Expanding Outside Your State: Part 2
As I mentioned in Part 1, this new frontier of expanding real estate businesses into other markets nationwide raises a multitude of new questions and requires a lot of careful consideration.
When our team expands into a new out-of-state market – especially where we don’t have much name recognition – we typically try to prime that pump at least six to nine months out. We’re going to create that database. We’re going to start calling well in advance and getting those referrals going.
Let me give you an example:
In Utah, I referred a lot of business to a very well-known, top 100 agent while I was looking for our expansion partner. You don’t want to open up in a new location and have no leads. While leads aren’t everything, they are certainly a part of the value proposition so, if you are going across state lines and going into a location where you don’t have current brand name recognition, in a sense you’re starting over. It makes good sense to start lead generating and building a database in that location long before you open.
Here’s a tip on lead gen: Too many times, we try every technique of lead generation known to man. Instead, pare that down to two or three methods you do really well. Expanding on what you’ve done effectively makes sense…then partner with people for some of that leverage or some of that nurturing.
Partnering with people who do their specialty really well can be a positive piece of growth. Take advantage of folks and companies who can do things better than you can…don’t try to be the person who does all pieces of the business when there’s someone out there who can do it better and faster than you can. Focus on what you’re good at and then partner with other folks who can do those other pieces.
While you’re in that lead building stage, simply refer those leads out to a top agent.
Before actually opening shop, I contacted the regional operating principal of the Marketing Centers in Utah. I spoke with him about what my vision was and what I thought I could bring to the table as a win for the Market Center. I asked him, based on his knowledge of my business, which of the six Marketing Centers in Salt Lake City he thought would be the best fit for us.
I flew to Salt Lake City, met with a couple of team leaders there, and really shared with them what I was looking for.
Establishing those relationships before you expand is key; they actually wanted to help us. They’ve been a part of the process, a part of the vetting…it changes the dynamic 100%.
And, if those relationships are important before you expand, they are even more crucial down the road. Those team leaders who choose to ignore the local professionals are making it ten times more difficult for themselves.