Many of us while away our lunch hour chatting with colleagues in our brokerage, running errands, or just zoning out. But what if you put your lunch to work? Lunch can be a great time to develop leads and connect with your sphere of influence.
The key here is to not be pushy or salesy. Building leads over lunch is more about the relationship building, person-to-person aspect of having lunch together. With that said, don’t be shy about mentioning your desire for their business or referrals if it comes up!
Here are three different types of lunch dates you can use to develop your sphere of influence and cultivate leads.
You can – and should – have lunch with business partners who could be a great source of referrals to you. You probably have a team of people who help you with staging, repairs, mortgage reviews, and inspections. Make it a point to take them out to lunch, chat with them about how business is going, and ask for referrals.
You should also ask for permission to put them on you mailing or email list, so that they receive your newsletters and keep up with you. Offer to join their mailing lists as well. Be sure that you give them referrals of people who might need their help. Finally, don’t forget to offer to answer any of their real estate questions or help them if they need to buy or sell!
After a lunch of this type, a handwritten note thanking them for their time and expressing how much you enjoy working with them is a great touch. It cements the relationship in a personal way.
Taking a past client to lunch is a great way to check in with them and see how things are going. If they took on renovations, you may be able to refer to one of your business partners if they need help. If not, you can still keep up with their family’s accomplishments and other small things going on.
Many people are immediately forgotten by a Realtor® as soon as the commission clears. Continuing the relationship will be a great way to establish you as different from others, as well as allowing you to learn things about the neighborhood and other families in the area. Of course, previous clients should be on your email list – if they are not, ask them if you could keep in touch that way.
Finally, all past clients are a great source of referrals. Don’t make the lunch all about what they can do for you, but do ask at some point if they know anyone else that has questions about real estate or is considering buying or selling.
Friends and Acquaintances
Having lunch with friends and acquaintances is another good way to build leads. Some of those you associate with may not know you’re a Realtor®. Lunch is a great time to have more casual conversations with people you may normally only see at homeowner’s associate meetings or PTA events. You can talk more fully about what you each do. Keep track of any referrals you may have for their type of work.
Even with friends who know you’re a Realtor®, you can use a lunch date to break the ice a little bit and reestablish yourself as both a professional and a friend. Assure them that you won’t try to sell them if they ask you real estate questions, and let them talk about their curiosities.
If it’s appropriate, you can of course ask friends and acquaintances to join your email list to keep up with happenings in the neighborhoods you serve. And let them know that if they or their friends or family need a Realtor®, you’re here to serve.
Don’t let lunch be a dead zone of unproductivity. Rejuvenate and reconnect with a casual lunch date, and build leads and relationships in the process.
Do you use your lunch to build leads? Why or why not? Share in the comments!