Build relationships and bring value with every outreach

By Maria Malin

When we look back at the experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll have learned many valuable lessons from it, including how life and relationships were reprioritized and strengthened. Though physically and socially distanced, we forged new and creative pathways to check in, keep in touch, share our lives and, yes, do business. Technology will be remembered as the conduit for our connectivity, teaching us that virtual, though not reality, worked as not only an effective, but sometimes more efficient, use of our time. As we now emerge from the constraints of the pandemic, will we continue to simply click to connect our relationships? More specifically, will the return of our ability to be “in person” give technology a new place in how we reach out and stay top of mind?

From a coaching perspective, I encourage you to envision how you’d build your business if you couldn’t text or post or like or comment or stream or otherwise digitally find your way into someone’s life. What if your business wasn’t referral-based? What if you were building a business for the first time or in a completely new market or had no established sphere of influence? What would outreach look like? What would stand out? What would make you stand out? Would it be tech-savvy or grassroots?
The first, last and only thing that counts — in my personal and professional opinion, and no matter how you deliver it — is value. True and genuine value. Value to the relationship and valuable real estate — in that order.

Whether you deliver that value via digital routes or grassroots is secondary. Bringing value to those you know and those you want to know better can and should be an everyday thing. Building relationships and making others feel important doesn’t take genius, but it does take consistent effort and authenticity.

Think about the unique aspects of the relationships you want to touch, and deliver custom, relevant, personal outreach at every opportunity. Be present; be a go-to; be who you genuinely are, not some curated persona on social or a once-a-year check-in or someone only seeking out their next referral.

Remember, the world today is not only digging out of a year-plus of pandemic-weary living; it has reprioritized what’s important and has a keener sense of what’s untrue. Be other-centric in how you deepen, enrich, share and stay top of mind to the relationships in your life, and via direct or digital outreach, you’ll bring value.

Delivering valuable real estate is more straightforward. If you’re newer to real estate, build credibility by sharing quantified, data-focused market knowledge at every opportunity. If you’ve been in the business for a while, yes, you’re busy and the market’s been like no other. Still, always be other-centric in sharing what’s valuable to those asking you about the market and relying on your expertise. Simply stating that your business has been busier than ever may be perceived as “too busy.” Keep answers specific to those asking you the questions, and create value with what and how you share.

A few simple questions will help you stay in tune to whether or not your outreach is effective. Do you get response or engagement, or never hear back? Remember, half of a relationship is not a relationship. Is your sphere of influence organized? Do you then customize your outreach based on that? Make sure you’re sending what is top of mind and relevant to your recipients, and go beyond the usual, like geographic farming.

Again, always be authentic. Curating a brand or image that’s not true to who you are is not only ineffective, it’s extremely difficult to sustain or find long-term success with. Think genuine rather than simply strategic, and you’ll win in life and real estate.
Indeed, hearing a voice or seeing a face will never become obsolete. And of course, we’ll continue to deliver valuable outreach at scale via technology. Enhance and enrich your relationships at every opportunity, and strengthen your credibility by sharing your specific real estate knowledge and experience with those you know and those they know. Spend your time wisely and consistently on all fronts, and you’ll create a template for long-term, sustainable growth in any market.

Since 2011, Maria Malin has worked exclusively in real estate coaching and training for @properties and Compass in Chicago, writing, developing and teaching content to assist Illinois real estate brokers with building and growing their business. Brokers who regularly coached with her in 2020 grew their business an average of 76%. Maria recently launched her own real estate coaching business, works with all brokerages and can be found at

How top producers get referrals for life

Learn how top producers build their referral network with an effective client communication plan

Imagine what it would be like if your business were 100 percent referrals. Imagine that you have a steady stream of customers because they’ve been sent to you by past clients who sing your praises. Many top producers know how to create a referral network from past sales.

How do they do it?

The secret is in relationship building. When you build lasting relationships with every client, they send business your way, they write positive reviews and they rehire you when they move. And like all relationships, the good ones are rooted in quality communication. Without strong, clear and regular communication, relationships wither.

While other agents may get caught up in ineffective lead generation strategies, top producers understand that the strongest, most cost-effective way to build a business is to cultivate relationships with existing clientele. It is because of their commitment to building client relationships that top producers enjoy repeat business and a steady stream of referrals.

How can you enjoy the same success?

Build a communication plan

If you have long-term relationships in your life, you know that it takes some work to keep good relationships with friends, family and spouses. Remembering birthdays may seem small, but the gesture matters. Small gestures matter in a relationship. If you want your clients to consider you a trusted advisor and friend, you’ll have to be there not only for their real estate needs, but also for some of life’s important occasions.

It starts by setting the tone of the relationship from the first meeting through the first transaction. Then follow up. This experience will show clients that they can expect regular, clear communication from you. The problem for many agents is that they focus on doing the job and forget to communicate what they are doing. Top producers have this under control because they have a plan.

Commit to communication

If your communication methods fail or you don’t communicate frequently enough with your clients, they may feel frustrated and abandoned. To prevent disappointed clients, top producers follow communication plans that prioritize consistent and meaningful client interactions. But a communication plan is about more than just making clients happy and building rapport. A good plan leads to a lifetime of referral business.

Developing a referral network and gathering quality leads starts with your current clients. Not sure where to start?

Build a robust referral network and get ahead on success with the help of AgentEDU’s course, “How to create the most effective client communication plan.”

Get unlimited access to this and every other 10-minute video course on AgentEDU when you subscribe for only $19.99 per month.


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