10 Reasons Why Real Estate Offices Are “Goldmines”

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by Tom Watson on October 20, 2013

I’ve been screaming from the rooftop for years about the importance of visiting real estate offices. Today I will climb the ladder once more as I break down how powerful this approach is.

Visiting these offices has made such a huge difference for me and my company. At the end of the day this is not only easy and cheap to do, it’s effective. That’s what I call the perfect trifecta!

I’ve used this technique over and over again throughout the years. It was and still is a key building block for creating not only revenue, but a lot of profit too. The real beauty of this approach is in the fact that it’s the gift that just keeps on giving.

What I mean by that is this… once you build some relationships with different offices – and the agents within – you’ll benefit for years and years to come with very little additional effort on your part. As long as you do a good job, they’ll keep calling YOU!

Why Real Estate Offices Are “Goldmines”

I’ve titled this post 10 Reasons Why Real Estate Offices Are “Goldmines” as a bit of a play on words. Instead of actually listing 10 reasons, I’ll make an EVEN STRONGER case and it goes like this…

I have ONE REAL ESTATE OFFICE that has TEN AGENTS who send me business. To be perfectly honest, it’s actually ELEVEN due to the fact that the owner of the office hired me to CLEAN THE ENTIRE FACILITY. Not too bad huh?

That’s just one office folks! We work with a lot of other offices too. That’s how powerful working with agents can be. Please keep in mind that you don’t need to be some superstar to pull this off.

As I’m fond of saying, I’m not anything special! I’m just a regular guy who is willing to get dressed up and run some business cards, flyers, sales letters into an office and politely ask if I can leave them for the agents to see.

The secret technique to win over real estate agents

OK… I must admit that I’m leaving something out. I bribe them. No… not with some illegal kickback or anything else unsavory! I bribe them in a completely legal and ethical way. I FEED THEM. Yes, getting some business thrown my way via the stomach is a tried and true way of drumming up sales.

This is not accomplished with some expensive entrée of any kind. Normally all that’s needed are bagels, donuts or pretzels. Pick the one that you can get the best deal on right before you visit the office. Generally less than $20 can feed an entire office full of real estate agents.

This results in us getting calls for all types of cleaning. We get referred for maid service, window cleaning, carpet cleaning and move-in / move-out type cleanings. Someday I’ll try to do a post on exactly how much it’s added up to, but for now I can certainly say it’s a lot.

When we were a new company all we could offer was just basic cleaning and yet that didn’t matter one bit. The phone rang with agents who needed a home cleaned either as a condition of sale or as a way for making the home look better so it would sell faster.

Many other cleaning requests came in by agents who needed to clean a home that had been rented and was about to be rented once again. As we added more services like window cleaning, carpet cleaning and everything else we do this stream of business became that much more profitable.

The pitfalls of working with agents

If there is a downside to this approach it’s the fact that the agents who call you generally are looking to get this work done FAST. Generally speaking agents are pretty busy and tend to wait for the last minute to call concerning a cleaning request.

So when the phone rings you need to return the call and schedule the work to be completed rather quickly. If you can do that you’ll be fine. Another small downside is that the vast majority of referrals are “one and done”. This means you won’t be getting any “recurring work” in other words.

With all that said, the downsides are pretty minimal if you ask me, especially once you factor in the upside to it all. I mean getting a steady stream of work for such a small amount of money is definitely a homerun in my book.

If anyone else out there has had some success using this approach please leave some comments below for others to see. I’m sure there’s others who have had success using this approach. So share some tips and spread the wealth!

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anthony Abdul October 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I really cannot thank you enough for your great concern for others. I can’t believe you are giving out all these valuable advice to us free. I am already in the cleaning business but still struggling to have clients. I will definitely order one of your training manuals soon.
Keep up the good work and God bless you.

2 Tom Watson October 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Hi Anthony! I’m happy to help. Anyway… just keep moving forward and you’ll be fine. It’s a little bit of a process to get going, but once you get some momentum things will go faster.

3 ELNORA DELCID October 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I need leads and the customer asap please if your can help me out please .thank you very much .

4 La'Sonne Amos October 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Hi Tom ,love the posts along with manual all of your posts and writings are helpful.I wanted to know if you have a method of approach for obtaining real estate agent business.Like a letter or flyer directed towards them like the apartment complex flyer.

5 Tom Watson October 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Hi Elnora! Leads (and the customers that sprout from them) are something you generate on your own. At the end of the day, there really is no such thing as buying them. You generate interest via advertising and promotion, then people call you as a result.

From there you need to get folks comfortable with the idea you can solve their problem. That’s what running a cleaning business is about when you boil it all down to the simplest form.

