Rules for CORE Agents #12: Whenever Possible, Get Digits

The single most important thing you can do to build your real estate business over the next ten years is simple: get digits.  When you meet people, get their mobile phone numbers, and get their email addresses.

Why? Because even while we live in a world of “over-sharing” that has become increasingly open and less private, it’s actually tougher to reach people you don’t know than it used to be.  Years ago, if you wanted to track someone down, you called them on their home phone.  If you didn’t know their number, you looked it up in the phone book.  Easy, simple, foolproof.

Then what happened?  People started unlisting their home phone number.  Then they started screening their calls with their voicemail and Caller ID.  Then they simply stopped getting a home phone number. At this point, the phone book is simply a big, tree-killing doorstop for most of us.  I haven’t picked one up in years.

So now if you want to reach people, you either need their mobile phone number, their work phone number, or their email address.

Here’s the problem: there’s no directory for mobile phones, or business numbers, or email addresses.  That might seem odd to you, since you plaster your phone number and email address everywhere you can – online, in ads, on park benches, on supermarket carts, etc.  But that’s because you’re in “sales”, and you want people to be able to reach you.

People who aren’t entrepreuneurial, though, don’t generally put their personal contact information out in the world for everyone to see. Now, that might surprise you, since you’ve probably read somewhere that people are more likely to share than ever before on Facebook and LinkedIn and their blogs and all that.  But what that really means is that they’re more likely to share with people they already know.  If you’re not already in their circle, you’re not likely to find a good way to reach out to them.

Which is why you need digits.  You meet someone, you get their business card.  You get their digits.  Every time.

If you get their digits, you now have something that most other real estate agents in the market don’t have – a way to reach them.  You have a way to get them in a drip campaign, you have a way to give them a quick call, you have a way to establish a relationship with them that could lead to a piece of business.  That’s a real advantage in today’s marketplace.

The person with the most digits wins.


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.