You already know that your real estate sphere of influence and your past clients can be your personal gold mine. These are people who already know, like, and trust you. However, humans being humans, they’re also apt to forget about you if you forget about them.
They’re your gold mine. How do you mine that gold?
Start by sorting that list.
An article I read recently said you should define and rate each person in your real estate sphere of influence as:
- A – Someone likely to refer to you – and all of your past clients
- B – Someone who would refer to you with a little more contact
- C – Questionable
- D – Delete
I agree that those on the A and B lists should get the most attention. However, since email costs virtually nothing, I would eliminate category D: Delete. I’d never recommend deleting someone from your list – be they a member of your sphere of influence or a past client.
Disclaimer: Wait. I lied. Yes, I would recommend deleting someone – but only if that someone was obnoxious, horrible, and you never wanted to think about them again. I’ve done that – and it felt good.
Keep everyone else in your real estate sphere of influence.
The article went on to say that the first step in managing your real estate sphere of influence is to determine whether or not they are likely to do business with you. At some point in your relationship you should ask “Do you have a real estate agent who could help you if you were buying or selling?” That author said to delete those who say yes.
I refer back to the low cost of email, plus the fact that things change. The agent they had might move away or quit the business. Or – they might have a friend or relative who needs an agent in your niche or your territory. So why throw anyone away? Instead, put them on the C list.
What about past clients who have moved away? Keep them on your C list too. They probably still have friends and family in your community and will refer them to you, and they might just decide to move back.
Now stay in touch in 3 ways: By email, in print, and either on the phone or in person.
The A and B lists should hear from you all 3 ways, while you might decide to keep the C list as “email only.”
First – faithfully mail those just listed, under contract, and just sold cards.
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show that you’re not just licensed – you’re getting things done. When you mail those cards to past clients and your sphere, you’ll be showcasing your productivity.
However, do remember that when it comes to the immediate neighborhood around new listings, they don’t have to be yours. That concept is explained on my “just listed” letters page.
In addition to the cards: When you’ve sold a listing in the same neighborhood as someone in your real estate sphere of influence, pick up the phone. Ask if they’ve met the new neighbors and offer to introduce them if they haven’t. Don’t talk about the possibility of them selling unless they bring it up.
What would be the purpose of that? To build even more trust and to reinforce your relationship by showing them that you think of them as friends, not paychecks.
Next, email something of interest at least once each month.
This could be a news tidbit about your community – such as a new business coming in or a special event that hasn’t been widely publicized. Perhaps there’s an entertaining fundraising event coming up or a neighborhood-wide yard sale.
It could also be a quote or a poem of the month, or trivia about holidays or national events, such as the information in my Event-themed keeping in touch letters. In case you’re curious, here’s a sample from that letter set. Feel free to borrow it.
Every now and then, send the A-list members of your real estate sphere of influence something tangible.
It could be holiday related, like small flags for the 4th of July or a box of candy hearts on Valentine’s Day; something seasonal, like a branded sun visor hat or a windshield ice scraper; or something “just because,” like pens, or notepads.
If it fits your record-keeping and organizational skills, you can also send birthday cards.
Finally, pick up the phone and talk to people.
Everyone on your A-list should be someone who will enjoy talking with you, so what are you waiting for?
Call to say “I was thinking about you,” then ask about their family, their work, their hobbies, their pets, their volunteerism, or whether they’re taking some time off for a vacation this year.
If they own a business, ask how things are going and assure them that you send business their way whenever you get the opportunity. You can end the call by asking them to let you know if they hear of anyone thinking of buying or selling – but don’t make that the focus of the call.
When you get through the A-list, move on to the B-list.
Ideally, you should call once each month, but if you have a long list that might not be realistic. In that case, set a schedule to call every other month or even every 3 months.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Influence is providing attention and value to others.”
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
(Sorry – I saw that one and couldn’t resist it.)
How will you get all those calls made?
By putting them on your schedule, just like an appointment. If you merely think you’ll get it done “when you have time,” chances are you won’t get it done at all. You and I both know that something always comes along to fill unclaimed hours.
Remember that nurturing your real estate sphere of influence (including past clients) is akin to mining the gold in your own personal gold mine.
So set aside time each day, and make those calls to your real estate sphere of influence and past clients a part of your daily routine. If you start with the right frame of mind, it can be one of the most pleasant parts of your day.
So put a big smile on your face, visualize having a pleasant conversation with the next person on your list, feel gratitude for having people in the world who like you and will enjoy hearing from you, and dial that phone.
Sphere of influence graphic courtesy of sscreations at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Emailing Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net