6 Tom Watson October 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Hi La’Sonne! Thanks for the kind words… Anyway, now that you mention it, I didn’t really have a specific sales letter geared just for agents, nor did I use a particular flyer. I really just went rather “generic” in my approach.

The ones you find in the course I used in one way or another. You did give me a good idea for a future post, so keep your eyes peeled for some flyers and sales letters made for this market.

7 crystal October 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

Customer calls you telling if you can clean out there home before they move..They tell you they can’t pay you into a lawyer pays them.they give you the address, what type house and the date. You look up there name and address to match sure you know where your going.You can’t find the street online map.They call you back telling you a different town and date.You look up the number it dont march with the person name. They call up and tell you a different date that your busy on.You tell them your busy thst day they don’t want to hear it.You tell your sorry and they say what good that going to do. What should you do if this happens?

8 Tom Watson October 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

Hi Crystal! What just happened to you was not normal, so don’t worry about it happening again. Just remember if something smells FISHY, then it probably is. Walk away from jobs that don’t seem right and don’t look back!

9 La'Sonne Amos October 23, 2013 at 6:42 am

To Crystal ,It is a scam I just had the same thing happen to me.They sent a check, none of the addresses matched so I took it to my bank and had it shredded.I told the guy that contacted me to clean that I knew it was a scam and never heard back from him.Be careful.

10 Kerry de-Zille October 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Hi Tom, i walked around all the realestates in our area and asked for cards for all there property managers, also left flyers. i received no calls from this but i did re-send flyer to all their emails ( from their cards)and before i finished sending to all i was receiving emails back asking for our insurance details etc. The very next day we landed our very first job!! that was 4 weeks ago and we have been growing daily:)

11 Tom Watson October 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Hi Kerry! VERY GOOD. Keep working that angle and focus on making each customer you land HAPPY.

12 natalie October 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Hi we are a new small cleaning company and agree completly witj Real Estate being goldmines. We were lucky enough to give a quote for regular office cleaning at Remax, there is approx 75 agents and offices for each. We love this account, and have been cleaning here for 8 months. The increase in casual work coming from agents has been huge! We now clean for property managment move in/outs, clean agents own homes, exclusive listings always get a deep scrub befor listing as well as referals to family and friends. We were very fortuante to gain this experience and report with agents. Glad to hear uou found the same success 🙂

13 Tom Watson October 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Hi Natalie! Happy to hear of your success, and it mirrors our experience. Keep up the good work, send thank you cards to all agents who recommend your company and try to get more offices to refer you. This is powerful stuff that grows your company (and your profits) by leaps and bounds.

14 Jessica November 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

This is truly some excellent advice. A lot of small businesses do go work, but struggle nevertheless to get the word out about their services. Agents sound like a great place to start as they’re great at spreading information about quality cleaning businesses via word of mouth. Thank you for the great post.

15 Tom Watson November 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hi Jessica! Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated! Anyway… YES, get the word out with agents. Agents are by nature VERY OUTGOING and will tell everyone about you if you impress them.

16 Crystal November 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I always check to see if a person name match’s with address. I know something did not sound right on the phone. It sounded like the same person that called last December when I on the news channel asking me to clean his home in the north pole that his name was Santa. They keep on calling on Monday 5 times. I did a background check there is no address linking them to any mobile home.

17 La'Sonne Amos November 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

@Crystal Just let them know that you know it’s a scam and your going to report them, and they left me alone. I did the exact same thing you did with Google Maps and nothing came up so the check was sent it and I had my bank look in to it.The check from the bank was the only legitimate document from the whole deal.So I had the bank shred it.

18 Caleb November 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Very true, good points.

19 Bond Cleaners November 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm

We have recently started approaching real estates, we were lucky enough we turned an abandoned property into something they could rent for over $600 a week, so that real estate loved us and we have had well over $5000 worth of work from this one real estate alone. These guys really are goldmines!

You will also find that when you land a real estate, taking the time and investing to get the job done beyond their expectations fairs far better then just doing the job and expecting pay. As an added bonus to the real estate, if the cleaners can remove rubbish in 1 ute load its free, we also tidy up the yard and front of the house to create that “wow” first impression.

20 Tom Watson November 26, 2013 at 8:19 am

Hi Bullet Cleaners! That’s a great story that really sums of how it works (ESPECIALLY when you go above the call of duty). And I agree, when you have the ability (or willingness to do so) to remove rubbish that was left behind it really SOLVES two problems for the realtor (and increases the profit margin of the job for you too!).

21 Brandon December 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Hi Mr. Watson,

If you happen to receive a request from a real estate agent to clean a foreclosed home, what kind of work does that usually consist of? Would I be responsible for making repairs to walls, windows, doors, and etc.. Or would I just be responsible for the general cleaning of the floors, bathrooms, stoves, and things of that nature? Thank you.

