What Do Journalism and Real Estate Prospecting Have In Common?
Prospecting has a lot in common with journalism.
For instance, journalists are always approaching strangers. They’re always asking a lot of questions. And they’re interested in learning the truth.
And, just like in journalism, a good prospector has to understand the 5W’s: Who/What/When/Where/Why (with a little How thrown in there).
Who are your prospects? Your prospects are people from all walks of life. They can be the warm market, or your circle of influence, meaning your friends, family, relatives, co-workers, and everyone you know that you already have a relationship with. Prospects can also be referrals, or personal recommendations from someone else.
What do you want to do with your prospects? Here is where setting clearly defined goals is very helpful. Know what you want out of your prospecting efforts: How many appointments? How many listings? How many referrals?
When is the right time to gather prospects? Anytime. Walking out to your mailbox. Shopping for food. Mailing a package at the post office. Mingling at the neighborhood block party.
You don’t have to be a nuisance. But you do have to have your antennas on. Be ready.
Where do you find prospects? As mentioned above, prospects can be found right in front of you within your circle of influence – the people you already know.
You can ask for prospects from both the people you already know, and also from the prospects who end up declining your offer. The people who turn down your business can be a good source of referrals. If they say, “No”, then you simply say something like, “Thank you for your time. Do you know of anyone else who might be interested in buying or selling a home?”
Why are you prospecting? Are you just doing it because your broker told you too? Or are you doing it because your leads have dried up? Ask the opposite to dig deeper: Why aren’t I prospecting? Do I have a solid business? Do I not want more?
How do you get prospects? This is probably the most important question of them all. As I said, prospecting is an art that takes practice, so it helps to start by setting goals that are measurable, realistic, and achievable. Know what you want and when you want it and do something every day to work towards getting it. Practicing means knowing what you are going to say to your prospects before it happens by using a script, and then eventually becoming comfortable and confident enough that you don’t need the script anymore.
And it is up to you to walk away from prospects who aren’t ready. Like the recent Baylor survey on real estate lead generation indicated, identify potential clients. We don’t want to beg or plead them to join with us – we want to grab those who are enthusiastic, ready, and willing to be on a winning team.
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