Are you burning your real estate bridges?
Hopefully you don’t burn many of them, because at some time in the future, one (or many) of them might be very profitable!
Are you burning real estate bridges by dropping people from your list because they don’t take action quickly?
Are you assuming that if they’re not interested now, they won’t be interested next week – or next year? Obviously, that’s a mistake, and a silly one. A webinar I listened to just this morning stated that only 3% of your prospective market is ready to take action at any one time.
And, if you’re communicating via email, it costs you almost nothing to keep that prospect on your list.
If you keep right on nurturing buyers via email, you may be the only agent who does. Many agents will burn that real estate bridge almost immediately.
And if you keep sending them good advice, they’ll know you have their best interests in mind. Who will they call when they’re ready?
Postal mail isn’t free, but…
Postal mail does cost money, but if the recipients are part of your geographic territory or niche market, hanging on to them is still wise. You’re creating mind-share with every message, and making sure that when the time is right, they’ll think of you. (Or, they’ll tell a friend about you!)
Before you start burning real estate bridges for financial reasons, look at how the numbers work…
The median home price in the U.S. today is at about $380,000. Using an average commission rate and assuming you have one side of the sale, you stand to make $11,400, less whatever you pay to the brokerage. Even if your share is only 60%, that’s $6,840.
Right now, postage stamps are at 63 cents. If you write those folks once a month, it will cost you $7.56 plus the cost of paper and an envelope. If only one out of thirty-three (3%) per year decides to list with you in a given year, you will have invested less than $250 to gain a commission of $6,840.
Apply that math to your own median selling prices, commission, and share and see what you get. My guess is that you’ll see $250 as a small investment for keeping your real estate bridges intact.
How can you stay in touch and keep your real estate bridges strong without being annoying?
- Send them your monthly or quarterly market reports.
- Send your newsletter, if you have one.
- Send short, interesting messages like the ones in my Event-themed keeping in touch letter set, which gives you 24 months of messages.
- Send a personal note now and then, just to say hello or to share an article or news you think someone would find interesting.
- If you see that a past client or someone in your sphere has won an award, been promoted, etc. send a congratulatory card or a small gift.
- If a prospect opted in to look for a home, keep sending those links! You can also send my Nurturing Real Estate Buyer Leads letters.
What if you WANT to burn a real estate bridge?
What about customers, clients, and prospects who are too demanding, ask you to commit illegal acts, or are simply unpleasant people? You actually want to burn your real estate bridges with them. They’re not only time and energy thieves, they can be downright dangerous to you.
BUT… unless you do it carefully, that burning real estate bridge can spread and engulf a whole lot of bridges that you’d rather stayed intact.
You have to choose your words carefully, so that when your message is forwarded (or repeated) to friends, pasted into a blog, or otherwise distributed to the world, you won’t need to go hide under a rock.
As much as you might want to yell and tell the person that they’re an inconsiderate idiot, or a common crook, or an unpleasant, nasty human being, don’t do it.
In some cases, you can just delete the person from your database, so they never hear from you again. I did that once, even knowing that the man had several more properties to sell.
But if they persist in calling you, you’ll have to respond somehow. If that happens, blame something about yourself for “breaking up” with this particular person.
Being an independent business person has its freedoms – but also its restraints.
You need to keep close watch on your words and actions at all times, and never give the gossips a thing to talk about.