Agent Essentials

Real Estate Agent Blog

Utilize your family connections and grow your client base this Thanksgiving.
November 21, 2019

Working the Table: A How-To Guide On Gaining Family Members as New Clients

by The CE Shop Team

Grow Your Business While Eating Turkey with These Tips

With Thanksgiving and month-long Christmas music marathons right around the corner, it’s pretty typical for real estate agents to see a slowdown in business. People are busy visiting family, going on vacations, attending holiday parties, spending countless hours looking for awesome course package deals from The CE Shop (obviously) know, the usual stuff. But just because the holiday season is here doesn’t mean you can’t continue growing your business. 

Some of the best opportunities for your real estate career could come from family members. It makes sense. Not only does the “blood over water” trust mantra give you an edge, but family usually wants to see family succeed––especially if it’s them helping you. So why wouldn’t you try to capture this market? Here are some methods for gaining your family as clients by working the Thanksgiving table. 

How To Gain Family Members as New Clients

1) Make Sure They Know What You Do

This may seem obvious or even unnecessary to bring up, but you’d be surprised by how often people––even family––are not actually listening. Just think about that second cousin who year in, year out rambles about their failing love life, only to give you 5 minutes right before the turkey carving to sum up how your life is going. It’s a common issue that can easily be overcome by dropping little tidbits about your career through quick and entertaining anecdotes from being on the job. 

2) Ask Questions and Assess

Like any other potential client, you need to figure out their needs and current situation. Are they looking for a new house? Do they have the financing to make this transition? Are they moving for a new job?

Not every family member splatters you with their life story. With sincerity, find out what’s going on in their life and assess if this specific person could potentially be a client. 

3) Ask for References, Not Their Business

You’ve probably heard this one before: Don’t ask for their business. Instead, ask for references. Here’s a good example of how you should and shouldn’t get your foot in the door. 

What You Should Do:

“Hey Uncle Gary, do you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home? I’d love to get a reference.”

What You Shouldn’t Do

“Hey Uncle Gary, are you looking to buy or sell a home? I’d love to get your business.”

The first question places you in “family territory.” Your Uncle Gary will think you’re trying to grow your business and will be more likely to help you as a good uncle would––as a reference or client. Also, like said before, family loves helping family. If they feel they can be a part of your success by providing a good reference, you’re more likely to earn their business.

The second question does the opposite. Instead of thinking you’re just trying to expand your business, your Uncle Gary is going to think you’re looking for a handout. This will just lead to an awkward situation where Uncle Gary “accidentally” forgets to send you a Christmas present next month. 

4) Play the Long Game

The average homeowner stays in their home for approximately 13 years but moves 11.4 times in their lifetime. Those data points may not line up (11.4 x 13=148.2 years old). Regardless, they are strong indicators that your family members will be buying and selling homes multiple times throughout their lives. 

Playing the long game requires planting a seed (i.e., making sure they know your profession), demonstrating your value, and patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your real estate career. 

5) Social Media Follow

One of the most underrated ways to get a family member to join your business as a client is to ask them to follow you on social. This creates opportunities in two ways:

  • They Constantly Know What You’re Up To

Whether it’s a social advertisement, virtual tour of a home, or a charity event you volunteered at, asking family members to follow you on social keeps them in the loop. In turn, this keeps you on their mind when considering selling a home while also adding to your brand equity. Essentially, the more they see you wheeling and dealing as an up-and-coming agent, the more likely they’ll trust you to do business with you. And if they engage with those posts, they’ll feel more involved with the process even before starting a transaction

  • Their Social Friends Will See Your Posts

Social media does a fantastic job of showing you content of interest through your social feed. How many times have you searched for new golf clubs on Google only to see an advertisement for Callaway golf clubs? Yes, it can be annoying and big brother-esque, but you can use this to your advantage. 

If your family has friends searching for new homes, for example, there’s a distinct possibility that, when your family member Likes a post of yours, their friend will see the content on their feed. This immediately increases your validity with said friend, potentially providing you the opportunity for new business without lifting a finger. 

  • Shrug it Off and Carry On

Others may not feel comfortable with mixing family and business and rightfully so. If things turn sour, you could potentially lose a relationship you’ve had since birth. This situation is where you need to be careful and, more importantly, highly astute to the situation. Being fully transparent and honest helps overcome this obstacle.

This all being said, gaining business from family should be a seamless process, but also one that does not tarnish your relationship. The best approach when a family member says no is to simply shrug it off and carry on. Allow for your success to shine through. Over time, family will see your worth and, in turn, feel more confident giving you the opportunity to execute their next home transaction.

Real Estate Education Made for You

When you're done chowing down turkey, discover The CE Shop's award-winning real estate education. We have Pre-LicensingPost-LicensingContinuing Education, and an Exam Prep program for all your education needs. Try our 5-day free trial and get started today!