Your number-one ally
Launch your service by marketing your cleaning business to realtors in your region. Real estate agents can be your number-one ally. With their broad social networks and friendly people skills, they are in a great position to give your new business a huge boost. They make it their business to know their area and the people in it. They have insider's knowledge about local property values, and tend to be extroverted types who enjoy sitting down for a cup of coffee with a fellow business owner. Talk about ways in which you can benefit each other. Real estate people are all about the win-win.
It is actually the property management person you want to approach, not a Realtor. They may work at an real estate agency.
Realtors are heavily regulated by the state they work in and they are not allowed to use or recommend just one service.
They are usually required to list at least 3 services to their clients. That is fine, but do not expect you are going to get all of their business.
Search online for a list of realtors in your area. Connect through social media, Meetup groups, and other business networking groups. Try LinkedIn, Facebook, email, or place a friendly telephone call and introduce yourself. Your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts will indicate whether you already share mutual connections. If so, send them a note with a link to your cleaning business website. Use these social networking channels to help grow your business in a professional manner.
Your business website should be easy to find
In your meetings with real estate professionals, be sure to come prepared. Bring a handful of marketing material. Make it easy for your professional acquaintances to spread the word about your service. Give them a stack of business cards and flyers.
Kickbacks are not allowed with real estate agents, so do not offer any price reductions or gifts!
Make sure the realtor knows where to find more information about your service online. Your business website should be easily accessible, as well as your cleaning service Facebook page, Twitter, and other social media.
Using Meetup, connect with realtors (property managers) in your area. Tell them you would like to attend a meeting and make a brief presentation to their group. At the meeting, paint a picture of your service for the group. Tell them what makes your cleaning service the best business in the area. Offer them reasons why they might like to be associated with you and your service. Alert them to any upcoming holidays and describe your holiday service in glowing detail. Especially tell them about your move-out, move-in cleanings and plant the seed in their minds, so that next time a client of theirs is packing boxes, they think of your cleaning service and make a stellar recommendation.
Make presentations sparkle and shine
In your presentation, discuss what types of cleaning are especially needed in your region, in regard to specific challenges to keeping property spic and span. For example, is it a moist, humid region in the summer? Address mold problems, giving useful tips on keeping it from building up in shower stalls and basements. Give away business cards and include special cleaning tips and DIY cleaning-solution recipes on your flyers. Be sure to bring your smartphone for scheduling walkthroughs, and pass around a clipboard for people to write their names and contact information.
Realtors may be in the business of selling and buying property, but their real talent lies in their interpersonal skills. They are perfectly situated to recommend your cleaning business to many people. You probably won't need to continue marketing your cleaning business to realtors for the long term, because making a limited number of high-quality connections is really all you need to get started.
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