The idea to write this particular blog came to me at lunch with a group of REALTOR® friends who are all above 65 and still working; we get together once a month for what we call “Bucket Lunch.” For over an hour we talk about everything and everybody we know. These are people who know, have met, and communicate with a phenomenal number of people. No matter what you’re trying to sell, they know someone to buy it—and whatever news or information you share with this group will spread like wildfire among a very large number of people. It’s a great example of how to get word-of-mouth marketing to work for you. There are groups like this in every city, so this blog is about how to use this type of word-of-mouth marketing to generate a bazillion leads.
Getting Them Talking
All groups are not created equal. I’ve been a member of some groups that couldn’t generate a single real estate lead in a lifetime regardless of what you did, said, or sold. Fortunately, I was also in an informal breakfast group of 6-8 business people, where it was rare to get less than one lead a week—and I sold each of them a home. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: people who have a number of contacts are joiners, and that’s how they developed their contacts. Just because you’ve joined a group doesn’t mean the group will generate leads for your business, so diversify who and what you join to give yourself more opportunities to spread the word about what you do.
Give them something to talk about. Word-of-mouth can only work if you make it work. You can’t stand around with Read the rest of this entry »
The inspiration for this blog “Teaching vs. Selling: Teaching Wins Every Time” came from an article written by homes.com and shared on RIS media: “3 Tricks to Treat Your Customers by Helping, Not Selling” (read it at http://tinyurl.com/lcy3wz3). It discusses a lot of the same ideas I discuss regularly in my blog posts, especially that customers want INFORMATION. I was inspired, so I’ve outlined four tools you can develop now to kick off 2015 with a teaching approach to your contacts.
1. Provide a weekly blog/newsletter. Blogs and newsletters are a widely accepted source of real estate information, and they’ve become my major source of current information. Typically they’re delivered electronically and are less than 500 words. The preferred method for getting them out there is to post the information on your website, then email an intro to the article with a link to your website (that’s how you got to this blog post). There are a variety of ways to share them, though. RISMedia does blogs a little differently; you can subscribe to their blog at www.rismedia.com. The most effective agent Read the rest of this entry »
The #1 reason agents struggle in this business is that they just don’t generate enough leads…or they don’t have an adequate system for staying in touch with the leads they DO generate. To be honest, it concerns me that so many agents don’t use any kind of database, while many of those who do either don’t have enough of the right people or don’t have an adequate system for contacting even the right ones! Done right, databases and contact systems can generate huge revenue, so “Turn Your Database into a Money-Making Machine” outlines the four database elements that can make a sizeable difference in your GCI. Read on!
The Four Pieces of the Money-Making Puzzle
The Software. Every database software program is different, so the best one to use is the one that has a learning curve compatible with your technology skills. The best database software is the one you will and can use, regardless of how it may be rated by some guru who’s never sold a house or actually used a database in their business. If you have database software that’s too difficult for you to use or you’re not able to spend the time to master it—find something more user-friendly. The best way to select a program is to talk to fellow agents already using a database and have them walk you through it. Spend the time and effort to make the right choice; there is a database out there that will work for you.
The People. Databases are typically composed of both people you know and people you don’t. A significant study done by a major real estate company found that making contacts with unknown people requires fifty times more people to make the same sales you make working and staying in contact with people you know. So…get to know more people, or be willing and able to spend considerably more money.
The Categories. Categories are based on buyer or seller profiles and make it possible to contact people based on their particular needs, wants, and behaviors. For example, a Sphere of Influence category is composed of people you know who are in a position to give you referrals. This category will typically provide more prospects and referrals than any other group of people, and they should be contacted face-to-face and voice-to-voice, as well as electronically and perhaps via direct mail. The base number for SoI is 100 people contacted 30+ times annually. Other categories may include Open House Visitors, Online Leads, Geographic Farm, Past Buyers and Sellers, First-Time Homebuyer Target Market, Hot Prospects, and any other categories that help you differentiate between and better target your contacts.
The Management. There’s no database category mentioned above that should be contacted less than once a month—but different groups require different levels of care. For example, Hot Prospects should be contacted as often as daily in some situations, while many other categories are just fine with twice a month. Be sure to set an appropriate contact calendar for each category. In addition to contact frequency, database management also involves the addition and deletion of contacts. Delete those contacts that don’t provide referrals, sales, or listings after a certain amount of time—usually 18 months—and be sure to constantly replace those deleted people with new contacts.
The Last Word
There’s no such thing as too many contacts! They’re something successful agents work on every day, and your database is what can turn a list of contacts into an absolute gold mine if managed properly. The first database program I had was a metal file box with an A-Z index; each contact’s information was put on one of those cards, and I contacted each one by mail monthly and in person quarterly. Then, as we moved into the computer age, the database went high-tech. One of the first database software programs created for real estate agents was named “Howard and Friends” (created by Howard Sanderson and his wife Sandy), and it was used by thousands of agents. Fast forward to today, and we have a zillion programs available to us… and yes, there’s one that fits you perfectly. Just take the time to find it, and you can turn your real estate business into a money machine!