2021 was a great year to be a real estate agent. Interest rates were low, home prices were high, and prospective buyers flooded the market. 2022 is shaping up to be a good year for real estate as well, though some economists worry about a market correction, thinking all good market highs are inevitably followed by market lows.Good real estate agents and brokers should have a growth mindset right when they first start a real estate business. This is especially important if you are looking to take advantage of the last year and prepare for the current. That means implementing as many new tactics as possible to grow your business. Here, we will cover 20 tried and true ways to grow your real estate business in 2022.
1. Get Social
Millions of Americans scroll through their social channels every day. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and many other social media available platforms allow people to connect with each other and businesses.
Successful marketing is about going to where your customers are and entering the conversation. Make sure you have a Facebook Business Page that celebrates your successes and provides real value in the form of real estate educational resources. Local market trends, properties for sale, and other helpful information will turn social media scrollers into prospective clients for your real estate business.
Make sure you are posting on your personal pages as well, and not just about real estate. Many real estate agents simply share their business page posts on their personal Facebook page, but this isn't enough. Show yourself being active in the communities you serve, spending time with family, and having fun. A good social media strategy combines both personal and business content equally to drive real estate sales and grow your business.
If you aren't interested in putting in the work on social media yourself to grow your real estate business, simply outsource it. Many different companies offer social media marketing services, taking care of everything from posting on your pages to tracking results.
It's good to know that you can also use Facebook ads for real estate marketing when it comes to achieving long-term success.
2. Throw Client Appreciation Parties
With recent restrictions around gathering and socializing, people are craving human interaction. Give your clients and prospective clients a place to do this. Whether it’s hosting an outdoor movie viewing or a food and wine tasting, in-person conversations are the best way to drive your business. Start sending those save-the-dates, get planning, and throw a party your clients won't soon forget.
3. Be Thoughtful With Your Gifts
Buying your clients a gift when they close on their home isn't just a nice way to celebrate, it's also a marketing tool. Think about gifts that are memorable and will remind them of you and your real estate business every time they use them.
Make it personal by thinking about something unique you found out about your clients while working with them and incorporating that into the gift. The ideal gift is something they will use frequently and get asked by their friends where they got it.
For example, If they comment about a cutting board they liked in a home when you were doing showings, make a note of that. Giving them that same cutting board with their name engraved on it at the closing shows how well you paid attention to their wishes when working with them. It’s also something they will use every day and think of you when they do.
4. Get Into Commercial
Many real estate agents focus on buying and selling homes for their clients, otherwise known as residential real estate. To grow your business, consider dipping your toes in the commercial real estate market as well. Your real estate license works for residential and commercial real estate in most states, and you don't need to take a broker’s exam to buy and sell commercial properties.
If you are wondering how to build a commercial client list, you already have it. Nearly all of your residential real estate clients have jobs, and usually, the companies they work for have real estate needs. Once you tune your ears to hear commercial needs the way you hear residential ones, the opportunities to grow your real estate business by focusing more on commercial deals will present themselves.
If you like the idea of expanding your real estate business but don't want to take the time to learn that side of the real estate industry, you can still make money on commercial deals. Create a relationship with a commercial agent in your market and send your residential clients with commercial needs to that agent. In return, ask them to send their commercial clients to you for any residential real estate needs.
Another point in favor of commercial real estate is that with the increase of blockchain in commercial real estate and the security it offers, we are likely to see a significant increase in investment in this area.
5. Boost Your Referral Network
Most real estate agents focus on their local communities to grow their own business. Expanding your horizons by creating a country-wide referral network is a great way to create a new stream of leads and revenue coming into your real estate business. The real estate industry thrived throughout the country in 2021, which means people were buying and selling homes in - and between - all 50 states.
When a client is looking to leave your state, your relationship with them shouldn't end. Find an agent where they are house hunting and set up a referral. This can usually net you between 15 and 30 percent of the buying agent’s final commission. Not bad for a quick introduction.
