What if I told you should work for free? Call the men in the white van? Hear me out...
Work is showing up at the set time, a time set by ‘the man’ whether or not you feel like it to produce something of value ... on demand. But it isn’t work when you indulge your passion, your interest, your hobby. My friend Jim likes to paint an water colour landscapes, but to emulsion the front living room (he is a painter and decorator by trade) .. that is work. My lovely wife doesn’t see cooking a five course meal as work when she cooks dinner for our friends, but it's work when you're a chef at the local Brewers Fayre.
Should you get paid if the local newspaper rings you up for comment on the local housing market? If the local radio station wants you to come on to their programme to discuss property prices .. would you expect to get paid? Of course not, not if you think you'll be able to turn that stage into positive change, into increased trust, to make you one step closer on the track to being your towns property guru, into something that moves you forward.
But you could spend all your time doing that and get paid nothing .. how does that pay the rent/mortgage? Well you have to decide why you are doing this. You see, if writing a guest blog post on the local housing market for a secondary school economics project blog, that is probably not valuable enough to you. Neither is helping out the Dogs Home for free with some publicity in your advert, that is probably not valuable either. The dogs get their food, the vets get paid and even the receptionist selling dog toys on the front desk doesn't do it for free...
However, for the last 100 years, it made perfect sense for opinion leaders (before they invented blogs) to write (for 'free') for the Telegraph or Times. The more generous you are with your ideas, and the more they spread, the more likely it is your perceived value goes up.
Just like my dad (who is a baker) creates useful side effects as the smell wafts from his bakery down the street, it's not only self-centred (almost selfish)to thwart others from taking part, it's actually rather silly. The internet we all depend nowadays, only works because the web has made it easier than ever for ideas to spread and be shared. Ten years ago, I could not have had 800 letting agents reading what i said three times a week, without taking a full page advert in the Neg Magazine (and that would thousands of pounds a month for just one article)
.. but embrace the change and you will succeed, you will get more landlords to use your lettings agency. You can’t play at this though. You have to be passionate and consistent I can write the articles for you, to make you the guru .. you could even write themselves .. but one article in the newspaper every fortnight is not good enough, let alone every five or six weeks. You have to be posting every day on your blog and every week, week in week out, in the newspaper. Writing in the newspaper need not cost you one penny (see below) and blogging costs nothing .. but there is no point in blogging if people don’t know about it. But what if I could show you how to get hundreds of homeowners and landlords to your blog each and every day?
How can Paul Tobias-Gibbins , an agent from Essex, say “I attended Christopher's course back in July this year and as we come in to December we have added 30 new properties to our portfolio. The techniques that I have learnt on Chris's course have produce real measurable results. I have now got landlords wanting to buy exclusively through our company in order to let. Christopher's articles are written with a real flare.”
A number of clients started advertising in the local newspaper, inserting the articles I wrote for them into the standard advert template . Three months later, they have stopped advertising .. why, because the newspaper Editor now asks them to write an article for the newspaper .. for free .. as pure lovely editorial .. and people take much more notice of that than agents newspaper adverts. .. that’s worth doing for free, isn’t it?
You see, if you are going to become the town’s local property guru, you need to do things that will help you as well the person you are doing it for free for. If you get asked to talk at a landlord expo, but they are full of self managing landlords who have never used an agent in their life, are you just saving the organisers cash to do a job they should pay for?
Still not sure if this works? Luke Mason, an established letting agent from Hitchin said, "I first met Chris in 2011 and was instantly warmed to his personal and creative approach to business. After building the relationship I worked closely with Chris for over 14 months using his ideas and techniques to improve my letting agency in Hitchin, particularly gaining new landlords. What worked particularly well for me was his newspaper advertorials putting me as the local professional for landlords and investors alike. Within 6 - 8 weeks the results were obvious, I was gaining over 50% more landlord enquiries with 90% of them resulting in new business. After nine months my turnover had increased from £36k to £43k per month"
Probably the most important thing you should ask is if you will get noticed by the right people (ie landlords or know landlords), people who will help me spread the word to the point where I can get hired ? (as a letting agent or estate agent)
If you're an up and coming letting agent building an audience, then yes, free, free, free. It's always worth it for you to talk at the Rotary Club, chat to the local Round table or Chamber of Commerce, because you get at least as much out of the talk as the organiser and the audience do. But when you have 50% of the local lettings market and 50% of all the properties for sale in your town, then no, it's not clear you ought to bring your light and your soul and your reputation along just because some person asked you to. ... (but how many of you have 50% of the market .... exactly .. none of you .. keep reading)
Bottom line is this ..
1. Where do you want your lettings agency to go in 2015?
2. Where are you now?
3. What’s getting in the way, slowing you down or stopping you from getting to where you want to go?
If you want more landlords for your lettings agency, you and I need to talk... and if you aren’t the person who writes the cheques, forward my blog on to them. I can help, it isn’t cheap, it takes time but do what I tell you to do and I will help you grow significantly in 2015.