Three Important Words in Real Estate Marketing
I know you've already heard that old saying that in real estate, the three most important words are, "Location! Location! Location!" Today though, the three most important words that you the real estate agent need to know are, "Database! Database! Database!"
The quality of your database and how you use it directly affects your success. I've said it many times before - your database is your personal goldmine.
Did you know that the average real estate agent meets over five-hundred new people per month? That's friends of friends, social media acquaintances, parents at events your children attend, your mechanic and people at the grocery, at your church and at your athletic club. The longer you think about it, the more people you will identify. So why is it that of those roughly five-hundred people, they only add maybe five to their database?
I hope that phrase doesn't describe you. Today's market demands a wide range of contacts and possibilities. So if you are a member of the "only five" group, then it's time to get serious and grow your database.
Who to Add
Now, before you start adding everyone willy-nilly, let's just get one thing straight: It not just the size of your database that counts, it's the quality. If your database is poor quality, that can quickly add up to extra mailing costs and extra time spent in the future. So let's set some business rules about who makes the cut and gets on the list.
People You Have Actually Talked To
Anyone on your list should be someone that you've actually talked to, preferably someone you've met face to face - or at least interacted with profile-to-profile in our modern age! People remember other people by eye-to-eye communication, by hearing them speak, by talking to them, and by relating to who they are by what they see about them online. You might meet these people at a networking event, at the dentist's office, or even at the beach.
People Who Subscribe to Your Content
This is the only time that you're adding complete strangers to your database. These are the people who follow your business pages on social media networks, who comment at your blog, who connect to your professional profile or who are signing up and opting-in to receive your newsletter. These people already know that you have information they want to hear more about. Now you just need to follow-up with them, find out what their needs and interest is, and follow-up with offers of content that fill that gap.
People Who Directly Contact You
If someone hands you their business card, they are saying, "I want to get to know you!" So reciprocate and get to know them. Don't just stuff that card in your pocket for the next laundry cycle - send them a handwritten note that says, "Great talking to you today, would you like it if I sent you some real estate information from time to time?"When you get a phone call and someone is asking you a question, don't just answer their real estate question and hang-up the phone. Create a real connection that sticks and put your people skills to work. Get their name and contact information. Ask them find out what prompted their call and remember those magic words, "Would you like..."
A Successful Database
Don't worry about irritating people with your information. Trust me, if they don't want it, they'll let you know. They may not need your information today, but you want them to remember you when they do need your information tomorrow.
The keys to success for working with your database are:
Track Your Database
Your database should be growing. Every week, check your numbers. If you're not getting results, you're not putting enough people into your database. You are missing out on future potential business. Take a moment to audit your database. Are your mailers to someone being returned to you? Maybe they've moved and you need to reach out to them in a different way. Feed your database and keep it healthy!
Have a Marketing Plan
You need a marketing plan that you can nearly put on automatic. Include an annual marketing plan designed to serve your past, current and potential clients. It should include at least a monthly mailer that you send out to them. Have a source that makes it easy for you to pull content together and sending it off to a printing service like XpressDocs that can print, stamp and mail it for you so that it's not a chore. Don't rely on just email! The low cost may be tempting, but with physical mail you are guaranteed a touch and a visual.
Always Include a Call to Action
And I mean always! Make sure that everything you send out you includes what marketers refer to as a call to action. This is simply asking your client to do something. It can be as simple as "Call me if you have any questions" or "Go to my website for a free article on selling your home."
It may seem daunting at first, but in time your success will be a direct result of your attention to your database. Treat it well and it will treat you well.
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By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.