Referrals go both ways, so make sure you let agents around the country know that you are ready to serve their clients if they need services in your market. LinkedIn and Facebook are good places to connect with other agents around the country and find groups and pages specifically designed to grow real estate business referrals.
6. Make Your Lists And Check Them Twice
Mailing lists are among the most valuable commodities a real estate agent has to grow their real estate business. From postcard mailings to email newsletters, sending communications to your entire database is critical for keeping your real estate business on the top of consumers’ minds. Check to see how healthy your mailing lists are. Do you have emails, phone numbers, and home addresses for everyone, at the very minimum? The holiday season is a great time to reach out for contact info to build your holiday card list.
Direct mail campaigns should be part of every real estate agent’s business plan. As many businesses make everything digital, handwritten letters are still the best way to show you care. Take the time to send your prospective clients, past clients, and new clients letters to let them know how much you appreciate their business and remind them why they made a great decision when choosing you to be their real estate agent.
Use your email address list to send out timely, valuable, and personal pieces of information to clients and prospects. Many customer relationship management tools can help you do this in an automated and impactful way. For example, KW Command, the Keller Williams Realty CRM, allows agents to set up bi-weekly email reports on market trends in specific neighborhoods based on their contact's home address.
7. Focus On SEO
When prospective clients start looking for a realtor, they usually do it online. Ensure your info is highly ranked in online searches by focusing on search engine optimization (SEO). This means creating websites and other online platforms that have content with keywords relevant to people searching for what you offer.
Let’s say you want to be the realtor of choice in Austin, Texas. Focus your online content on ranking high when people search for things like “Austin realtors” or “best realtor in Austin.” You can do this by using a variety of SEO tools available. Surfer SEO, for example, is an online writing tool where you can input keywords, and in return, you get an outline for writing an article optimized for SEO.
Researching and mastering SEO isn't for everyone, but every real estate agent needs to focus on it if they want new clients to find them online. If you aren’t up for doing it yourself, it’s worth finding the resources in your business budget to pay someone to do it for you.
8. Leverage Listings
2021 was an excellent year for listings. Home prices were high, buyer demand was through the roof, and houses sat on the market for no time at all. This made selling houses pretty darn easy for real estate agents. 2022 is shaping up to be a similar seller’s market, so landing listings will be at the top of every agent’s checklists looking to grow their business.
Listings shouldn't just grow your business by adding another sale to your numbers for the year. They should be leveraged to grow your clients base, leading to more and more deals in the future.
When you list a house, make sure everyone in the neighborhood knows. You can do a postcard mailing, knock on doors, or some other form of communication, but the message should be the same for each: I’m selling your neighbor’s house, and I can sell yours too.
The more touch points you have with a possible client, the more likely they will be to do business with you, so divide your communications into at least three different interactions:
Beyond the neighborhood your new listing is in, spread the word far and wide among your social media and other online presences. If you have a house for sale in a trendy area, boost those social posts with paid advertising.
The goal isn't just to sell the house. It’s to sell it, let everyone know what a great job you did, and ask them if you can sell their home too when the time is right.
9. Follow The Script
Speaking of communicating with prospects, plan ahead before you do it. Having a script to refer to when interacting with the community to grow your real estate business will help you stay on message and brand.
Scripts should be clear, concise, and get across the key messages you want to convey for each type of prospective client. You don't have to follow them word for word, but they are a nice safety net if you are in the middle of talking to someone and you can’t find the right words quickly.
Make a script for each of your key business goals. That could be one for listings, one for buyers, and one for just checking in while wishing people happy holidays. For each reason you have to talk to people about your business, create a script to use when talking to them.
A quick online search will yield many examples if you’re unsure where to start when writing a script. Practice the scripts with your coworkers and always make sure the language includes why you are unique and why you are qualified to be someone's real estate agent of choice.
10. Become A YouTube Star
Ok, you don't necessarily need to be a star, but having some sort of presence on YouTube is a great way to get your name out there and grow your real estate business. According to data compiled by Algonquin College, more than one billion people visit YouTube each month to watch over 6 billion hours of video. That’s a lot of eyeballs that could be interacting with your business.
