Listen, You Don't Need that Stuff!
There isn't a week that goes by that I am not asked about my opinion about a new bright shiny tool, CRM program, app, system or new lead generation that promises to revolutionize the way an agent does business. There are promises of increased income and solutions to every pain point an agent might have.
Although the one pain point that may be temporarily resolved is the pain an agent feels when they are in a desperate state and then think they have found their solution, the problem is that RARELY do these bright shiny options actually solve anything. They do provide a fabulous distraction and they are incredibly effective at draining your bank account, but they rarely solve the problem long-term.
Take a look at your email inbox. In a given day, how many emails do you receive that promise that a CRM can do everything from "drip on" potential clients, a program that can produce emails that get sent to your database and you don't have to do anything, a service that can generate new leads from "pre-qualified" buyers, or even an app that you can use at an open house to capture information and provide stats from your tablet?
I want you to remember something as you wade through your email between now and the new year:
"You don't need that stuff"
The agents who do the best in this business are the agents who operate their business with a plan and with blinders. They have a client connection plan and don't get distracted by the thrill of the new and "improved." They know that real estate is a business of connections. Connections take time - your time. When the substitute for your time is money to buy a generic solution, it just isn't impactful enough to build those long-term relationships. The bottom line is you need to go back to doing the few things that really work and stop relying on gadgets and false promises.
So, what works in today's highly competitive real estate market? A simple annual plan that works well for your personality type and those of your clients. Get to know your clients and design a contact and communication plan that suits them. If they like a high level of personal connection, then make sure to write them personal notes and pick up the phone to connect occasionally. If they like data then prepare a custom report that is relevant to their home, their area or their situation. Stop relying on instant mass-produced email campaigns or bad generic mailers to build connections.
When I sold real estate, I relied on a four-tiered campaign that worked brilliantly to attract my past clients' attention and kept them coming back to me for real estate advice:
- Personal Touches: Phone calls, handwritten cards, personal gifts, anniversary of their home purchase
- Real Estate Information: Custom newsletters, monthly mailers, quarterly reports
- Custom Reports: Annual Client Reviews or a custom report on their area
- Data Charts and Graphs: Annual Predictions on the market, charts and graphs showing historical price growth, inventory graphs, days on market information
Think about it: If you make it too easy to substitute your time with an easy and generic solution, you make it easy to be substituted.
Not sure how to implement a system like this? I would suggest finding ten of your past clients and creating a custom connection plan for them in 2020. Figure out how you would implement it and do it for four months. Then come April, reassess and add another ten people. I think you will be amazed at how effective this personal connecting is. That personal connection is not something a $29 app can buy. Remember, you don't need that!
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, 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.