Whilst technology is reshaping the real estate industry as we know it globally, one thing remains true: great real estate operators are professionals who understand and value relationships.
No bot, tweet, billboard or app can replicate the trust (and referral prowess) borne of vendor and landlord relationships cultivated over many years. In the first of a two-part Agentbox series ‘Old Ways, New Means’ we go back to basics and reconsider some decidedly traditional methods of prospecting. In an era where everything is shiny and new, why not try something tested and true?
- The Anniversary Reminder – Revisited
Anniversary reminders in the real estate world can be old hat and insensitive to the communities we serve. Agents have all had their fair share of would-be vendors calling to ask their names be removed the databases because of an insensitive sales anniversary reminder that brought back memories of a death or a divorce. This doesn’t mean anniversary follow-ups should be relegated to the days of yore – they just need to be revisited. It’s one of those prospecting activities that very few agents actually do well these days, which gives you an opportunity to be inventive. If reminding past vendors or landlords of an anniversary sale, focus on giving them valuable information rather than trying to get a listing. Consider sending clients who would welcome the anniversary contact a general annual appraisal via email, and perhaps a personalised postcard or small surprise in the mail. You can then follow-up with a more accurate appraisal if required. By choosing anniversary reminders carefully and responding to your database creatively, you’ll stay top-of-mind and retain your position as market leader.
- Ye Olde Door-Knock
Doorknocking has its place in your prospecting calendar for 2018. It might not be the cornerstone of relationship-building that it once was, but doorknocking still has its place in a considered communications mix. It goes without saying that you need to use your judgement when doorknocking: go in pairs, and don’t make venturing into prospective vendor’s homes the goal of the activity. Choose 10 – 15 homes on a street you’ve recently sold on – or one you’ve a listing coming up on. Doorknock and introduce yourself, offering a newsletter or street statistics fact-sheet. Try to obtain an email or mobile number in exchange for this valuable market insight and so you can keep them informed of future relevant activity. If there’s no one home, leave a note offering to email the householder these factoids. In the event you do chat to a homeowner or tenant, why not send them a thankyou card to follow up? Doorknocking is as much about being present in your community as it is about making connections – why not give this traditional prospecting technique a go this year?
- Landlord Love
“Love the one you’re with!” Take heed of the iconic lyrics of Crosby, Stills and Nash and pay attention to the landlords your business is already caring for, rather than focusing on greener pastures. In too many estate agencies, sales and property management departments are at cross-purposes, rarely sharing client knowledge. This can lead to embarrassing moments when prospecting, and makes landlords feel uncared for. Worst of all, prospecting a landlord you’re unaware already uses the services of your agency can make you appear unprofessional and lose you listings. Put plans in place within your real estate business to share landlord information cross-departmentally, helping both property managers and sales agent take the best possible care of your clients. Consider touching base with tenants while you’re collaborating across your agency, too! Landlords may sell when the time is right, tenants may buy when an opportunity meets their needs, so being close to both of these groups can really make a big difference to your sales pipeline. The opposite is also true; neglected relationships will often reflect badly on your brand and these prospects may go to your competitors.
Rather than looking for the ‘next big thing’ in prospecting for your 2018 community outreach plan, try putting a modern spin on more traditional prospecting methods. Who knows what gold you’ll mine? Stay tuned for the next Agentbox ‘Old Ways, New Means’ blog, where we present you with more prospecting techniques to amplify your influence in 2018.