You Already Know. Your single best source of business in real estate is your past clients and sphere of influence.
There are abundant surveys and case studies to support this, with successful teams reporting 70%, 75%, or higher of annual production coming from repeat and referral business from their past clients and sphere of influence.
And yet, you’re still not doing what you need to do to ensure that business comes to you. After twenty years of coaching REALTORS® at every level of production and team size, I can tell you not only why you’re not doing what you need to, but also how to change it before it’s too late.
Why You Don’t Call… and How to Change It
Here comes the heart-to-heart talk I warned you might be coming in the last newsletter. You may be spending thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars to “stay in front of” those past clients and your sphere of influence. You might be sending a monthly e-newsletter, holiday greetings, postcard mailings… and yet, you’re not doing the most important, most effective, and least costly thing to get that repeat and referral business:
DIRECT, 1-to-1 CONTACT with your Past Clients and Sphere of Influence, Consistently.
Why You Don’t Call
Over the years, I’ve identified that there are 3 main reasons why even the best agents don’t manage to make these contacts consistently:
- You don’t know who to call. Okay, you know the group – “past clients and sphere of influence” is pretty self-explanatory. However, you may be facing anywhere from 250 to 2,500 people in that core group. Where do you start? It’s overwhelming, so you don’t.
- You don’t know what to say. You need to have a reason, a purpose, something of value to offer them, and you haven’t figured out what that is.
- You have a fear of rejection. For some reason, you’re convinced that either it’s been so long since you interacted with them one-on-one that they’ll be unhappy that you haven’t called, or that you’re as annoying to them as a telemarketer. You don’t want to be hung up on, right?
How to Change It
These people already KNOW you, LIKE you, and TRUST you. They need to be called, texted, instant messaged, whatever their preferred method of communication is. And not just ONE time. Consistently.
You need a plan. So, let’s address each of the reasons you don’t call, with the change you can make.
- Who to call. Which method appeals to you most?
- By likelihood of listing soon. Buyers you represented, and buyers of your listings represented by other agents, who are at least 3 years in the property, may be a great place to start.
- By closed date, most recent and working backwards. Those who closed most recently might seem easier to talk to because it hasn’t been so long.
- Alphabetical. Just start at A and take a batch each day. For real.
- What to say. Don’t overcomplicate this! Most effective now:
- “I’m reaching out to check on you. How are you, really? What’s new since the last time we connected?”
- “We have a severe inventory shortage, and one of our prospective buyers is looking specifically for [particular neighborhood, requirements for a certain type of property, etc.]. Who do you know that might be even remotely considering selling?”
- Fear of rejection. Can I let you in on a secret? Your past clients are not sitting at home, pining away because they haven’t heard from their real estate agent. Most common is that they’re pleasantly surprised to hear from you!
Now, remember I said Consistently? Develop the discipline of everyone you interact with having a NEXT. A NEXT is simply a planned next activity, scheduled in your CRM, so you can set it and forget it until it shows up on your list of daily tasks.
Set a goal to get through all your past clients and sphere of influence over a three-month period, then plan for each person to have a NEXT of a semi-annual direct connect at minimum, or quarterly if you really want to get the best results.