This time of year is an ideal time to review your database. Many refer to it as Past Client/Center of Influence list. How many people are in it? Who are they? Did you reach all of them this year by phone, by mail, and by email? If not, it's time to do that NOW before year end. Thank them for their buisness and referrals and ask about their real estate plans for 2011. There is GOLD in those people if you'll just sift it!
Speaking of databases, some pure numbers may help you understand why you need to have one and work it hard. Most of us have heard the average person moves every 7 years. In some areas and times, that number has been closer to 4 years, in others the average is closer to 10 years or more. Let's assume it's 10 for this example.
If you have 500 people in your database and they will all move, on average over 10 years, that is 50 potential sales per year from that group, right? If you have 200, that's 20 sales. If you have 1000, that's 100 potential sales. See how the pure numbers are compelling?
But how do you get any group of people to contact you when they are ready to move? Chances are, you aren't making that happen. The truth is, when the decision is made to move, unless they know you WELL, they may just list or buy through someone that just called them, or a neighbor's friend, or someone who's sign is in the area, etc. You may be the BEST agent for them but if they don't think of you at that critical moment, you may lose a potential opportunity to help them!
So, how do you increase the odds? Here's a list of suggestions:
1. It's going to take time. Start the list and add to it daily. Have a goal to add X # of people per week into your database. Set a goal and work toward that goal. In 2-4 years, you can expect a good return to begin and become excellent in 5-7 years.
2. Contact everyone in your database a minimum of 4 times per year by phone. Try to catch them on the phone, but if you can't leave messages. Something friendly and educational. "Thought you'd want to know there were 10 sales so far in your neighborhood this year. If you'd like a list of them and the details, let me know!"
3. Contact everyone on the list by mail at least 4 times a year. No recipes! It should be about real estate AND about you. Even a postcard is fine if your budget is limited.
4. Consider a SHORT email update on real estate sent to the list monthly. I don't recommend a newsletter you buy, but something SHORT that YOU write. If you just can't write, a bought one is better than none, but will not have the impact of the personal email.
5. Physically meet with your top 10-25 people each year. Those you think will buy/sell in the next few years or those that have access to lots of potential referrals for you (attorny, accountant, hairdresser, etc.) Meet for coffee, or drop off a promotinal piece rather than mailing to them, offering a free mortgage analysis, whatever. Get in front of them dressed professionally, name tag, etc. HAND them 5 business cards to pass on.
6. However you are contacting people, Offer SOMETHING for free that they will want. When you get them to accept a FREE offering, your odds of them remembering you at a sales point, go up dramatically. Get them to CONNECT. Read FREE by Chris Anderson and consider reading What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis.