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Are you using your CRM (Customer
Relationship Manager) to follow-up?
My timing in my career in Real
Estate sales was impeccable – not!
I started in 1987, when the
market was starting it’s 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
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
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. Aren’t
you 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’re 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 at least once each month by mail or e-mail, and annually or
semi-annually by phone. And again, always ask 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
If your CRM doesn’t have it’s 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
A contact manager is a glorified
Rolodex™. 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 being Relationship. It’s 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! Don’t 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!
DNC - The Do
Not Call list
If a FSBO or
Expired is registered with the Federal Do Not Call list - ARE you allowed to
I just came across
an article in Realty Times I thought I would share with you that updates the
answer to that question.
As of February
2005, the FCC said, effectively:
You can not call a
FSBO unless you have a buyer for that house. You can not call expireds, unless
they expired with your company, otherwise not at all!
The link to the
This is a quick one! This is not a new
tool. I had heard of it before, but had never had occasion to use it. Now that I
have, and have seen how easy it is to use, I had to make sure you knew about it.
Have you ever sent a URL to someone that was about 3 lines long? The person that
received it e-mails you back complaining that the link doesn't work. It may have
been because it was so long that it "wrapped". This tool allows you to shrink
any size URL down to a very short one.
An example. You want to send the following
link to someone.
Simply go to
http://TinyURL.com In the box that says "Enter a long URL to
make tiny", you paste the above URL. Click on "Make TinyURL" and it came up with
http://tinyurl.com/5msf4 . That URL will go to the same place!
Another nice thing about it, is that it's
such an easy URL to remember!
This is not a hoax that you sometimes see
warning you of viruses. I have researched this. Please note the links you see
Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but
if you have not already heard - JPEG files can carry viruses. A JPEG or '.jpg'
file is the most common type of file for a photo online or in e-mail. It was
announced not too long ago that they were now capable of carrying viruses, but
now there is an imminent warning that one is about to be/has been unleashed.
Following are links to more information about it.
I can't tell you that if you haven't
already downloaded the XP SP2 patch, to do it now, because I don't know how safe
it is yet. BUT you have to weigh the relatively small chance that it will
interfere with your system, versus the potential to get this virus without it.
I also suggest you go to Google, and key
in , without the quotes - 'jpeg virus'. You will find much information there as
Update your virus files immediately if you
are not doing it automatically!
Google and Cloaking
Google may be up to some tricks again. It
has been reported that they did an unusually large amount of spidering in
September, and that another restructuring or overhaul of their index MAY be
happening again. Watch your Web site statistics in the coming months.
Another issue I just read about by people
that do this for a living, was about reciprocal linking. They are "theorizing"
that Google MAY start punishing people for linking to sites that are optimized
using methods of which Google does not approve. I know for a fact that some
people reading this are using SEO methods/companies that are using cloaking or
similar tools. They may be using it unwittingly, but using it nonetheless. In
that case - ignorance is NOT an acceptable excuse, as far as Google is
concerned. The issue here is not who links to you, but who you link to. I
thought, given the amount of reciprocal linking going on with many of you, that
you may want to consider this. I am personally now considering using the tool I
mentioned in another post http://www.gritechnologies.com/tools/spider.go, to
insure that I do not link to a site which is being optimized using cloaking
pages or redirects, on my Agent Referral Network page at http://garydavidhall.com/network.htm.
What you need to do is look at the individual pages using the diagnostics view
hyperlink. If you see text that isn't on that web page, when viewing that page
in a browser, the SEO is cloaking and probably using redirects. That will be a
lot of work, and I don't know about you, but I can't afford to be banned from
They also warned about using companies
that "Guarantee" you first page rankings for specific key words. These companies
have been very successful at one thing in particular - getting you banned from
the search engines!
Your name as your domain name
I had a client tell me that a local agent
had bought her name as a domain name, such as BettyBoop.com. The agent then
"pointed" it to his own site! So if someone was looking for Betty, at ABC
Realty, they went instead to her competitors Web site. Not only was he not
affiliated with her, but he was from a different company all together. She asked
me if this was illegal, or at the least, could she stop him from doing it. I did
some research and found that NAR had already addressed this once, and they will
not allow it. What follows is the case in which they decided it.
What's the point? Go to the Web and key in
yourname.com & yourname.net, to make sure no one is using your name to drive
people to their Web site!
Case #12-17: Use of Deceptive Domain
Name/URL ("Uniform Resource Locator") (Adopted May, 2001.)
REALTOR® X, a principal broker in the firm
XYZ, was technologically savvy and constantly looking for ways to use the
Internet to promote his firm and drive additional traffic to his website.
Being an early adapter to the Internet, he
had registered, but not used, domain names that incorporated or played on the
names of many of his competitors and their firms, including ABC, REALTORS®.
REALTOR® X and his information technology
staff concluded that one way to drive traffic to the firm's website would be to
take advantage of the search engines commonly used by potential buyers and
sellers. They realized that when potential buyers or sellers searched on key
words like "real estate" or "REALTORS®" or on similar words, lists of domain
names would appear, and that when consumers searched the Internet for ABC,
REALTORS®, one of the domain names that might appear would be REALTOR® X's
domain name, abcREALTORS.com.
REALTOR® X decided to take advantage of
the domain names that he had previously registered, and pointed several that
used, in various ways, the names of his competitors, including "abcREALTORs.com,"
to his site.
In a matter of days, REALTOR® X learned
that he had been charged with a violation of Article 12 of the Code of Ethics by
REALTOR® A, the owner of ABC, REALTORS® , alleging that his (REALTOR® X's) use
of the domain name "abcREALTORS.com" presented a false picture to potential
buyers and sellers and others on the Internet.
At the hearing, REALTOR® X defended
himself indicating that, in his opinion, use of a domain name was not
advertising or a "representation" to the public but simply a convenient way for
Internet users to find relevant websites. Moreover, "When websurfers reach my
home page, there is no question that it is my site since I clearly show XYZ's
name and our status as REALTORS®," he continued. "These complaints are just a
lot of sour grapes from dinosaurs who aren't keeping up and who don't realize
that on the Internet it's 'every man for himself.' "
The Hearing Panel disagreed with REALTOR®
X's justification, indicating that while his use of a domain name that employed
another firm's name might not be precluded by law or regulation, it did not
comply with the Code's higher duty to present a "true picture."
REALTOR® X was found in violation of
Article 12, presenting an untrue picture in his representation to the public.
My Featured Product this month is My
Homeowners Club - sphere of influence follow-up & prospecting tool. Find out
more at http://MHOC.GaryDavidHall.com
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