Have you been taking good care of your real estate goldmine? Or have you been ignoring it?
Hopefully you do know all about your goldmine, and its two components:
- Your past clients
- People in your sphere of influence
Over time, these two groups of people have the potential to fill your pipeline with business throughout the year. With their help, you could almost discontinue activities like prospecting, networking, door knocking, etc.
Your real estate goldmine could be all you need to assure your success…
However, it won’t grow large enough to support you unless:
- You keep adding names with every closing
- You add to your database as your sphere of influence grows
- You keep all those addresses – both email and postal – up-to-date
- You stay in touch with both your past clients and those in your sphere.
- Your messages are interesting and/or informative
- You reach out in person now and then
Add names with every closing…
As soon as a transaction closes, enter your client’s name and current contact information in one of your past client databases (buyer or seller). Enter a few other pertinent details while you’re there. If they were sellers, ask for their new address. If they don’t have that yet, stay in touch via email until they do.
This is also a very good time to ask for a testimonial.
But what if they’re moving out of town? Add them anyway, because they still know people in your town. Those people could be referred to you. And, as I saw back when I was a broker, people sometimes decide to “move home.”
Add to your database as your sphere of influence grows…
The first time I heard the phrase “sphere of influence” my thought was “What influence? I don’t influence anyone.” I couldn’t imagine who I would put on that list.
As it turns out, all it means is every person who knows you and likes you. Or at least, doesn’t dislike you!
So in case your sphere of influence database is looking skimpy, start making a list of these people:
- All of your friends and relatives
- All of your spouse or significant other’s friends and relatives
- Your children’s friends’ parents.
- If your children are now young adults – any of their friends that you’ve met.
- Everyone you know from social groups – think of Elks or Rotary clubs, Chamber of Commerce, book clubs, church groups, quilting groups, golfers, boaters, horseback riders, chess players, or stamp collectors. In other words, think of all the people you interact with while pursuing your non-real estate interests.
Think next of your volunteer activities and your fellow volunteers.
What about the people you work with? Some may be on your list of friends, but others you may not know that well. Add them anyway.
Now for the people with whom you do business as a customer:
Think of your dentist, doctor, masseuse, acupuncturist, chiropractor, personal trainer, veterinarian, hairdresser, mechanic, pool cleaner, housekeeper, dog walker, dog groomer, tax accountant, bookkeeper, and attorney. Then think of the ones I missed in this list.
You can also expand your sphere by giving your card to restaurant servers and clerks you’ve become friendly with. Invite them to call you any time they have a question about real estate. You can also let them know if you have a monthly or quarterly report that they might enjoy. Invite them to call or email with their contact information so you can add them to your list.
Keep all those addresses – both email and postal – up-to-date
If someone lets you know that their address has changed, go change it in your database immediately. Do not wait for tomorrow. It takes two minutes – do it while you’re still thinking about it.
Stay in touch with both your past clients and those in your sphere.
All of those people in your real estate goldmine need to hear from you every month or two in order to know that you are still there, ready to help them or to answer their questions.
There are dozens of other agents they could turn to if it isn’t easy to turn to you. So put your name and your contact information in front of them with regularity.
Some agents have told me that they don’t want to reach out every month because they don’t want to be seen as a pest. I don’t want to be a pest either, but I also don’t want to be forgotten. And I do agree that over-sending can be a negative. I do tend to unsubscribe from people who email me every day.
However, there’s a huge difference between mailing every day and mailing every month, or even every week. And, there’s a huge difference between annoying messages and welcome messages. It’s all is the content.
It doesn’t matter how often you mail or email, If all you send is advertising, I think you shouldn’t bother.
Keep your messages interesting and/or informative
Most people will welcome your market reports, simply because we like to know what’s going on in our worlds. That’s the same reason why we enjoy news about new housing developments, stores coming into or leaving our neighborhoods, and upcoming events.
Most will also enjoy tidbits of sharable information such as that contained in my Event-themed Staying in Touch letter set.
Depending upon your relationship with the person, they might also enjoy news from your life. For instance:
- A new baby or grand-baby.
- Your child entering first grade – or college!
- A new puppy or kitten.
- Your own move to a new house
- Industry awards and recognition
- Other awards you’ve received – such as winning a fishing tournament or blue ribbons at a horse show
Email or postal mail?
I think you should use both. Studies show that most of us enjoy receiving postal mail. In addition, it hangs around the house for a while and may be shared with other people.
On the other hand, postal mail is expensive and email is not. So mix it up, Send a few emails, then send postal mail.
Reach out in person now and then
To protect your real estate goldmine, do reach out in person now and then. People want to know that they are more than a name in a data base to you. So pick up the phone or stop by to see them – just to say hello and to inquire about what’s new in their lives.
Depending upon where you live, there’s one more thing you can do to endear yourself to a few in your databases.
Clip news articles. This works well in a small town where people who are active in the community appear in the local newspaper now and then.
Clip the (complimentary) articles, lay them on colored paper with your business card affixed to the back, laminate them, and send them to the person who was mentioned. We did this when I had Cliff Realty, and people loved it.
A final word about buyer clients…
Are you aware of the value of your first-time buyers? All clients are valuable, and this group is just a bit more so.
Why? Because most of them are young, enthusiastic, and have friends who either are or soon will be first time buyers themselves. And young people tend to socialize with friends more than older people. That means they’re more likely to tell friends about their fantastic real estate agent.
Because they are so important, I wrote a special letter set for keeping in touch with first time buyers after the sale. These letters include reminders of things they may not think to do, simply because they have not been homeowners before. And of course, they let those new homeowners know that you’re still thinking of them and looking out for their best interests.
If you like helping first time buyers,. do check out this staying-in-touch letter set.