22 Tom Watson December 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Hi Brandon! They are all different. Some are no different than a regular house cleaning, while others are VERY DIRTY. And no… you are not responsible for repairs or anything, just the cleaning. With that said, down the road you could expand services to include other services (bulk trash removal, winterizing, changing the locks etc…).

23 Caleb January 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Real estate agents do need help with their office cleaning.

24 Tom Watson January 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Hi Caleb! Thanks for commenting.

25 jean lecky February 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

dear Tom,thank you for all your great advice I can see my self succeeding already by using and applying all these instructoins.will be starting my cleaning my bus. soon.god bless you.

26 Tom Watson February 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Hi Jean! You are very welcome. Touch base if you need me.

27 Damon Emmitt February 11, 2014 at 3:10 am

Howdy Mr Watson,
I would like to thank you for such useful information, in this day and time its hard to believe that someone could be so willing to share freely the knowledge which they’ve put forth so much hard work into acquiring, for that sir I commend you. I would like to ask for your insight on a plan I have been considering which in short consist of starting a cleaning service and letting my parents do the actual cleaning as I handle all the other aspects of running the business, Do you believe its possible that we could all benefit from this partnership and turn it into something successful or would it be to difficult compensating all 3 of us in the developing stage of our cleaning service.

28 Tom Watson February 12, 2014 at 11:38 am

Hi Damon! I’m happy to help, I have fun doing it! Anyway… there are pros and cons associated with your plan.

Long term… the “pros” are in your favor. I say that because you get to grow the business without having to hire people that may turn out to be unreliable and do a poor job. This helps you keep customers “happy” early on and grow fast.

With that said, the big “con” I see is this… At first, any money made is best REINVESTED back into the business to GET MORE BUSINESS. If everyone is on the same page, then your plan will work. If everyone wants to make money from day one, then it won’t.

Hope that helps!

29 Q. Williams March 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Hey Tom thanks for the info! I can’t get enough of your website for ideas for my cleaning business I just started. How man times do you visit those realtors offices to get business after your first visit with food?

30 Tom Watson March 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Hi Q. Williams! There is no right or wrong. You could go back every 6-8 weeks or so. Stay in front of them regularly. The real key is to visit AS MANY offices as humanly possible. We went to tons of offices in a systematic fashion THEN started all over again.

31 Batch of Bubbles Cleaning &Maid January 8, 2015 at 9:46 am

looking to start a website agin need more information ,I have your blogs on download can you talk about breach of contract and company’s that don’t pay on time are just don’t respect the contract.???

32 Tom Watson January 8, 2015 at 9:59 am

Hi! Great topics… I will fit them into the podcast schedule. As to the website.. super! the best way to talk is by giving me a call at the number listed. We can go over your needs and how to proceed.

33 Sondra February 17, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Hi Tom,

Telling you I love and appreciate all of your website and all of the valuable information you offer is a substantial understatement!

Do you also have a flyer that you found effective for marketing to agents?

34 Tom Watson February 19, 2015 at 9:34 am

Hi Sondra! I don’t know if I ever made one just for real estate. Can’t remember to be honest (I’ve made so many over the years). On the whole, you do want to target your mailings as best as possible using the correct ad copy to match the audience you are sending to.

With that said… using a “generic” flyer will do just fine if you don’t have a specialty one.

You did give me a great idea for a post! Maybe I’ll create one for a post in the next week or two. Stay tuned!

35 Jacinta Parris August 7, 2016 at 1:24 am

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the information. I have enjoyed reading all the tips on this site. In regards to the technique you use to win the real estate agents over by feeding them. Do you typically call them prior to showing up to the office refreshments? Or do you just show up?

Thanks again for the info.

36 Tom Watson August 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

Hi Jacinta! We probably did both at times. Most of the time we just show up with food and business cards and flyers. If we could make some small talk, we would ask when their “monthly meeting” was (once per month ALL the agents report to the office for a meeting in most offices). This way if we knew that date, we could MAXIMIZE the free food and business card angle the next time we came.

37 Mory July 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Good advice in general. Great keep writing more about it . Thanks

38 Noah November 2, 2017 at 10:48 pm

This is wonderful information! Do you have any tips for making a phone call to these people? Like good ways to approach them, specifically over the phone, but also in person too?

39 Tom Watson November 6, 2017 at 9:01 am

Hi Noah. We just stopped in and went from there. Calling is generally a tough sell. So many telemarketers waste the time of the receptionist that you would just be thought as one of them. In person, donuts, flyers, business cards and a big smile on your face works best.

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