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Every entrepreneur knows age-old business advice—study your market, build relationships, know your competition, find a mentor, have a business plan—as well they should; it’s decisive advice that works. But what can you do when you have invested in these proven strategies for years, built your business on them, and suddenly plateau?
Business strategists and other successful entrepreneurs can provide sage words, but you know your business best. If you’re employing a technique you innovated, you can beautifully separate yourself from the competition.
In a blog post last year, Gary Vaynerchuk, “serial” entrepreneur, investor and public speaker stated, “Your 2016 plan should be to start paying attention to the white space; where are things not happening yet that you think could be huge?”
This is the mindset needed to take your business to places it has never been; where are the empty spaces, the opportunities, in which your business can become a pioneer? How can you expand your book of business through innovation?
For example, if you’re a real estate agent looking to do business with the abundance of international buyers investing in U.S. real estate, how do you advertise your business and gain access? If you are a luxury agent you have connections and can gain clients through word of mouth, but what if you don’t handle luxury real estate? After all, not all foreign buyers are ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals searching for million-dollar properties; many are simply looking for a stable market in which to invest and safeguard their wealth.
You need to be able to communicate across borders. Consider an industry conference about exporting and importing; why would an event like this interest you?
A conference for exporters and importers would be filled with entrepreneurs from around the world conducting business across the country. These professionals—due to their frequent visits to the U.S.—could be looking for properties in which to invest their money, and may even be searching for homes to purchase and utilize while they are in the States.
Conferences of this nature will also have country representatives, describing business trends in their country and the kinds of businesses they’re looking for. As a real estate agent looking to expand your business overseas, there are valuable connections and information to gain from attending. Is there a market overseas that contains active American buyers? Expanding your business to these countries would make you a valuable resource to these buyers seeking the familiarity of an American company.
Companies handling exporting and importing may also provide relocation services and seek experienced real estate agents for their clients. These are just some of the opportunities that can arise from pursuing business off the beaten path.
Similarly, going to an international industry event would allow you to meet and extend your business to international buyers. You can learn how they are buying, where they are buying, and what kinds of properties they are looking for. This is how you can obtain leads and referrals; word of mouth travels fast, and helping one international client find a great property could propel you to an expanded book of business.
It may seem counterintuitive, but attending a conference that isn’t necessarily about real estate can prove pivotal in helping you find real estate opportunities.
Through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, international entrepreneurs can obtain citizenship by doing business in and providing jobs within the U.S. International investment in American real estate is rampant, and housing trends are significantly impacted by the movement of these international entrepreneurs and buyers into the country. By advertising your business to this market of clients, you can expand your book of business and decisively remain abreast of the latest trends in their buying activity.
Are they buying luxury estates, middle-market residences, homes to utilize as rental properties? Whatever the case may be, you will be the first to know new trends.
As with any market—millennials, women, baby boomers, international buyers—there are opportunities and trends that are constantly changing the landscape. Innovate your business and carve out a new path if you want to thrive by taking your company to the next level.