My timing in my career in Real Estate sales was impeccable – not!
I started in 1987, when the market was starting its decline, and I got out in 1994 when the market was turning to the good once again. In my first year, I sat new construction for my broker, and that community’s sales were virtually nil for everyone sitting them. When I wasn’t sitting the samples, I was sitting “on floor/opportunity time” for that same broker. Well no one was getting many opportunities in that market either. I was doing BAD!
Finally after the better part of a year, I stopped doing both, and started doing my own prospecting. Once someone’s name got into my database (I used one called Real Estate Specialist in those days – a DOS program) they got followed up with until they would either, as Steve Stewart would say, “Buy or Die”!
So over the next 5 years, with no pre-existing sphere of influence to speak of, I went from 0 sides in 1988, to 43 sides in 1993, in a very slow, buyers market. How? By mailing or calling everyone who had the misfortune, I mean good fortune, of finding themselves in my database.
I ended up going from a non-producer in a mom and pop shop to the number two agent in transactions in a 100% RE/MAX office simply because I followed up consistently. The other agents in the office called me the ‘King of follow-up’ because they knew I consistently did business with people months and years after I first met/spoke with them at an open house, ad call, sign call, door knocking, local pub, golfing, or whatever. I never let them forget me. And I was able to do that easily and efficiently by using my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.
So are you, you know, using yours?
If you own a CRM, and you ever have that phone conversation that contains the words – “Oh thanks for calling, but we already bought a house”, then you are not using follow-up plans with your prospects!
Any time you speak with someone, and they said something like “Oh we’re not doing anything until Bobby graduates in June, always made sure you get something personal out of them like that he liked to golf, or that Bobby was going to major in photography. That goes into that prospect’s notes. You then continue to mail/e-mail them – consistently – until it gets closer, and then you call.
You have a pre-arranged follow-up “Plan or Campaign”. As soon as you get that lead, you click a couple buttons, and select the plan you have specifically created for that kind of lead. It would be a Hot, Medium, or Cold plan, and when the plan called for that phone call somewhere down the road, it will come up on your to-do list.
When I called him back many months and sometimes years later and asked if Bobby was still interested in photography, you could hear a pin drop on the other end of the phone. There was always one of two reactions. He either marveled at my memory, or he said something like, “You use follow-up software don’t you?” Either way I had them, especially if he said the latter, because he knew I was organized. Buyers and sellers like organized!
Now, I teach people to track those things in the right manner. So let’s say you find out about a special golf outing in your market area. You can do a quick search, find the golfers, and shoot an e-mail out to them to let them know.
Or maybe Doylestown Borough just announced a tax break in the local paper. How many people read the paper any more? Before they find out by word of mouth, you can do a quick search on your past buyers who bought in Doylestown Borough, and let them know about it. Are you not just the best darn Real Estate person they have ever known!
And what are you doing each time you send out these notes? You’re staying “top of mind” with them, and of course, you are asking for referrals.
DO NOT neglect your past clients with regards to follow-up. Are you proud of the job you did for them? Did they like the job you did for them? Then capitalize on it! Make absolutely sure you ‘touch’ them atleast once each month by mail or e-mail, and annually or semi-annually by phone. And again, alwaysask for a referral.
If you are not consistently in your past client’s face, guess who will be? Right! The neighbor or the brother-in-law who just got in the business. They are hungry and prospecting. If you are not top-of-mind with your past clients, you will lose money.
If your CRM does not have its own “Content”, that is, pre-written e-mails/letters, then write your own. Just make sure to use spell check, and have someone else critique and edit them.
If the thought of writing scares the Dickens out of you, buy some like “Dave Beson’s LetterWriter“. And remember what I said in a prior post about pre-written content., the value is in the concepts, not the wording. Or do a search on “Real Estate Prospecting Letters”. Be careful though. Some of them are reallydated.
A contact manager is a glorified RolodexTM. Outlook is a good example of a contact manager. What you have, or should have, is a CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Manager. Operative word beingRelationship. Its job is to help you maintain a relationship with your suspects, prospects, and clients, by targeting specific groups of people, with customized plans for follow-up.
You customize by categorizing them, such as hot buyer, past seller, etc., or by keeping certain information on them such as that they like golf, or are a graduate of Penn State, or that they like wine, etc. All of this information enables you to target market to them, as opposed to doing what all the other agents who do not know them do, which is generalized non-targeted marketing. Which do you think works better?
The point is, you have a tool to make you more money already. Start using it! Do not let your CRM solution suffer the same fate as that poor Nordic Track® you have, sitting in the corner being used as a lingerie rack!