How to grow your real estate business: maximizing income while maintaining work/life balance.

You want to make more money and grow your real estate business, but you don’t want to spend more time at the office behind a computer screen. So how are top agents and brokers growing their real estate business while maintaining a healthy work/life balance? We talked to two real estate agents (both commercial and residential) who shared how they maximize their income by placing a higher value on creating community.

Why Creating Community is an Income-Driver

Great realtors are more than sales agents. They’re connectors—people who bring residents together, people who cultivate communities, people like Garett Chadney, one of the principal brokers and owners of The Broker Network who met his business partner at a community leadership event. 

The company works across both residential and commercial real estate in the Pacific Northwest. With four offices in Oregon and Washington and more than 26 years experience in real estate, Chadney knows what it takes to nurture successful client relationships while scaling his company’s revenue year after year.

According to Chadney, “Community can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. But for me, it means doing right by the people that are around you. Whether it’s our agents here at The Broker Network, or going out and participating in various activities within our community—there are so many ways to do right by people and create that sense of community. What we try to do here is serve our clients in the best way possible and what we’ve found is that people appreciate how we do business and they keep coming back. We have a lot of repeat business and that’s really important to us.”

Building an expectation of trust and reliability with your existing clients and in your community isn’t just the right thing to do, it also plays a major role in your ability to grow a network and generate income. Especially when you consider that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know over any other form of advertising.

How To Grow Your Real Estate Business By Creating Community

J’nai Stuller, a newer commercial real estate agent in Indianapolis, Indiana, talked with us about the importance of creating community as you build your network.

“I love meeting new people and build my network by getting out and doing things for others. For years, I have been involved with a foundation called Samantha’s House & Van Foundation that works toward helping build houses for persons that have been seriously injured and need home adaptations/modifications to make everyday life work for them. By getting involved I have been able to meet wonderful people and help make the lives of families a little easier.”

In the book, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, research professor and NYT bestselling author, Brené Brown, advises that “trust is in fact earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.”

Which is interesting, because many of us think that trust is built in those big moments or at crucial moments, but the research shows that trust is typically built over time with small actions. 

It truly is the “little things” that make the biggest difference to your bottom line. Excellence practiced in the everyday is how top performers maintain their top status. Building trust with your clients is key to the development of long-term relationships.  

Which means that as a real estate broker or agent, it’s not enough to focus only on negotiating terms on behalf of your clients or closing day logistics and celebrations. Every client interaction, no matter how small, is an opportunity for you to build trust.

Leverage Every Opportunity

In the age of Zillow, Redfin and Trulia, buyers and sellers are able to do that first-step research on their own. So when it is time to engage with an agent, what they’re really looking for is a one-to-one personal connection with an agent or broker who they can trust and who is available when they have a question or want to check-in. 

People today are looking for that sense of community and personalized service that they can’t get from a mega-platform or mobile app. Whether it’s taking the time to write an extra sentence or two to personalize a standard client email, or ensuring that you’re always reachable on all channels during business hours, it’s good practice to take an inventory of all the interaction opportunities that present themselves in your day-to-day client interactions.

Where might you be able to make the “little” moments more “wow!” worthy, personable, or warm? How might you foster a bit more happiness and convenience in your clients’ lives?

A good place to start is to think through the customer service moments you experience in your own life. What types of communication scenarios frustrate you or cause unnecessary inconvenience? And what types of business interactions and communications put you at ease and make your life easier?

Do you enjoy receiving handouts prior to presentations to make following along and taking notes easier? Is it nice to be offered coffee or water when you come into another person’s office for a meeting?

Anticipating your clients’ needs and preferences during every step of their interactions with your company is a chance to demonstrate just how committed you are to the relationship. It’s also a way to build hard-won trust over time. 

Be Predictably Excellent

Dependability and consistency play a crucial role in maintaining the goodwill and momentum you work so hard to achieve in your real estate business. The nature of the industry—handling someone else’s big-ticket purchase or sale—means that trust is a critical component of doing business. 

Clients (and potential clients) must feel that they can depend on you. Which is why even one missed call or subpar interaction can cost you big time. The ROI of personal connections cannot be underestimated. Which is why even though you may not always be able to speak with a client when they call, it’s important to have someone available to answer their calls during business hours. Whether it’s a full-time solution for your business, or simply a way to cover lunch breaks, vacations, sick days or the overflow work for your in-house receptionist—having a remote receptionist will ensure that you are always providing predictably excellent service to all of your callers.

Meet Them Where They’re At

Your clients’ expectations, as it relates to being able to communicate with you, are evolving rapidly. With the proliferation of social media messaging options, “always-on” text messaging, and live chat options, people expect to be able to connect with your company, ask questions and receive answers immediately. Being available to connect in the moments when your clients and prospects choose to reach out to you is fast becoming a baseline expectation. We all know the experience of calling a business and being sent to voicemail, and many people now choose to forego leaving a message altogether—either hanging up to send a text message or email, or dialing a competitor in hopes that they’ll answer the phone.  

Be there for your clients/prospects when it counts QUOTE from influencer

What Creating Community Can Mean to Your Bottom Line

Fostering a true sense of community with your client base is shown to drive a true difference to your bottom line. An increase in the volume of positive connections and interactions you have with people can only lead to a larger network and an increase in business opportunities. So what can creating community mean for your business? Let’s take a look at a simple step you can take today—answering your phone 100% of the time during business hours.

If you get three inquiry calls each business day and answer 100% of them, you’ll wind up receiving approximately 60 inbound calls each month. If just 13.25% of those calls result in a new business dealing, you’re looking at eight new qualified leads every month. And with 17% of those leads expected (on average) to become new clients, you’re looking at earning one new client every month. With the average deal size being $279,000, at a 3% commission rate, residential real estate brokers stand to earn an extra $8,370 every month—just from answering the phone!

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