Here is the latest is a series of occasional articles by NSDCAR members on the topic:” How to Win a New Client.”
By Kevin Williamson
I enjoy training agents about how to win new clients. It’s rewarding to watch agents apply proven ideas and achieve success. So, I’m glad to share some advice to NSDCAR REALTOR® members.
Hit the streets.
If you have a buyer looking for a home in a specific neighborhood it’s like finding gold on the Alaska frontier. Don’t waste any time and start immediately knocking on doors in that neighborhood. Ignore the naysayers: Door knocking is still viable for generating new leads. While out on the road, it’s likely you’ll pick up a few new listings. Create an emotional connection with a heartwarming letter (that you help write) from your buyer with folksy lines about how they’ve always dreamed of living in that special neighborhood and how previous efforts have failed to come to fruition. Make sure your leave-behind letter is branded with your contact information. Whatever you do, don’t say you have a buyer when you really don’t have one, because if you can’t deliver a real buyer then your reputation with sellers will be tarnished.
Throw a party.
Before escrow closes, let your buyers know you will host for them a housewarming party at their new house with their friends and new neighbors. Calm their concerns by telling them that you will take care of all the work and pay for the catered food and refreshments. Schedule it about one month after escrow closes in order to give them time to get moved in and unpacked. Follow up with your buyers every week or so since they will be busy moving and they might forget. Get their invite list of friends, family, co-workers and new neighbors (you have now expanded your sphere of influence). Do the legwork and send invitations along with an RSVP so people can contact you. On the big day of the party, arrive early with a stack of business cards in your pocket and get ready to network, mingle and have fun. Listen with delight as your clients toot your horn and introduce you to their friends as their realtor of choice who did a great job on their behalf.
Make friends with “key connectors.”
Referrals from professionals, including probate and family law attorneys, financial planners, tax advisers, and CPAs, can pay huge dividends for your real estate business. I call these people “key connectors.” Offer a free market analysis to these key connectors on any property their clients might be involved in. In turn, eagerly refer your clients to them. One way to maintain top-of-mind awareness is a monthly donut drop-off. It may take some time to get past the office gatekeepers before the opportunity comes for a face-to-face meeting with a key connector to share your unique selling proposition and what makes you stand out from your competition.
Go fishing with non-owner occupied lists.
Ask your title rep or do some searching online yourself for lists of homeowners in a particular zip code who have a primary residence in another area or state. Typically, the list will include two property addresses, one physical mailing address to reach the homeowner and a site address for houses located in your target neighborhoods. In some cases, the list may include phone numbers and cell phone numbers. Many of these properties are rental properties. Then, reach out with a hand-written note to these absentee owners asking if they would be interested in selling. Provide them with a market update and the reasons why it would be advantageous to sell now. You will find that some of these individuals are tired of landlord duties and they’re thinking about selling but they could use a local contact for encouragement and motivation.
Your face on Facebook.
Facebook offers some of the most cost-effective and precise demographic and behavioral targeting of any advertising median. Readers can be targeted according to a variety of segmentation variables, including interests, behaviors, and income. Facebook even has a behavioral category for people who are “likely to move” (how good is that). Facebook also has a demographic category called “first-time homebuyer.” The beauty of a Facebook ad is that you can continue to layer the targeting becoming even more precise and focused. Then, became a star by recording a short, 1-minute video featuring you and post it to your Facebook ad. Talk about yourself, current market conditions and how you’re available to answer any real estate question. This type of lead generation doesn’t cost very much, typically less than a couple of hundred dollars per month to reach tens of thousands of Facebook users.
Become a handwriting expert.
In a world blurred by e-mails, texts and voicemails, a handwritten note asking for referrals is guaranteed to generate new clients and more business. Send a much-loved and appreciated handwritten note to everyone and anyone you know, including friends, business colleagues, parents of your kids’ friends and church members. Ask about their family. Perhaps enclose a $5 Starbucks gift card and ask for a face-to-face meeting. I promise that your note will be read, not discarded like junk mail. A personal note deepens a relationship every time. Ask yourself whether you feel special when someone takes the time to handwrite you a note. The gift to someone is your time, which is your most precious commodity.
Become a walking billboard with name badge.
Wherever you go in public, wear your name badge. Let everybody know that you’re in real estate. Don’t believe the critics who say wearing name badges is too old school and too much “retail.” Whether it’s the grocery store, car wash or your kid’s youth sports practices, consumers seem to perceive people with name badges as more approachable. Watch for someone to ask you whether you work in real estate and take it from there (they’re asking you to engage in a conversation); then, have your elevator speech ready about how you love to help people find their dream home. The person who strikes up a conversation is likely to be considering buying or selling a home.