fridgeI often wonder why the lists of important numbers people keep on their fridges seldom contains a realtor’s information. Granted, it’s not like someone needs to call their realtor every day. However, it would still be nice to achieve that trusted professional status, wouldn’t it?

I had a passionate conversation with a broker/owner one evening. I said Joe, you need your agents to think and act like financial advisors. I wish I had a picture of his reaction; not because he didn’t get it, but I think we both understood at that moment how far we may be from that analogy.

If you want to stand out in today’s market, then aspire to get your name on the fridge. Spend a lot more time with current clients even it seems like there is no immediate payday. The worst thing that will happen is that they start to refer you to their friends and family because you have built such a solid relationship and trust. Here is the key on how to achieve this:

Become the portfolio manager for your clients’ properties

I always hear that buying real estate is a very emotional reaction. I can see why. As we know, it’s the largest purchase that most of us will make. Therefore, relative to our 401Ks and brokerage accounts, this investment trumps all and shouldn’t be treated any differently. So, figure out how to keep your clients present on their investments. For example, send them regular reports of what’s going on in the area and give them a general idea of how their investment is doing on an annual basis. What if an adjacent property comes up for sale and represents a fantastic investment opportunity? Who better to call than your client who has been seeing nothing but appreciation on an initial investment and is now educated on the market place? In my opinion, having a book of these types of clients will open up more opportunities for you to recommend investment properties and second homes. In return, you get more referrals because current clients trust you.

One of the first rules of Wall Street is to know your clients. This refers to their investment objectives and relative financial ability to withstand these objectives. By law, this information needs to be updated frequently. This is a great strategy for agents to adopt as well! Call your clients periodically to see how they are doing. Ask them if anything has changed and if they are open to hearing more ideas if they come up. While on that call, ask for referrals. I just had a buddy sell his company. His net worth is now 100X and he just bought a house last year. Perhaps he will now sell this one and buy another. Who better to get the call than his trusted real estate portfolio manager? While this is a drastic and uncommon change, he also has 200 employees who are coming into more money as well. If you stay on top of this as financial advisers do, you increase your chances to exponentially grow your business.
Thousands of leads are sold or passed each month to agents who are looking for their next deal – there is nothing wrong with prospecting for new business. I am, however, greatly encouraging more agents to spend as much energy building their business through their current clients as well. Get on that fridge, become that trusted advisor, and see what happens.

Good luck.

[Graphic via]