It pays to become the expert people searching for advice on YouTube turn to - especially when looking for real estate information in your local market. Think about what persona you want to have (funny, serious, etc.) and find your voice by shooting videos to upload as often as you can.
It may seem intimidating at first, but the more you practice, the more comfortable you will become. Potential customers are out there watching videos every day, so get the face of your business in front of them.
11. Focus On Rental Clients
Sometimes buyer activity slows down in the winter months, especially in cold climates. Consider using this time to focus on rental clients. The paydays aren’t as big (usually a commission of half a month's rent), but sometimes that income can be appealing when your buyers and sellers are hibernating.
Remember, most renters end up becoming buyers and sellers eventually. Working to help them find a place to rent now doesn't just result in a rental commission, it gains you a new client that comes back to you when they are ready to buy.
You also gain a new network every time you gain a new client. Maybe you think the rental commission isn't worth your time, but you might reconsider that logic when the friends and family of your rental client start calling you to buy and sell.
12. Get Your Own Rentals
You spend most of your time analyzing properties for your clients to buy or sell, so why not buy one for yourself and invest in real estate to add a new revenue stream to your business? Investment properties are a great way to use your local real estate market knowledge to bring in some extra cash each month.
Use your connections in the industry to find off-market deals that might be discounted compared to listed income properties. Excellent income properties listed in your local real estate agent multiple listing service (MLS) are often overpriced and receive competing offers, but if you dig up an off-market deal, you won't be competing with other buyers.If you’re not interested in buying a rental property and becoming a landlord, consider renting out your primary residence or vacation home. Vacation rental sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and Vacasa offer a suite of digital tools that allow you to turn your unused space into rental revenue.
13. Define Your Brand
The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your business and brand. Are you communicating a consistent message that sets you apart from other agents? Do people in your community understand what unique qualities you possess that make you an excellent choice for their real estate needs? If the answer is no, it’s time for a brand reset.
Every piece of communication you put out into the world, from direct mailers, to social posts, to the two-minute conversations you have in line at the supermarket, should convey a clear and consistent message. Find out what prospective home buyers and sellers in your market are looking for. What is unique about their needs? What are their common pain points? Your brand should address those needs head-on and explain how you can help.
If you're having trouble defining your unique brand, turn to the professionals. Advertising agencies and public relations firms have the expertise to ask you the right questions and frame the right messaging to help you connect with real estate consumers in a consistent and meaningful way.
14. Find A Niche
In any business, it’s nearly impossible to be everything to everyone, so don't even try. Find your real estate niche audience and focus on them. Do you love old homes? Are you an expert in finding horse properties? Figure out what specific real estate focus your passion and expertise lend themselves to.
Once you know your focus, communicate to your desired target market in an honest and genuine way. If you love old houses, post YouTube videos about tips for restoring them. If you want more clients looking for lake houses, post on Facebook about all the lake houses you have shown to clients recently.
Finding a niche market helps you define where you want to focus when it comes to your real estate business. It also helps customers conclude that you should be their agent of choice for that specific type of property.
15. Give Back To The Community
Your community invests in you by trusting you to buy and sell homes for them. Return the favor by volunteering to support a cause that matters to you and your family. Not only is this a great way to show your gratitude toward the people in your community, but it’s also a great way to promote your business.
Consider sponsoring school events run by your local parent-teacher organization (PTO) if you have school-age kids. There is usually an opportunity to get your logo on t-shirts or other event items, making your company top-of-mind for the entire school community.
During the holidays, consider volunteering to collect gifts for families in need. This is a great way to reach out to your current and former clients. By asking them to contribute to a gift drive, you engage them in a collective effort toward a common goal. This reminds them of your commitment to the community and to them, which means they will continue to give you their business.
When you give back to the community, don't be shy about letting everyone know you did. Things like posting on your social media pages brings more attention to both the cause you are supporting as well as your business.
16. Spread The Word With Client Testimonials
When people make purchasing decisions these days, they want advice first. The most valuable advice is from people who have already bought a product or service you are considering. Take online shopping, for example. You can read hundreds, even thousands of reviews, about a product or service before deciding whether to buy it or not.
