Everyone starts out as a beginner at some point in their life; no one is born an expert. But as Stephanie Lacika shows, they can become one! Starting out in the real estate industry in 2012, Lacika was desperate for a listing – any listing. “It was a completely chaotic time in my life,” she says. “I was broke and knew I needed to get a win.” She met with her team leader, devised a plan and enrolled in BOLD.
“I didn’t know what BOLD was,” Lacika says. “I had signed only one contract before I took BOLD. I thought the program was going to help me learn how to sell homes; I was not expecting the transformation that took place. It blew my mind.” Astonished by the profound impact BOLD has had on her personally and professionally, Lacika has since taken it nine more times and she isn’t done.
Today, using the scripts and tactics she learned in BOLD, Lacika is raking in business one door at a time. “You’ve got to start somewhere,” Lacika says about starting a real estate business and getting listings. “I didn’t have any inventory in the neighborhood, so I had to get in front of the community and let them know I was there. I started door-knocking.”
Mapping Out Your Business Goals
It all starts with a plan. Lacika set a goal and a budget, and then she outlined the activities she was going to tackle in order to meet her goals. From sending mailers, hosting events and knocking on doors, it takes a lot of effort getting involved in the community. However, as Lacika shows, the payoff is well worth it.
Lacika uses the CGI Calculator to track her goals. This calculator is the first step in implementing the full Career Growth Initiative system for productivity and profit. If she’s off track, the CGI Calculator lets her know and she adjusts.
Once you have a plan in place, it is time to select a specific geographic area (your farm) and target it consistently (sow your seeds). No need to reinvent the wheel: here is how Lacika turned door-knocking into a six-figure activity:
Select Your Farm
- Proximity – Select an area that is convenient for you to travel to often. Then, chart out your selected neighborhood and set a goal for how many doors to knock on at each visit. For Lacika, she started by going out twice each week and knocking until she got at least one appointment.
- Price Point – Be sure to select a farm that has homes in the price point you want to target. As a new real estate agent, you might be thinking that you will be happy taking any listing. Learn from Lacika’s lessons. “I was going after everything and anything and it wasn’t sustainable,” she says. “I needed to have a core and become part of a community so I could become their go-to person for all things real estate.”
- Market Share – For better results, target areas that are not currently heavily occupied and serviced by other real estate agents.
- Hyperlocal – Be mindful of the size of the farm you select. Selecting a smaller community at first does not mean you will have fewer opportunities than if you go after a larger neighborhood. In fact, by servicing smaller communities with greater attention and detail, you can actually strengthen relationships and even increase your performance
Show Up Prepared
Inevitably, you will encounter objections when you are door-knocking. Lacika says the biggest objection she gets is from people telling her that they will never move. Rather than taking the “no” and doing everyone a disservice, Lacika offers them a complimentary market analysis. “Some people may think their home is worth $100,000 when it is actually worth $300,000,” Lacika says. “I offer to help them with this information so they can make more informed decisions. Even if I don’t get the sale, I know I helped them. And that’s what I am here for.”
Lacika says it is important to keep people engaged and be able to change the tone of the conversation when necessary. “When I can tell that people are uncomfortable and feel they are being sold to, I take a step back and change the tone of the conversation but try to keep it going,” she says.
Real estate is a people business, and listening to and caring about the people you are working with is essential, especially when you are door-knocking.
Ask for the Business
It’s okay to ask people to hire you to help them with their real estate needs. “It’s easy to assume people know what I am there for, but until I specifically ask for the business, they may not actually know,” Lacika says.
Building and Maintaining Relationships
Door-knocking isn’t the only activity Lacika is doing to generate business and stay top of mind. While most people send gifts only around the holidays, every May, Lacika sends flowers to people in her database to thank them for their business. “The element of surprise really grabs their attention,” she says.
Don’t forget birthdays and anniversaries too! Lacika makes it a point to reach out to her database quarterly.
So, whether you are just getting your business started, trying to revamp a slowing business or keep momentum going, door knocking is a great way to generate leads on a small budget. Not only does it connect you with the community, it helps to create and maintain the relationships that fuel you.
Lacika by the Numbers
Year Percentage of Business from Farm | from Sphere
2015 <1% | 52%
2016 15% | 46%
2017 13% | 55%