When it came to marketing my business – As a new agent back in the 80’s I made so many new agent mistakes that’s it’s a wonder my career got off the ground.
In hopes of helping today’s beginners avoid the same new agent mistakes, I offer you the top four:
Mistake # 1 – and this was a BIG one – not following up and staying in touch with customers and clients after their transactions closed. Those files went into a drawer and the people were forgotten.
I’m sure my broker didn’t teach this to me because she didn’t realize that past clients can become an agent’s own personal gold mine. What a waste!
Mistake # 2 – Never asking for feedback – AKA Testimonials. While it’s true that we didn’t have the Internet and a place to post those testimonials, they could have gone into our listing presentations.
Later on I learned the perfect way to gather testimonials while cementing relationships with past clients. It is SO easy with post-transaction “How did I do?” letters.
You can read all about it and see an example here.
Mistake #3 – Thinking that prospecting meant sending only one letter. Those of us who bothered to write generally only wrote to absentee owners – and then we sent just one letter. Eventually I started writing again every few months, and once in a while followed up with a phone call. Since no one else was doing even that much, those phone calls often resulted in a listing.
Now we have the research that says it takes at least 5 “touches” to turn most strangers into potential clients. Those touches might be a letter, a postcard, an email, a phone call (where allowed) or an in-person visit.
Mistake #4 – Sending really lame, awful prospecting letters. I knew only what I had learned in college – to always address people by their names, spelled correctly, and to never, ever, begin a letter with “I” or “We.”
But I had no clue about how to immediately capture their interest and entice them to read the whole letter.
Many of my early letters began with “County records show that you are the owner of…” Ugh, awful… but at that point I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know how bad those letters were until later, when I started studying about marketing.
Now I know that every letter needs to begin with something of interest to the reader. When possible, it should begin with the word “You.” Above all, it should never, ever, begin with “I” or “We.”
Since studying marketing, switching careers, and becoming a real estate copywriter, I’ve written more than 40 sets of prospecting letters that DO follow the rules of good marketing. They’re available for purchase right here: copybymarte.com/prospecting-letters/
Now that the Internet has invaded real estate, agents have even MORE opportunities to make mistakes.
- Agents are using lame photos – and not enough photos – to present their listings on line.
- They’re writing really, really awful property descriptions filled with abbreviations that no consumer can decipher.
- They’re writing property descriptions filled with misspelled and misused words that destroy comprehension.
- They’re putting lead capture forms on their websites and then failing to follow up on those leads.
- They’re creating websites that don’t have their names prominently displayed – and don’t reveal what city they’re in.
- They’re using agent bios that talk about the company instead of about the special service they offer to their clients.
And…they’re still making the same four mistakes that I made as a newbie.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net