One of my favorite programs to facilitate at the Academy is our POP! Prospecting Boot Camp. It is a 6 week accountability program that focuses on the Power Of Prospecting (hence the acronym POP!) as the key to a successful business. Every week, we discuss different methods of prospecting, work on scripts/dialogues, role play and work through objections, and hold the agents accountable to their weekly target goals.

Last week we had a Top Producer come in to discuss and demo Cold Calling as a system for generating leads. The agents learned a lot about consistency, persistence and not being attached to the outcome. (I speak a little bit more in detail about this in my previous blog post Cold Calling: the 3 P’s to successful prospecting)

Yesterday, we welcomed another Top Producer who discussed his system for Working by Referral. He talked about the importance of taking care of his Sphere of Influence and how creating a system for building lasting connections is the key to his success. It was a great lesson in what I like to call “Relationship Real Estate“.

Relationship Real Estate is an integral part of everything we do as realtors whether we realize it or not. I’m not referring to the type of relationship that is discussed in Agency Law, but rather the level of communication and relationship that you establish with your clients and the people you know. Simply put, Relationship Real Estate is working with the understanding that real estate is more about exceptional customer service than it is about selling homes.

One of the first steps to building a successful business that operates with the “relationship” mindset, is to create and maintain a database. As our Top Producing agent explained, “it’s less about developing a large mailing list and more about developing a database of people whom if you called them today, would not only know you by first name but often recognize you by the sound of your voice.”

Once you have this list, you compile and continuously update the information. The obvious being their mailing address and phone number, but also things like hobbies, children’s names, pets names, anniversary dates, birthdays, and favorite restaurants. This will allow you to find unique and continuous opportunities to stay in touch. The more often you can create meaningful connections, the more you build trust, respect and ultimately, repeat and referral business.

Though there were lots of ‘aha’ moments and take-a-ways, the main thing the agents walked away with was that the Working by Referral system is rewarding and fulfilling, and provides the gateway to a long lasting business that might not be as easily accessed in other forms of prospecting.

Whether you choose to work from a systematic approach such as the Working by Referral system or whether you just choose to remain customer focused with your current prospecting strategies, Relationship Real Estate is a win-win.