How to keep buyers and sellers in pipeline:
ERA Realty Center's real estate broker recently asked me to share how to become a champion real estate agent. Olympics make it clear that any sport requires excellence and mastery to become a champion, as do we.
If you want to become the very best, there are 2 activities to become champion REALTORS:
1. Find the clients and customers to servel.
2. Serve the clients and customers you find.
Sounds easy enough! Be creative. Use games. When we were brainstorming one day my assistant, Matt, had a hilarious idea involving toilet paper. We didn't actually use his idea, but I do think it is fun to come up with appropriate ideas to attract attention and make the process fun. Remember we sell service only. We don’t own the homes. I believe it's important for us to work hard while making the transaction fun and easy for clients.
Whether you are warm calling, mailing, sending recipe cards, handing out business cards or the best way of face to face, remember that people buy benefits not products. They want things that make them happy. Talk about benefits and happiness with buyers such as “You can almost smell the steaks” when you show the patio of a home. When you present an offer to a seller, discuss the joy of moving forward with their lives if a win-win solution is reached with the buyer.
Make sure clients and customers see the benefits to them and not to you.
One idea I've heard is to write the words ”thank you” on business cards before you hand them out. When you hand it to the buyer you could say, “I guess I’m thanking you in advance for hopefully the opportunity to someday serve you with your real estate needs.”
Another idea is to send a letter of introduction to a potential client such as a seller. Then call and ask if they received your letter of introduction. Attention-getters open the door to communication, opportunities to serve and to success.
The goal should always be to build rapport, get contact information and make an appointment. That way you can give the type of best service your client deserves.
When I first started my real estate service career, an agent at ERA, Ron Englestead, had me call people and ask if they had a few seconds to complete a survey. My survey would be along the lines of do they need real estate or if they knew of anyone else who did. It had other questions like how long they lived in home, when they plan to move, etc. If you ask questions and listen to the answers, you can better help the client or customer.
Be educated. Top training and knowledge is of utmost importance in serving clients well.
Take advantage of advancements in technology and make sure clients and customers are aware that you use technology to benefit them.
If you don’t tell them what you do, they will assume you don’t do anything at all.
Floor time has always been one of the most successful client getters and opportunity to serve the public.
Tess, another agent at ERAA, was the master of handing out cards. I saw her flag down a car that was driving slowly by a home for sale to ask them if they would like her to help them buy the home. If you went to lunch with her, she would talk to people looking at real estate magazines and use her delightful personality to collect clients and customers to give top service.
Donate time to worthwhile causes and give back to your community. Make a list of community involvement groups and network. Find out what you can do to be of service.
When I first started I sold lots of homes to people moving in with a new company. I later set up a monthly luncheon group with the wives. Since they had all movel from out of town, as had I, it was fun to be friends. I received many referrals from that group which helped launch my career. We helped each other while having a delightful time. I love all of them to this day.
Contact companies moving to town and set up informative beneficial meetings for transferring employees with information on homes, schools, churches, SUU, places to tour, etc. I have lived in several states myself and know how it feels to move where you don't know anyone.
Watch newspapers and look for people whose lives are changing. Send congratulatory letters or other appropriate notes along with a copy of the article and your business card.
Keep moving—act busy and get busy.
Ask other good business people if they would mind if you send referrals to them and if they would mind sending referrals to you.
Ask for referrals when you have a satisfied client. Help make more happy clients.
When you list a home, refer that seller to another agent if they are moving elsewhere or to yourself if they are staying here.
Successful people overcome their fears and their fears become strengths. Our broker, Rett, always says, “I do what I ought to do when I ought to do it whether I want to do it or not.” He also says, “I don’t want agents with dollar signs in their eyes. If the agent gives good, hard, honest service, the dollars will follow.”
When an agent leaves the company, ask about adopting their clients. Build rapport and talk to them about how valuable they are and how you want to continue to serve. Send letters and go visit within 2 weeks to see if they are happy with your service.
Recently, a speaker at a college graduation gave his formula for success in any business and in life, “Make a friend of every person you meet.” That’s really good advice for agents in our area since it's a small town. Every person you meet is probably related to one of your current, past or future clients.
Also, “Never burn a bridge” is wise advice. You may need that person’s friendship in the future even though the possibility seems impossible now.
Follow-up is the big key to success. Keep track of people on your data base and don’t neglect them. Follow-Up and Follow up some more. This is so easy now with computers.
Many years ago I had a buyer who made an offer on a home in Parowan. She was from California but had grown up walking by this very home in Parowan and loved it. Her husband was firm and would not let her offer high enough to get seller acceptance. She was broken hearted, but he had control of the money and was firm. They went back to their home in California.
Back then my computer consisted of 3 boxes with index cards—one with cold, one with warm and one with hot clients that I contacted often. I was tempted to throw her card out because I knew her husband would not let her pay what the home was worth, and that was the only home she wanted. Luckily, I followed my training to keep track of contacts to be of future service, and I put her in my cold box. I figured it wasn’t that expensive to send her a calendar once a year which is what I did for cold clients.
A few years later, the market dropped and the home she wanted was foreclosed. It was listed near the price her husband would let her pay. I looked through my box and found her. By then her husband had passed away. She bought the home and was thrilled. It felt so good to help her make a childhood dream come true. I am so happy I never lost track of her!
How much easier it is now to keep track of clients and follow up. I also keep track of people who love to give me referrals. When I am low on buyers and sellers, I call my referral-friend list and also my past clients. It works for me to always get leads from these 2 sources. I give top service, and more leads follow.
Keep track of all clients after closing with gifts and follow-up. It’s nice that ERA has a free follow-up we can take advantage of as well as our local practice of sending birthday cards. Do more.
Contact your warm clients often and your hot ones even more often.
Let clients and customers know about your care in providing them with the top technological services such as automatic emails and their own MLS portal.
Remember the itch cycle. Because of age, use, wants, size, people will want a new home—the average is every 3 to 5 years. Find a benefit for people and get their interest. Since Americans like to own the best, keep in touch with past clients to upgrade or downsize when the time is right for them.
Ask for referrals wherever you go. The more people you ask for referrals, the more happy clients you’ll have and the more referrals you’ll get which makes more happy clients and the cycle continues.
We have chosen a fun and rewarding career. Everyone needs a home, so everyone is our potential client or customer. I also believe it's the best investment. It’s easy to figure out the happy benefits of home ownership and share them with others. We offer a sincere service that benefits everyone that we can be proud of. We are not salesmen but we are service providers.
The first word we learn is “no.” The exciting thing is that if we talk to more people and hear more “no’s,” we’ll get rich from more closings because people also say "yes!" We want to ask to find them.
Have fun with those great happy clients and those wonderful successful closings!
Please send your referrals to Janet Naisbitt-Bagley team at ERA Realty Center, Cedar City, UT at 435-865-1019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 800-934-3742 or text Janet's mobile at 435-559-7772.
Buyers and sellers please call Janet's team for help with all your real estate needs at 435-865-1019. Check out the homes for sale including foreclosures, new construction, short sales, land, lots, properties and other bargain priced homes at www.homesincedarcity.com. Janet's team would love to give you top trained, experienced service with all your real estate needs.