It’s interesting to look at how we’ve evolved and grown through our lives, to see how our priorities shift, our friend groups expand, how geography separates us and it can almost feel impossible to keep in touch with those we’ve met along our journey. Despite the incredible advancements in technology making it easy to connect with people, we still let ourselves feel so disconnected.
“Let’s keep in touch” has unfortunately become a throwaway comment we say to one another as a conclusion to a conversation – but how often do we actually follow through? Getting caught up in the moment with an old colleague or client can leave us with genuine feelings of wanting to keep in touch, but the rigours of everyday life can override those priorities and put it on the backburner.
Why is Keeping in Touch so Difficult?
Sometimes ego and pride get in our way, and both parties feel the other should be the one to reach out first. Context can get lost in translation, and before you know it, years have gone by with friends and colleagues leading separate lives. This happens all too oftenand is a common trend that many people can relate to.
It’s never too late to reconnect with someone.
“Everyone Has a Story”
Think about the why behind keeping in touch with the people in your life. Take a step back and truly think about why you want to keep this relationship alive. Before we dive deeper in mastering the art of keeping in touch, it’s important to take an introspective look into the people that come and go from our lives – and the larger story it tells.
Have you heard of a word called sonder? It means that, everyone has a story.
“It’s the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own - populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness. It’s an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed.”
When you take this step back and kind of look at the people you’ve interacted with throughout your life through an existential lens, it provides a refreshing perspective on the people we meet and puts into context something that is so much bigger than us.
Digest that paragraph for a while; sit on it and read it a handful of times throughout your week and it will undoubtedly alter how you view the people not just in your life now – but those that you no longer keep in touch with.
How to Keep in Touch with Your Network in 8 Steps
In an economy that demands so much from us, we can’t let geography, building responsibilities or time constraints pull us apart from the people we truly want to keep in touch with. So as you build out your strategy as a real estate agent, bear in mind these 8 essential ingredients for a healthy network.
1. Go Back to the Drawing Board
It can understandably be overwhelming to look at your entire database and figure out where to start, whom to keep in touch with first, and how to frame the corresponding message. This is your own personal encyclopaedia, and it should be handled with the utmost care, because when you really think about it – your network will determine your net worth.
You don’t need to keep in touch with everyone on the same frequency, and it’s okay to cultivate relationships that are on a longer-term basis. Start to segment your list and organize it how you see fit.
2. Stay Socially Connected
Social media platforms have exploded in the last 10 years to give everyone a voice and to allow each individual to become their own publisher. It also provides a unique window into the lives of our friends and family that we otherwise might not have seen. Keeping in touch as a real estate agent on a personal and professional level can be as easy as commenting on and liking someone’s new Facebook photo.
How good does it feel when you post a video or image and someone from back in the day shows you some love? Spoiler alert – it feels amazing! It brings back a wave of positivity and nostalgic feelings. This type of tactic should feel organic and be a part of your everyday social perusing. You can take it one step further and reach out directly on the social platform using a direct message.
Social media is meant for you to be social!
3. Take the High Road
To our earlier point, far too often we let pride stand in the way of reconnecting with friends, family, colleagues and clients. This invisible and unnecessary barrier kills more plans to reconnect than anything. Whatever happened in the past can stay there, and it’s okay to not look back, because you aren’t going in that direction. It’s wise to take the high road and reach out first – there could be a wealth of new experiences and business opportunities waiting on the other end of the line.
4. Be Someone of Value
Albert Einstein was well beyond his years when he spoke of being blinded by the hunt for success and losing sight of who you are. In order to position yourself as the expert in all things real estate related, there has to be an educational component to your communications. To be the “go to person” your network thinks of automatically when you are needed, means they feel comfortable reaching out and asking for advice, and that you aren’t just reaching out looking for referrals. It means that you connect with a top-tier landscaper for their property, or the latest trends report on the state of the real estate market or a recommendation for a great dog walked in the neighbourhood – all are arteries that help communicate your value.
5. Let Dates, Places and Anniversaries Help Guide You
As people grow and evolve, their personal and professional lives can lead them all over the globe. As you travel for real estate conferences, trade shows, or even just vacation, make note of where your contacts are currently living and take a proactive approach to visit them.
You can also plan to keep in touch by revolving your correspondence around birthdays or big-ticket events like anniversaries. Connect around various holidays, the start of the hockey season, or the 3-year anniversary since you started working together. The point being, you can use your calendar as a strategic tool to get the ball rolling.
6. Keep in Touch – Because You Genuinely Want To
It’s unfortunate that we’ve given a somewhat negative connotation to the act of keeping in touch, because when someone reaches out to you after an extended period of silence – you naturally get sceptical about what they want. Don’t reach out because you have this ulterior motive as a real estate agent – do it because you genuinely want to stay in touch – to see how the family is doing, how is work going, are they going on any vacations coming up? And to remind them that if they need anything – they should always feel comfortable to ask. Remember, it’s a two-way street.
7. Build it Organically Into Your Schedule
Keeping in touch with your network means setting up reoccurring lunches, coffees, phone call checkpoints or monthly meetings. Build this frame of mind organically into your week-to-week calendar so that you’re constantly making notes on whom to connect with and to always be cycling back into your database. It should feel organic and never forced.
8. Let Automation Run Behind the Scenes
You don’t have to personally go through your entire rolodex and keep in touch one by one; in fact, it’s a horrible business practice to think that you have the time and mental wherewithal to handle this task. When you have systematically broken down your database, you’ll quickly understand who needs to be in the upper echelon on personalized outreach. Marketing automation makes all of this effortless and can be helping you to keep in touch as a high-powered real estate agent in the background.
There are epic stories happening all around you, and even more lying in wait within your database. Not to mention that each loyal client in your database can represent thousands of dollars in referrals and repeat business down the road.
It’s never too late to reconnect with someone.
Tired of your contact data being scattered all over the place? IXACT Contact’s CRM makes it quick and easy to keep in touch, helping you build lasting relationships with past clients, hot prospects, and important referral sources – so you never have to worry about nurturing your growing database.