The Business Card Challenge... Can you do it?

12 Replies

Today, I was talking with a Phoenix broker of 30+ years. David said that when he was young agent two years into the business, he went to a conference where the speaker offered a challenge: 

"Do you want to make money in real estate? Then hand out your business card to ten people you have never met, every day, for a month."

David kept track by creating a 10 x 31 grid on a sheet of paper, and keeping the paper in the middle of his desk. Every morning, a column with ten empty spaces would be there to greet him. Though it was a grind, he stuck with it, marking his checkboxes each day. Once, to keep his streak going, he had to go out for a late-night Dairy Queen just so he could meet someone new and pass them his card.

After all of that, the very next month, David did 52 deals, all without a computer or even a fax machine (this was the mid-80s).

When I have my Arizona RE license in a few weeks, I am going to take the Business Card Challenge. Who else is in?

Scott Scharl, Real Estate Agent
(602) 558-4553

Are there specific rules for the challenge besides meeting people you don't know? What are your milestone rewards to stay motivated? I'm very interested in some sort of challenge. I'm stuck in the monotony of working my job and not putting my focus where it belongs. I tried a 5 offers a day challenge but that didn't work out since I couldn't figure out a game plan. I want to try again but making at least 1 offer a day. 

Hey Scott!

I'm in for this challenge! Let's see how it goes. I'll keep you posted!

I am in as soon as my business cards are printed!! Can't hand out something I do not have yet lol.  Can't wait to get started though!

Do you know anyone that has done this in the last year or two? Business was obviously done much different pre-internet days. This doesn't seem like it would work-at least on not much of a scale today. What might happen is during those introductions you will run into someone looking to buy or sell so maybe it's still worth it. I just don't think people do business that way (as much) anymore. There are also approx 50% more Realtors today than in 1985 http://www.realtor.org/membership/historic-report

What if the challenge was to exchange contact info or connect with x number of people per day? Get them into a data base and build a relationship over time. That's the current day model IMO.

Hope that was't too much of a wet blanket there! For me though it's so wrong for a speaker to even infer that you can do 52 deals next month by simply handing out 310 cards this month. Please don't get me wrong-meeting 310 new people is a great idea, and you should absolutely have a plan to do it. I just wouldn't expect people to call me based on that alone. 

@Jeff Valentino My intent was definitely to exchange information and enter them into a database so that I could create some touch points by staying front of mind.

@Scott Scharl - There is nothing wrong with revisiting an old idea that worked. The fact of the matter is that with today's technological mindset, this route might not produce the bounty it did in the '80s.

But, as the old saying goes...nothing beats a trial, but a failure.

So, go for it!

Please keep us posted regarding your success....positive or negative.

The message is just as important as the distribution.

Most people do the vanity cards with a picture of themselves on there. Believe it or not people get bombarded in residential with lot's of (agents). I don't really call them that. Full time professionals are few and far between.

Think of this. A customer is cleaning out their wallet end of the month. They get 10 cards from people. 9 are vanity cards. 1 has useful info, information video link, etc., etc. Which one do you think they will keep??

I also find the first few years in the business before I switched to commercial real estate was that I would hand out lot's of cards. Months later I would run into someone and they would say they accidentally lost the card but was looking for my contact info etc. and wanted to talk with me. From that I learned that at first contact give them your info but also try to get their name, e-mail, and cell phone number. You place in your database and follow up periodically until they are ready to do something. If they are a social influencer cultivate that relationship and ask them every once in awhile who do they know that could use my help??

The money is in the follow up and never quitting. If you do that you are 99% ahead of all other brokers/agents. A small percentage buy right away but  a larger percentage takes time and follow up. Fill your pipeline enough and you will have clients at various stages and each month you should have deals closing.  

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

The message is just as important as the distribution.

Most people do the vanity cards with a picture of themselves on there. Believe it or not people get bombarded in residential with lot's of (agents). I don't really call them that. Full time professionals are few and far between.

Think of this. A customer is cleaning out their wallet end of the month. They get 10 cards from people. 9 are vanity cards. 1 has useful info, information video link, etc., etc. Which one do you think they will keep??

I also find the first few years in the business before I switched to commercial real estate was that I would hand out lot's of cards. Months later I would run into someone and they would say they accidentally lost the card but was looking for my contact info etc. and wanted to talk with me. From that I learned that at first contact give them your info but also try to get their name, e-mail, and cell phone number. You place in your database and follow up periodically until they are ready to do something. If they are a social influencer cultivate that relationship and ask them every once in awhile who do they know that could use my help??

The money is in the follow up and never quitting. If you do that you are 99% ahead of all other brokers/agents. A small percentage buy right away but  a larger percentage takes time and follow up. Fill your pipeline enough and you will have clients at various stages and each month you should have deals closing.  

 I totally agree with Joel.

The money is in the follow up.

Here are 2 examples of investors I've met through BP. They responded to my ads. They called me. The good thing is: they signed up in my blog and I followed them up through emails. Six months later, one of them bought one of my properties and I made $10K wholesale fee. The other one did a JV with me and in 12 months, we will make $80K+ on the deal.

The money is in the follow up.

@Jeff Valentino , @Linval T. , @Wendell De Guzman , @Joel Owens

Thank you all for your feedback on this idea!

I see two benefits with this:

1. As a new agent and investor, I need to get my name out into the community, and 300 business cards costs under $20 at Staples. 

2. Perhaps more importantly, the challenge forces me to practice my "elevator speech," selling my services in common situations to people I meet. I see an increase in that skill as extremely valuable down the line.

I don't expect to do 50 deals in a month, like the broker said, but I don't see how 300+ cards out in the community could hurt.

Or, as a few of you said, is it really a moot point unless I can capture contact info. for future followup? 

Thanks again!

Scott Scharl, Real Estate Agent
(602) 558-4553

so did you do the challenge?

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