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Do you have a mobile real estate office?
Perhaps you’re working from home?
Or maybe you’re thinking about working from home but you’re worried that you’ll miss out on getting new business because you don’t have an office.
I’ve got good news for you, you don’t NEED an office to succeed in real estate!
Let me take you back to when I worked in a large traditional real estate office.
I used to work for one of the biggest agencies in town, a well known franchise with a prominent office location – right on the main street.
And yet, we hardly ever had new landlord clients walk through the front door!
Why is this, I wondered?
And then it hit me….
We’ve become a digital world!
We do almost ALL of our research for new services online
And we do the rest of our research by asking our trusted friends and family for their advice and experience
So, I began to realise that, although the big grand street frontage looked successful and appealing, it didn’t actually make us much money
This realisation made so much sense and gave me such a sense of relief when it came to starting my own, home based mobile agency.
It made me feel confident and secure knowing that if I didn’t have the budget for a big fancy office, I could still attract new clients the same way these bigger offices did – online and through word of mouth!
Let me share how I set up my home-based, mobile agency so you can take some of the ideas for yourself…
I started by creating some space at home especially for my office area. I was fortunate enough to have a spare bedroom in my home, in which I put a small desk, my laptop, a lockable filing cabinet (which also doubled as a lockable key cupboard, using (this key storage solution) a cheap printer/scanner and I was good to go. Having this separate bedroom meant that at the end of each day, I could “leave” my office and close the door behind me. However, if you don’t have a spare bedroom, you could create your home office space in a little corner of your living or dining room, and “leave” your office by closing your laptop and tidying your work station each day.
Next, I took a Post Office box, so that all my business correspondence came to my PO Box, rather than to my home. I didn’t want to have people turning up at my front door ever!
Then, as my budget allowed, I discovered a local serviced office. This service office charged me a minimal fee (I think it was about $75 per month) and I could list their address as my registered office address. The serviced office was in a prestige building in the heart of a busy corporate area, so it was a great address to use! As part of my serviced office membership, any of my clients could drop in and leave documents or keys for me, and I could also leave items for collection at the front desk there. This service was brilliant and really helped me manage not having a “real office”.
Further down the track, I also added an outsourced reception service, Silent Partner, into my business, so that I didn’t need to answer the phones all the time, and that helped create the perception of a bigger more established agency, even before I was one.
Then, to get some exposure for my business, I did two simple things:
Networking – for me, I’ve always been more comfortable networking one on one, so I did a LOT of coffees with people who I could establish referral arrangements with. This helped get me exposure to the types of people who could actually help to grow my business. As my confidence grew though, I discovered the value in organized group networking too.
Education – when I invested more time in providing quality education to my current landlords, I discovered that they referred more of their friends to me. In fact, one month I got so busy that I forgot to create my landlord newsletter and one of my landlords actually contacted me to ask about it because she was forwarding them on to her friends, who were turning into my clients!
What I realized was, I don’t need to have heaps of exposure to EVERYONE! I just needed exposure to my ideal clients. So while a big fancy office with great street frontage gives you exposure to everyone, it doesn’t target your ideal clients the way these two simple steps do.
Now there was a third thing that I wasn’t doing much, but I really SHOULD have been doing…
Digital Marketing – while I owned my rent roll, I did do a bit of Google paid marketing. And I actually had pretty great results with this. It cost me about the same amount of money to get a client via Google (in paid ads) as it did to get a new client via networking (I paid my referral partners when they referred to me). In hindsight, knowing how powerful digital marketing is (and how I use it to create plenty of new leads in my current business!) I would have given much more attention to Digital Market – particularly Facebook marketing. Facebook marketing in particular allows you to get HEAPS of exposure to your ideal clients without needing a massive marketing budget or a fancy office!
If you’d like more tips for getting more landlord leads into your rent roll please download my free guide on the 5 Things You MUST Be Doing Now To Generate More Landlord Leads
Also, if you missed last week’s blog about What It’s Like To Have A Virtual Assistant please check that out too!