What’s the ultimate test to determine if you’ve become someone’s go-to real estate agent?  

It’s not when friends seek your real estate advice, or when you secure an initial appointment with a lead. It’s not even based on successfully doing transactions with buyers and sellers in the past. 

According to Phil Jones, author of Exactly What to Say, it’s when you find yourself in an active text group, where you and your clients share insights, exchange ideas and stay connected. That’s when you know you’ve solidified your status as their one and only trusted real estate agent. 

The best-selling author recently joined a Refer mastermind to share how agents should be thinking about leads—and how to build relationships strong enough to get to “text group status.” 

The Mistake Agents Make with New Leads

When it comes to converting leads into loyal clients, Phil shared a crucial mistake that many agents tend to make. 

When a lead is presented—whether from social media, a response to a Facebook ad, or a completed contact form on a website—many agents think leads will jump from, “I think I may need some help in the future,” to “I’m ready to go right now!” Agents believe these leads will seamlessly transition from expressing interest to taking immediate action. 

What often gets overlooked is the gray space in between. It’s within this space that agents have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, gain valuable context, and understand what the consumer wants. 

Agents want every lead to be primed to do business in 30, 60, or 90 days and often assume their marketing efforts will uncover these “ready to act” prospects. But in today’s market, agent marketing typically paves the way for opening conversations—with many more needed before any deals come to fruition.

If you are a professional Realtor at this moment in time, and you don’t, right now, have a strong pipeline for 2024-2025, you’re playing the game wrong. If you’re only interested in what’s going to close 30-60-90-120, you’re missing the point.

Phil Jones

Author and Motivational business speaker

Let this sink in—the conversations you engage in today are laying the foundation for assisting those who are genuinely thinking about making a move in 2024 or 2025. It’s about positioning yourself strategically so that you can be the only agent having conversations with them during that “gray space.”

The Goal for Client Management

Agents are constantly talking about their leads and prospects. But, as Phil stated, there’s a different way to think about client management. 

I’d rather you have those leads and prospects calling you their agent, even though they’re not ready to transact for another 18, 20, 24 months.

Phil Jones

Author and Motivational business speaker

The goal he shares for effective client management goes beyond CRM systems, email drip campaigns, or expanding your social reach. It’s about creating a genuine connection that transcends conventional methods. How? By inviting potential clients into a text group—an exclusive space where meaningful conversations and powerful relationships flourish.

Imagine the impact of being the agent that prospects trust implicitly, the one they turn to for advice and guidance long before they are ready to embark on their real estate journey. By establishing this level of trust, you position yourself as their go-to expert, elevating your status and ensuring that when the time comes, they choose you as their agent without hesitation.

Reaching Text Group Status

Imagine this scenario: You have a couple who is contemplating a future home purchase or sale. After a series of initial conversations (and with their consent), you invite them to join a specially tailored text group. The group name is aligned perfectly with their aspirations, such as “Sally and Roger’s Long-Term Dream Home” or “Michael and Lindsey’s First Investment Property.”

This simple gesture conveys that you understand their goals, you value their input, and you actively involve all stakeholders in the conversation. The text group also holds all past conversations you’ve had via text—making it easy to look back and see what was discussed. 

Now, imagine having as many text groups as you can—with people who, at the sight of a potential house or with a burning question, instinctively turn to the group to share their thoughts. They trust your expertise, rely on your guidance, and consider you their ultimate resource in the real estate realm.

I’d be spending all day every day just jamming on text conversations with potential buyers and sellers—and already have dozens and dozens and dozens of people lined up for next year that are probably going to transact 12-24 months from now.

Phil Jones

Author and Motivational business speaker

Once you’ve reached this level of connection and nurtured conversations within the group for months on end, clients won’t feel the need to reach out to another agent. They won’t present themselves as Zillow leads or be enticed by random Facebook ads. Instead, they’ll keep coming back to your ongoing conversation because they recognize the immense value you provide.

Because, as Phil puts it, if you can reach text group status, you’re their agent.