Are you in control of your real estate life, or have you given large chunks of it to others to control?
Unless you own your own independent brokerage, you can’t take total control of your real estate life.
You’ll have to follow some rules set by your brokerage. If you’re a broker with a franchise, you’ll have to follow some of their rules.
But beyond that, you can and should take control of your real estate life.
Begin by setting your work hours.
Yes, there may be times when you’ll need to be flexible to accommodate a client or to negotiate a transaction outside of your normal hours. However, those times should be the exception, not the rule.
Follow that with choosing who you’ll work with.
We discussed some of that in the post about creating a “How I Work” document https://copybymarte.com/two-good-reasons-to-create-a-how-i-work-document/. For instance, will you take a listing if the sellers insist on overpricing?
You should also decide whether you’ll venture away from your own territory – and how far. If you prefer listing or selling homes in a specific price category, will you venture away from that?
If you’ve got control of these issues, that’s good.
Beyond that, there are other ways that you could be giving up control of your real estate life.
These have to do with:
- Your website
- Your email address
- Your blogging platforms
- Your lead sources
If you want control of your real estate life, you should own your own website.
If the brokerage owns your site or if you pay a monthly fee to a service to provide and maintain your site, you do not have control.
If you’re not in control, your site could disappear overnight and all your hard work would be down the drain.
One agent wrote that her brokerage had merged with another without warning the agents – and all of their email addresses – and address books – disappeared overnight. She had no way to contact her past, current, or future clients to let them know of the change. Worse, when they wrote her, the messages came back as undeliverable.
A past client of mine had a dog rescue site that was set up and controlled by a young man who suddenly decided he didn’t like that she asked for donations. One day her site just wasn’t there any more. All of the content was gone, and the young man said “too bad.” He had all the back-ups, so she was out of luck. It took her a year to put it all back together again.
If someone else owns your site, you could be restricted with regard to content.
I once wrote articles for a lady whose website provider allowed her to change the content of her articles, but not the titles. Since she wanted unique content, I wrote new articles to go with the titles. She was also restricted with regard to pages she could add and the number of words on each page. And for those restrictions, she was paying a hefty monthly fee.
I got into a mess when we first got our Cliff Realty website, simply because none of us had any idea what we were doing. A slick character sold us a domain name and we had a website created. The problem came when it was time to renew our domain name. It seems that slick character put Cliff Realty on the registration, but put his own name as the person in charge – and by then he had left town. I had to send and re-send all sorts of proof before I was allowed to attach my own name to my own site. Then, 2 years later I had to do it all over again.
The moral of that story – purchase your own domain in your own name.
In addition, because electronics sometimes fail, keep your own back-up copies of all your web pages and blog posts.
Be careful in choosing a domain name.
Avoid using the name of your brokerage or franchise as part of your domain name. You may be very happy there right now, but things change. Should you decide to move on, you won’t want any disruption to your website or an email connected to your domain.
Be sure your email address belongs to you – not your brokerage.
Although plenty of agents use gmail, yahoo, etc. I believe your email should be tied to your domain name. It just looks more permanent. Others tie their address to their Internet provider, and I do think that’s a mistake. My neighbor called just last week complaining that he wasn’t getting his wildblue.com email, and they were in no hurry to correct the problem. Had he been in business, there might have been plenty of customers angry because he didn’t answer their email.
If your internet provider provides your email address – what if you want to switch? Not good.
When you blog exclusively on someone else’s platform, you aren’t in control of your real estate life.
As evidenced by the recent technical problems at Active Rain, you could lose some or all of that content. Some agents post first on their own blogs, then on AR or another site, so they at least have the content to put back. If you blog exclusively on Active Rain, LinkedIn, or some other platform – keep copies!
What about your lead sources?
I’ve never believed in paying for leads, but some agents have success with it. In fact, for some it works so well that they don’t do any other lead generation activities.
What if that company goes out of business? What if they change their prices? What if the quality of the leads declines?
One agent on Active Rain reported that she’d been paying under $200 per month for leads and was happy with the results. After a couple of years, however, they jumped the price to $3,000 per month. Fortunately, she did have other lead generation activities going on and she told them no.
If you want to control your real estate life, control your lead generation.
When you’re in charge of your own prospecting, you can target the clients you enjoy most. You can establish a territory and/or create a niche or two. Because that will allow you time to focus, you can learn everything you need to know to be THE expert in your chosen territory or niche.
If you haven’t yet decided to establish a territory or develop a niche, here’s why it makes good sense.
Reach out to those best-loved clients through prospecting letters and through specialized pages on your website – complete with “lead capture boxes.” The leads you get will be your own – not copies of the same leads sent to a dozen other agents.
Beyond that, you can advertise in publications that those prospects read, and once this pandemic scare is over, you can attend events, give presentations, and do all of the other in-person activities that you once enjoyed.
Drivers seat Photo by *Peter Fazekas from *Pexels
Niche graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net
Disappointed photo Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Own your domain Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels