There’s a famous, true story about a farmer who desperately wanted to get rich. He sold his farm in Africa and went abroad in search of gold. After many years with little success, he returned to his home country, only to find his old farm had become the largest diamond mine in the world.
Too busy looking elsewhere for riches, he had failed to search for the acres of diamonds that were already in his own backyard.
Similarly, most real estate professionals spend thousands of dollars trying to find new listings from new homeowners but forget to maintain a relationship with their past clients, appraisals, friends, family and acquaintances. These people already know, like and trust you and would happily use your services again, if only they could remember your name!
Do you know…
How Many Diamonds Are in Your Database?
If around 1 in 23 New Zealand homes is sold every year, in a database of 500 homeowners—past vendors, buyers, appraisals, friends, family and acquaintances—there are statistically likely to be 21 sales occurring every year, right there in your very own database!
Workout How Many Sales Are Waiting In Your Database
|No. homeowners in your database||500|
|Yearly sales ratio||1/23|
|Number sales in your database in the next 12 months||Approx. 21|
Are you making all those sales, every year? Half of them? Or are you losing some to your competitors?
Have your past clients forgotten you?
Unlike Elephants, People Forget
Most people can only maintain acquaintance with and remember the names of around 150 people. If you fall out of regular contact with your database, they’ll forget your name.
If your clients can’t quickly recall your name, they can’t refer you on the spur of the moment during a casual conversation and they certainly won’t be able to Google your contact details.
Chances are, what could have been your listing will go to your competitor.
The #1 Reason Your Clients Switch to a Competitor
Even if your past clients can remember your name, interesting research shows that the #1 reason a company’s clients switch to a competitor is not because they are dissatisfied or receive bad service. Surprisingly, it’s simply because they feel ignored, taken for granted, uncared for or neglected.
Clearly, outstanding customer service and exceptional negotiation skills on their own are not enough to guarantee repeat sales and referrals. What happens after the initial transaction is equally important.
How To “Mine” Diamonds From Your Database
Stay Relevant With a Friendly Newsletter Every Month
Top performing real estate professionals stay in touch with their database every month with a newsletter that is fun and friendly as well as professional. This adds value to the homeowner and builds and strengthens the relationship even if they have no current interest in buying or selling.
*Dan Kennedy is a marketing guru and author No B.S. Sales Success. “Fence” refers to the method used to keep your clients “in” and your competitors “out”.
To be as effective as possible and achieve maximum readership, your newsletter needs to achieve two goals:
1. To Position You as The Local Area Expert
To standout from your competitors, pre-educate your vendors with helpful articles on topics such as:
- Selling Secrets to Achieve the Best Price
- Why You Need to Use Professional Photography
- How to Select An Agent
This demonstrates your professional knowledge and experience and therefore positions you as the local area expert.
2. To Be Fun & Friendly as Well As Professional
If you bump into a past client in the supermarket would your opening line be, “Hi Katherine! So good to see you. Are you thinking of selling soon? Would you like a free appraisal?”
Of course not. If you’re one of “those” salespeople your client will see you coming and hide behind the fruit stand.
Face-to-face you’re a real person. You talk about the family, the dog, the rugby and the weather. Likewise, your newsletter also needs to have a relaxed, friendly tone with articles about current events, inspiring stories, local events, jokes, puzzles and competitions—things that add value to the 90-95% of people who aren’t interested in buying or selling right now.
Ideally you want your clients to happily receive and even look forward to your newsletter, just like they look forward to their Sunday paper or favourite magazine.
Interestingly, one of our Downright Brilliant clients has a lady who…
Guess who will be her top-of-mind, go-to real estate agent when it next comes time to sell?
Touch Base with an Added Value Phone Call
When using a newsletter that is not only about real estate it makes it easy to phone your database 3-4 times a year with a script such as:
Hi Katherine, How are you going? Just a quick call to check you’ve received my newsletter…?
How have you enjoyed it?
This makes for an easy, natural conversation starter followed by a smooth segue into the real reason you’re calling:
Has it raised any real estate questions for you?
This is a much more natural, friendly and low key approach compared with the hard-sell, “Hi Katherine, How are you. Just calling to see if you’re thinking of selling anytime in the next 3-6 months?”
This approach builds and strengthens the long-term relationship while still achieving the goal of finding out whether the person is thinking of selling anytime soon.
Use the Power of Reciprocation
To strengthen the relationship even further, add extra value at the end of your call by using the power of reciprocation.
Let me explain.
Have you ever wandered past a farmers’ market stall and accepted an offer to taste delicious, homemade chocolate fudge then felt obliged to buy a whole packet? That smart seller used a marketing technique called “the power of reciprocation”.
Although obligation is not required, it is inferred; human nature naturally reciprocates one act of kindness with another: “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Use this technique to add value to people on your database – regular prize draws, competitions, small gifts, special deals from a local business, sponsorship for local organisations and community events. This helps people create a favourable connection with you so they remember you when it does come time to sell.
Need Professional Help?
If you’d like a monthly print and/or email newsletter written and designed for you to help you stay in touch and “mine” the diamonds from your database, book your free 15 minute marketing review to find out if the Personal Promotion Powerhouse is a good fit for your business.