The past year-plus of pandemic living has, in many ways, made many people and communities withdraw from their accustomed way of living. While some have found it easy and exciting to branch out and return to their previous level of social interaction, others may still be struggling to find their footing in a post-pandemic world. This can be made even more difficult if you’ve developed a narrow professional niche and lost touch with your broader professional network.
In order to bring in more business and get yourself moving again, it may be time to think about diversifying your client base and expanding your outreach. This can give you new opportunities and new professional relationships so that you’ll do more business and feel more connected to the world around you.
If you find yourself doing the same types of transactions again and again, learning something new can help you branch out. By tackling a new certification or designation or focusing on a new skillset, you’ll develop avenues for service and find ways to connect with new clients. Many classes include information on marketing or outreach to referral partners, so you may be able to hit the ground running sooner than you think.
Connect with others through content creation
Whether you’re a blogger, video creator, or podcaster, or if you simply excel at interacting with others via social media, content creation can open up a whole new realm of possibilities and influence, both locally and internationally. Don’t put pressure on yourself as you start out. Just focus on communicating value-added information with an emphasis on helping others achieve their goals. Over time, you’ll improve your performance and grow your audience as well.
Look for leadership opportunities in the industry
Serve on a committee at the local, state, or national level. Head up the Young Professionals (YP) group at your local association. Run for office or work on the steering committee for your state’s real estate conference. Find out how to become an instructor and share your knowledge with others. The more you become comfortable with the leaders in your market and your field, the more opportunities you have to grow and learn from other go-getters.
Get involved with community organizations
If you have a passion for your community, get involved in an organization that is making a difference there. Work with local youth, help to build affordable housing, or take on the task of cleaning up a local park or waterway. When you share your work on social media, you’ll find like-minded individuals who are looking for an agent who is aligned with their goals and beliefs. You’ll show potential clients that you don’t just care about making money in your community—you care about making a difference.
Find underserved groups and communities
Who is being left out when it comes to servicing your local real estate community? First-time homebuyers? Renters? Workforce buyers focused on affordability? People with bad credit or bankruptcies who need to rebuild their credit and find financing solutions? Find out who other agents are ignoring, and begin to develop content and services geared toward those forgotten folks. Over time, you may become the go-to agent for one or more market segments in your area.
Be inspired by the stories of other agents
It’s important for you to read about and learn from other agents, both locally and nationally. Stay tuned in to industry publications and online content so that you can find out what’s working for others. Seek out professional organizations and communities to explore new ideas and innovations.
Who is your favorite local agent? Ask him or her out for a cup of coffee and renew your acquaintance. Find out where people are coming from when they move to your area and where they’re going when they move away, then introduce yourself to agents in those markets to explore referral possibilities. If you are in a niche or market that brings in international clients, like luxury properties, resort areas, or major metropolitan areas, look to international referral networks to expand your reach.
Explore investment groups in your market
If you’ve got an eye for bargains in your area, you may be a great resource for investors in your market. Check out investment groups and meetups to get to know local lenders, contractors, and finance professionals as well as investors. Any of these can be a good source of information and help you make the contacts you need to get started.
Don’t limit yourself to working as an advisor for other investors. If you’re looking for opportunities to create additional streams of income, it may be time to explore real estate investment opportunities on your own behalf. Talk to a successful local investor and see if you can shadow him or her on a project. Work with a mentor and determine what types of projects are right for your budget. Get advice from property managers and find out what markets offer the greatest potential in the months ahead.
More than anything, there’s magic in putting your heart into activities and interests that spark your passion. Join a book club. Learn ballroom dancing. Take a cooking class, a painting class, or join a garden club. The more you put yourself out there with energy and enthusiasm, the more you’ll attract like-minded people who’ll take an interest in you and your business. These folks can become an invaluable resource for new referrals, introductions, and social activities that will help you build your friend-group and your business.