Whether you’re reaching out to feeder markets near your metropolitan area or to luxury markets around the world, connecting with like-minded real estate colleagues is a winning strategy.
For some agents, developing a solid and consistent local farm is the end goal, allowing them to make a steady income and automate their marketing through referrals and sphere of influence outreach. For more growth-minded real estate professionals; however, expansion is always top of mind.
You can, of course, keep growing your business locally, but that may only take you so far. Ready to expand beyond your city’s borders? Looking for virtually unlimited expansion opportunities? Want to market your expertise in a totally new market? Here are three ways to identify affiliated markets that are feeding into (and being fed by) your own.
While it’s only anecdotal evidence, the buyers and sellers that you talk to every day may be a great source of information about where folks are coming from, and where they’re going. Be sure that part of your initial representation discussion involves their plans, especially if they’re going to or coming from a market you don’t currently serve.
Look at data from moving companies, large franchise brokerages, and industry organizations to figure out what movements are occurring on a large scale. Stay tuned in to your local association and stay current with industry publications to ensure that you have the latest insights, trends, and analysis at the ready.
Connect with your professional network, both online and offline, to find out where folks are moving to and from. Notice a trend of agents in one market looking to make a referral in your own? Get to know them better and find out if this is an ongoing need. Are several of your local colleagues looking for a referral partner in the same distant market? Determine whether this will be a part of a larger migration pattern.
As you see the same markets come up again and again, you’ll start to identify places that have an affinity with your own. Maybe there’s a common employer or allied industries. Maybe there are similar home and neighborhood styles. Maybe there’s a better cost of living or a preferable climate. Whatever the case, once you identify affiliated markets, you can start reaching out to them.
You’ve identified feeder markets. Now what?
Once you’ve figured out where people are coming from — and going to — it’s time to create a strategy that will allow you to expand your business and serve that pattern of movement. You can do this in the following ways:
- If the affiliated market is a secondary one in your own state, you may want to begin marketing there and develop a robust referral program with fellow agents in the area. If you’re familiar with the area and willing to travel there, you may want to take on clients in both cities or partner with a reliable agent there.
- If the affiliated market is in a neighboring state, you may want to pursue licensure there so that you can serve clients on both sides of the borderline. Check out reciprocity programs to see if you may be able to fast-track your licensure in that new market.
- If the affiliated market is at a distance from your own, you may want to develop an expansion team and partner with agents there. This will allow you both to offer more seamless and integrated services to buyers and sellers in each of your markets.
- Make relocation services part of your branding and marketing strategy. Make sure that clients who are searching for you online and on social media know that you are the go-to for the big move they’re about to make.
Exceptional growth begins with casting a vision and then implementing your plan. Dream big and broaden your horizons when you find markets, and team members, that align with your goals, your expertise, and your client care philosophy.