Since most of my clients come from blogging and have for the last two and a half years, I thought it would be interesting to post a few excerpts from their original contact messages. It might provide some insight into how people who choose an agent after reading their blogs go about making that choice.
About 20% of them call, so I have no emails to copy and paste for those. About 30% are referred to my blog from past clients who chose me from my blogging. They contact me more from a "referred to you by" position, even though they did read my blog posts before calling or emailing. But here are a few samples of what people have to say at first contact.
I cut and pasted these from the actual emails I have received. Note: These are clients from my blog and from my writings on Rain City Guide, not from Active Rain. I only mention that in case you are looking at my blog writings to gain some insight on the type of blog writings that may have attracted the below clients. I do not write the same way on Active Rain that I do on Rain City Guide or my blog (note most call my blog my "website". The Transparency mentioned in email #1 below for example, is not referring to my ActiveRain blogging and most of my blogclients did not read my posts on ActiveRain, only those on RainCityGuide and my blog.
Personal info that might identify my clients has been replaced with (X).
1) Email Subject Line? "We need an agent!" - "Hi Ardell! Well, I think between all of your blogs I've surely read every word you've written. I am so impressed with your approach - you clearly love what you do, and value doing it in as transparent a manner as humanly possible. My husband and I need buyer representation, and I would love for you to be our agent...thanks for being the best Seattle-area web resource out there!"
2) Email Subject Line: "Listing" - I've explored both your blog and your website and both are quite informative. I'm interested in selling/listing my house...I'd like to price it well to sell, yet not leave money on the table. I'd like to meet with you to discuss the possibility of retaining you as an agent. Email is the easiest communication... Thank you for your time.
3) Email Subject Line: "Help me find a house" - "my name is (X). I just moved here from (X) and am currently on a mission to find a house before the end of June, when my (family) joins me. I thought I could do this using the internet but I'm finding this more and more difficult as houses I like seem to disappear almost as soon as they hit the market. I just read some of your articles including the one titled "Using the internet to buy your new home" and you made me realize that I need help. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm looking for and where I want to live. Here goes: Quiet and clean residential neighborhood, with a good elementary school...Single family house with 3 bedrooms with and additional room for an office. Updated kitchen and bathrooms if older home (I don't like the dark old style wood cabinet I see in so many pictures). The less carpet the better. Two car garage. Ramblers are not my first choice. I have a 500K budget and am pre-qualified with my bank. MLS# (X) is a good example of a house I like that is currently STI. Is there hope? Can you help me?"
4 "Hello! I'm (X) from the comments section of your article...Main thing is I feel lost. I really don't have family or friends to go to on these issues. It feels like I should be putting a 5k retainer on a lawyer and a 5k retainer on a financial consultant just to be safe in buying a house... Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of ready money. I guess my main issue is financial. If you are an Eastside specialist I'm sure you deal with geeks. I'm a geek that has a hard time focusing on financial aspects. So, how much can you (or another buyers agent...guess you can consider this an interview too) buffer me from the financial aspects of buying a house? Meaning that my game plan was to simply apply to lending tree, try to decipher which offer was best, and then go to an agent and use them as a way to get into houses to view and then to submit an offer. However, after several days of web surfing I feel more unsure of that plan than ever. I simply can't comprehend the financial complexities involved here. Your comments in the post were pretty surprising about the buyers agents discussing the clients financial needs and working with that. I'll explain. I tried this all about 8 months ago. Meaning I applied to lending tree, got a buyers agent, and looked at houses. One lender seemed more interested than the others, and seemed to string me along, with me submitting all my financial information and near the 12th hour denying me (my fico was 20 points lower than required for a no down loan). During that time, my agent was extremely nice, but never talked to me once about financial concerns... The area where I was most uncomfortable about. Anyway, in that 8 months I have scoured my credit, increased my FICO by 100 points, and cleared a "past due payment". I have no collections, and one "negative description" with a very old date on it. I make (X)/yr with one full year on the job, my girlfriend makes about (X)k with about 5 years on the job. My FICO is around (X), her's is around (X) (or higher now). We have around (x)k set aside for the home purchase itself and no real debts except for a car payment. So, can we buy a house for ~(X)? How much assistance could we get from you on the financial aspects? What is, in your opinion, our best plan of action? (Yes, I did not include a phone number. I don't like talking on the phone. We can start with email and if it goes further, then I'd be happy to call...)"
5) "I've been following your raincityguide writings for about 2 years now (and very impressed) and would now like to investigate the possibility of using your services to list our (X - house) But first, a little bit about us:...If you'd be willing, we would like to meet with you to discuss listing our house...Let me know if you'd be interested. Thanks so much,"
6) Hi Ardell, I am big fan of your blogs on Rain City. I almost will read all your blogs. We are looking at houses on the eastside. We are trying to find something in the (X) area. We already have a house in (X - local) I do most of the research on the web using the various listing places(incl your website, which sometimes gets me interesting info)...
7) This was from one blog reader to another blog reader. I didn't know either of them. "Please contact Ardell for your Seattle needs. More on phone. Hope that helps." I was copied on that email.
8) "...We don't expect you to be our taxi driver and run around town looking at every house that pops up. We hope to use your experience to tell us about the downside of houses that we may like, valuation, discover hidden flaws, make sure the transaction goes smoothly, and negotiate."
9) Email Subject Line: "Putting our house on the market" - Hi Ardell, I've been reading you on Rain City Guide, and you seem like a very talented and knowledgeable Realtor who works hard for your clients and doesn't pull any punches. I like that. I'm in the beginning stages of preparing my house for sale, and I was wondering if you'd be willing to take a look at the house and tell me what you'd do to make it list well, as well as talk in general about what you could do for me if you were to be interested in taking the listing. I'd like to get it on the market as soon as possible, but there's a fair amount that needs to be done. My rough time-line: Next 2-3 weeks...I am not interested in squeezing out every last cent, we have plenty of equity, and I'd hope to price it so it would sell quickly. This is my first house and don't have any experience on the sell side, so I'm very open to suggestions and reality checks. Let me know if you have the time and/or interest to potentially work with us.
I had hoped to do ten of these, but my appointment just arrived. Hopefully these will provide some insight into how "blogclients" make contact and what interested them from blog writings.