Real estate is no different, so leverage the positive experiences you are creating for your clients by asking them to spread the word about you with reviews. It can be as simple as emailing them after a deal closes. Here’s an example of how you might craft a communication asking for reviews:
Hi (client name),
It was truly an honor to work with you on finding/selling your new house! If I can be of assistance in any way as you settle into your new home, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, I have a quick favor to ask. Would you be willing to write a quick review of me as an agent?
Reviews are an important way to help spread the word about my business so I can serve more people just like you. If you can take just a few minutes to write something about me and the work I did for you it would be greatly appreciated. Please consider responding to this email with a review I can share on various websites, or posting a review yourself using the links below.
Facebook Review Link
Zillow Review Link
Realtor.com Review Link
Thank you so much!
Once you have positive comments from your current and former clients, add them to your real estate website, social media pages, and other marketing materials. Your clients are the backbone of your real estate business, so let their positive reviews lift your business up and take it to the next level.
17. FSBO Focus
For sale by owners (FSBOs) represent an excellent opportunity for you to get new listings. You may be reticent to go after them, as sometimes they can be a bit prickly when talking to realtors. After all, they are trying to sell the home without a realtor, which means they may not understand the value of using one.
FSBOs get many calls from realtors every day trying to get them to list their house, so you have to stand out from the pack. How? Bring value that others aren’t offering. Calling and saying you want to sell their house doesn’t help them more than any other realtors calling.
Think about things you can give them with no strings attached. Perhaps you have a buyer who might be interested in buying the home, and you’d like to do a video tour to send to them. You’re not asking for anything in return, and you’re potentially finding someone to buy their home. Once you do the video tour, send a copy to the owner and let them know they can use it to help market the property.
Most FSBOs end up listing with an agent eventually. When homeowners decide to go that route, they will favor the agents that brought them value while they were a FSBO, not the agents that just called and asked for their business.
18. Revisit Your Brokerage Choice
Does your brokerage support you with valuable training and education? Do they send you leads? Are your commission splits fair? These are questions you should always be asking yourself, especially at the beginning of a new year.
Many brokerages think their agents work for them. Nope. A good brokerage understands that they work for their agents. Once you know this as an agent, you should feel empowered to hold them accountable. If your brokerage isn't supporting you as much as you need, don’t be afraid to consider a switch.
19. Start A Blog
Your extensive real estate expertise is on display daily as you navigate the market for your buyers and sellers. Spread that expertise to a broader audience by starting your own blog or becoming a contributor to an existing blog.
Real estate is full of complex processes that the general public needs help understanding. A blog is a great way to explain these processes in an informative, accessible way. It also allows you to position yourself as an expert in understanding your local market, which will help grow your real estate business.
20. Never Stop Learning
Training and education aren’t something agents should only think about in the fall when they need continuing education credits to keep their license current. A good agent should be a well of knowledge for their clients, both prospective and current, to drink from. Never stop replenishing that well.
Ask your brokerage about available training and education programs and pick the ones you think will help grow your business in 2022. Research topics you may not be that familiar with online. If you’ve never worked on a new construction sale before, educate yourself on it. If you haven't done a commercial deal, pick the brain of the best commercial agent in your market.
Real estate is a business that changes with the state of the economy, technological advancement, and many other factors. If you don’t keep up with all the latest information, your clients will notice and look elsewhere when buying and selling their homes.
Summary: Use These Tips To Grow Your Real Estate Business In 2022
Make 2022 the year you take your real estate business to the next level by implementing some of the tactics you’ve found here. Choose something, one thing, that resonates with you. If you have chosen throwing parties, don't also choose client appreciation events. If you love using social media, dive into that tactic instead. It shouldn't feel like pulling teeth to grow your business. Find strategies that ignite your passion and run with them.
Most importantly, don't be afraid to fail. If you try something that doesn't work, that can be a gift to your business if you take the time to learn something from it. Growing your real estate business is not about being perfect all the time. It’s about trial and error and a desire to never stop learning.