow, freeing you up to focus on client-facing communications.
With the many marketing solutions available today, you don’t even need to invest much time in your marketing efforts. You can automate your mailers, your email campaigns, and your digital catalog subscriptions.
Step 5: Diversify Your Services (and Your Income!)
When you want to know how to make six figures in real estate year-after-year, you may need to think a little outside the box.
Recessions are a real problem for real estate agents, and with the next recession on the horizon, you may need to diversify your real estate income to continue making six figures in a slower economy. Offering additional services is a solid way to diversify your income.
Property management is a natural service to add to your real estate business. The rental market often grows when the housing market stalls, so you can earn additional income by managing rental properties for local owners.
Credit repair services are another good option, especially in a down real estate market when lenders tighten their requirements and buyers have a harder time qualifying for a home loan. Instead of lamenting the fact that you don’t have qualified buyers, you can earn a fee helping your buyers improve their credit, then earn a commission on the purchase once they’re qualified.
By the way, your mailers, social media ads, and digital catalogs are a great place to promote your new services!
Now that you know how to make six figures in real estate, all you have to do is execute. Commit to prospecting daily, stay top of mind, and start earning those referrals and repeat clients. You’ll know you’ve made it when you’re outsourcing some of your to-dos. And when you diversify your services, you’ll be able to make six figures in any market!