Williams’ Heritage Home Team, started one herself. Seven years
later, Kansas City Young Professionals has 5,000 members
from a variety of fields. It’s been great for prospecting— 20
percent of her business comes from contacts made at KCYP—
though she maintains that’s a happy coincidence, not her intent.
KCYP offers happy hours and “speed networking” get-togethers. Participants have five minutes to share who they
are and what they do with the person across the table before
starting anew with the next person. Webster typically gets two
to three leads at these events and ends up closing one deal.
“Build” Your Market
To prospect for new-construction buyers, Nicole Lopez, a
buyer’s agent with the Doug Erdy Group in Kingwood, Tex., goes
directly to the source—builders.
Lopez approaches builders and explains how her years
working on the builder side can help facilitate sales. Builders
make available her marketing materials and those of others to
give buyers a choice in who represents them.
She and her colleagues also offer home construction workshops to potential buyers, featuring lenders and title companies. “That’s been very beneficial for first-time buyers because
a lot of them don’t know to get preapproved before they start
looking,” says Lopez.
The builder program, one of only a handful in the Hous-
ton area, is lucrative. “Over the past two years, I closed 26
new-construction properties,” says Lopez. “And my brokerage
did $25 million in new-construction home sales through our
Lopez goes the extra mile, at times paying buyers’ moving or
closing costs or selling their old home at no cost, depending on
their circumstances. If a buyer is downsizing from a $500,000
home to one at $125,000, she might take a reduced commis-
sion listing to make the deal happen. If the situation is reversed,
she might sell the old home for a flat fee that covers costs only,
and take a full commission on the new construction. While the
“lost income” might deter some from this approach, it’s worth it
for Lopez to distinguish herself in Houston’s highly competitive
market. “I’d rather have a piece of the pie than none of it,” she
says. Her “pay it forward” approach also helps garner business.
“We don’t have to do marketing outside our builder program because it creates such a referral base,” says Lopez. “Clients have
been so pleased that I went into my own pocketbook to help
them that they’re referring me to their friends and family.”
By Lynn Olson
Note: Prices are the vendors’ suggested retail prices and are subject
to change. The National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR®
Magazine don’t evaluate or endorse these products and aren’t
responsible for changes in company information.
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Use Cool Tools
By Meg White