Jack Coden is no stranger to success. After a career as an international banker in New York City he made a big move – all the way to Miami, Fla. to take on a new challenge. As an agent, Coden was successful right out of the gate, earning $80,000 in gross commission income (GCI) his first year and double that in his second.
His business has grown every year since, which opened up new opportunities for ownership in the Miami Beach market center and solidified him as a multi-year leader in regional and nationwide sales. Today, he averages three closings each week. In 2013, he made $1.5 million in GCI and closed $52.1 in volume.
What’s fueling that success is his team’s focus on farming, which is geographic, demographic or niche-based marketing activities to plant the seeds with future business and nurture existing clients.
Farm Fast, Farm Often
Coden farms several communities, condos, neighborhoods, commercial properties and restaurants in the greater Miami area, which he says requires consistency and frequency. “One of the mistakes agents make when it comes to farming is sending one or two print pieces and then stopping,” he says. Residents of Coden’s targeted farms see something from him every week for eight weeks, then every three weeks after that. His farm postcards stand out. They’re oversized, have a picture of Coden and his team, and showcase a home in their neighborhood that he recently sold or just listed for sale. “I never send the kind of card that says, ‘I’m your neighborhood agent, give me a call.’ I want them to see that nearby properties are selling well and plant the seed to call me when they want to sell theirs too.”
Coden has developed ongoing relationships from farmed clients, building up a reliable database that he uses for most of his outreach. He’s an expert networker and heartfelt relationship builder, which is the crux of his success. Here he shares some of his proven networking techniques that can help you meet new people, nurture relationship, and grow your own million-dollar business.
Create Personal Curb Appeal
“Networking is often about displaying a genuine desire to help others progress. I make sure our clients sense that from the very beginning. I say, ‘I’m here to help you.’ Sometimes it’s to give emotional support, sometimes to give financial advice, and often it’s to connect them to people they can’t find on their own. Most of our listing appointments are a minimum of two hours. Half the time we’re not even talking about real estate, we’re just getting to know each other.”
Talk to Strangers
“My cell phone number is on every yard sign, postcard, magazine and marketing piece. When people call, it comes to me. I always answer their questions, but not right away. Instead I ask them questions, asking whether they have kids, where they work, what they know about different neighborhoods; we bond over questions. At some point the conversation shifts to the price of the property. If it’s not in their range, they’ll often ask me to help them house hunt anyways. If it’s a personality fit, I’ll work with them or match them up with one of the buyer agents in the Jack Coden Group.”
Enlist the Power of a Business Card
“I have a unique business card. It’s a little larger than the norm, with a silver foil border. It’s kind of flashy; people comment on it and seem to love it. I never offer my card upfront. I engage in conversation and I wait until people ask for it.”
Continue the Conversation
“Once I connect with a client, I tell them they are adopted now; they’re part of the Jack Coden family, to call me anytime. I mean it. And they do.”
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