Growth hacking is a trendy term describing simple tricks people can use to expand their success. Naturally, this is an appealing concept for real estate agents looking to take their businesses to the next level.

Here are five of our favorite hacks that don’t require great expense or time commitment but can deliver results for agents ready to soar.

Evaluate … Really Evaluate!

The life of a real estate agent often differs from that of someone with a 9-to-5 office job. Your business is all yours, structured by you (although possibly under the parameters of your brokerage). You decide how to spend each day, where to focus your attention, how you interact with clients, and so on. To spur growth, take a step back and honestly evaluate:

  • How you are running your business
  • How you spend each day
  • Where your leads are coming from
  • How productive and motivated you feel
  • How your skills are developing
  • Anything else that affects the bottom line

After your evaluation, determine what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be made more efficient. Simple changes can make all the difference; for example, your four-year-old smartphone on a limited data plan might be holding you back when communicating with customers and taking and posting pictures and video to social media. This a relatively easy upgrade if you discover that your phone is slowing you down.

Small Goals, Big Results

On the surface, goal setting should be an obvious growth hack—you make a long list of goals that inspire you to attack every minute of every day, with your definition of success looming on the horizon. However, a long list of goals staring you in the face can seem awfully daunting, overwhelming, and even discouraging if they are not met. This despair causes many beginning and mid-career agents to give up. Ambition is fine, as are long-range objectives, but on a daily basis, the big goal list becomes a reminder of what you haven’t done rather than what you want to do.

Rather than trying to juggle dozens of overarching goals, focus on one at a time. Achieve one goal, no matter how small. Then set another, achieve that, set another, and so on. Even if just one goal is met in a day, it is an accomplishment you can build on. You aren’t abandoning the long-term goals, but instead understanding that all the little goals are the means to reaching your destination.

Bring Listings to Buyers

Open houses and showings will never stop being important, but in this digital and social media age, how you present a listing before someone sees it in person is almost as important. Texting, email, your real estate business’s website, and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube provide an opportunity to let interested buyers and casual prospects experience a listing in a way fliers, brochures, and catalogs can’t match.

The photos you take to digitally share must be top-notch, so you should consider hiring a professional who specializes in real estate photography if you don’t think you’re up to the task. Once online or on someone’s mobile device, these photos give the lead virtual access to the entire property. This growth hack turbocharges interest in a listing and increases the chance a prospect will want to see the property in person.

Leverage Your Leads

Leads are your lifeline to securing new clients, building your reputation, and closing sales on your listings. Successfully and efficiently following up with leads is critical to growth, but some agents struggle to deepen relationships with people who visited an open house or replied to an Instagram post. Here are some quick growth hacking tips for making the most of your leads:

  • Reply immediately: If a lead reaches out to you, drop everything to communicate back. Your CRM likely can be set to send you automatic alerts when someone interacts with your profile. Replying within five minutes greatly increases the odds of a lead becoming a client.
  • The rule of six: Many agents give up on leads too easily, after only attempting to make contact 1-2 times. This is understandable because you don’t want to get bogged down with leads who won’t reply—not to mention you don’t want to come off as annoying—but conventional wisdom states that you can follow up as many as six times before experiencing diminishing returns. With so many communication channels available, two calls, two texts, and two emails gets you to that number without too much effort on your part.
  • Don’t chase: If you get past six attempts to establish a relationship with a lead, or if a contact stops interacting with you, don’t waste more time on them. Focus your energies on other leads. If you were professional and informative in your initial attempts, they will remember that later if and when they need your services.
  • Vary your message: What you say in your first call to a lead should differ from what you write in the email you send after that, which should differ from the text you send next, and so on. Take a little time to plot out what you want to communicate during each interaction. For example, texts might be short and sweet; emails can provide links to additional content and listings.

Take Full Advantage of Tech

Top-flight brokerages offer their agents a wide range of technology—including CRM, website tools, transaction management applications, marketing templates, and more—geared to help agents build their businesses. So what are you waiting for? Brokerages often provide tech for free, and not taking advantage of it hampers growth and puts you behind the competition. Growth doesn’t necessarily mean working more, but it does mean working smarter. Efficiency lets you work with more clients and devote more time to them. Your reputation for excellence grows—and, more importantly, so does your business.

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