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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Reaching Tomorrow’s Customer Today

Written by Posted On Monday, 22 October 2018 06:25

Prospecting and Building Relationships Online

Nothing has changed…really. Prospecting in the real estate business has always been about reaching tomorrow’s customer today.

Even though it is precisely the approach taken by successful licensees since I entered the real estate business in 1975, it is not usually expressed in this way. So important is this thought, this phrase that you should write it down and make it something that you hang on your wall as a reminder. Look at it every day.

Constantly ask yourself:

How do I Reach Tomorrow’s Customer Today?

It is what you have always done.

Building the level of trust and confidence required for a homeowner to list with you the most valuable possession they own takes time. You do not usually list a house the first day you meet the owner. In order for people to give you their business or refer you to their friends and family, you must win their confidence and that is usually something that takes place over time.

Consider also that the average term of home ownership is some 5 to 8 years and it is easy to see that you are constantly in search of Tomorrow’s customer today. You more than likely met today’s customer yesterday and have been building that relationship over time.

Part of the job description of a real estate professional is to open lines of communication with as many people as possible, and then to keep those lines of communication open. Traditionally this has been done by making real-life appearances everywhere you can. We refer to it as “networking.”

It has often been said that the real estate business is a “people business” and that it is all about “networking.”

The Network of Networks: The Internet

Some things have obviously changed. We have the internet, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, I-PODS and I-Phones. The rate of technology adoption is accelerating and it is in large part generational.

Who and where are the real estate buyers and sellers of the future, the buyers and sellers of 2018? 2019? 2020?

How can you meet them today to get a jump on your competition? Is your competition already working to gain the competitive edge in the future?

If you plan to be in the real estate business in the future, then tomorrow’s buyers and sellers must be part of the vision of your business and your career. You need to begin prospecting now.

Who are the real estate buyers and sellers of the future?

They are the “Net Generation,” those born between 1975 and 1996. They are the future homeowners, the buyers and sellers of tomorrow. They can’t remember a time when there was not an internet. They are also the generation that will inherit the accumulated wealth of their parents and grandparents in unprecedented amounts.

Where are they and how can you meet them? They’re active in social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and others.

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Saul Klein

In 1948, doctors told my father that his life aboard submarines on war patrol in the South Pacific and the depth charging he experienced had rendered him sterile. Although controversial and not widely applied, he was treated with an Ayurvedic therapy called “shivambu.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, I recommend you Google it because against all odds, I came to exist.

That was a loony segue into my life but is a fitting precursor to a career that would be just as incredible.

Like my father, I joined the Navy. However, due to a medical inconvenience, I was honorably discharged after 6 years of commissioned service, all on Sea Duty. This was an opportune misfortune that led me down the path to a successful career in real estate. Both my father and grandfather flirted in real estate brokering and flipping part-time, and I followed suit but making a lifelong career out of it.

With over 40 years in real estate, it is impossible to talk about my experiences in this small window. But I can proudly say that I am well-recognized as an industry pioneer, especially in real estate syndication and education, and one of the few luminaries that paved the way for real estate’s transition to the online world.

Some highlights of my life’s work:
● Co-created ePRO, technology certification course that certified 70,000 students
● Created the first online communities for real estate professionals to network, learn, and sell
● Created "Opt Out" Listing Syndication, aggregating over 1.4 Million Listings in 18 months
● Built the #2 National Listing Syndication Service, Point2 Technologies, sold to Yardi in 2010
● Founder of the California Association of Buyer’s Agents
● Member of the first Team, pre-IPO, responsible for obtaining first 500,000 listings
● Helped Zillow and Trulia build up their MLS data inventory

Today I continue to lead efforts that bring new technologies to the real estate industry. Feel free to reach out and learn more.

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