The real key to success with clients and prospects in the new year is staying “top of mind.” Your goal is to be the first person a client thinks about when making a referral. It sounds simple, but when you are working with current clients and managing your everyday business activities, it’s far more challenging to keep in touch (and stay in touch) with your ever-growing database.
Here are a few tips to consider when you are working to keep your company top of mind to gain referral business in the new year:
1. Give the Gift They Actually Want
When you’re competing in a sea of emails, it’s important to avoid being quickly deleted or ignored. Email smart. Include content that interests your target markets, and make sure your subject line is powerful. For newsletters, consider simply copying the title of your lead article into your subject line field. Some newsletter platforms, like ours, have an automated feature to help you easily set the first article title as your subject line by default. Clients are far more likely to open information that is targeted and relevant to them versus a generic mass email. This extra step will not only prove that you add value but will highlight that you are paying attention to both their needs and interests.
2. Keep Testimonials, Online Reviews and Case Studies in the Forefront
If you haven’t started sharing client testimonials, reviews and case studies in your email marketing, on your blog, and on social media, maybe it’s time to start. Begin interviewing clients who have had positive before and after experiences with your company. Turn these real life situations into stories that can be shared as content. Testimonials are a powerful reminder that your business is the go-to company for new prospects or referral opportunities.
3. Maximize Social Media
Use content from your email newsletters, blog posts and other online resources to share social media updates on a regular basis to gain referrals. Consistent posting will help you engage your social followers, and it is one of the best ways to keep your company fresh in the news feeds of your followers. Various social media management tools offer free or affordable options to help you schedule out posts days in advance to help you easily manage multiple social channels.
4. Take a Multi-channel Approach To Getting Referrals
When it comes to staying top of mind, content is king. Remember that your email newsletters, blog posts, social media reviews, client case studies and testimonials all offer content that can be shared via email and on social media. Maximize your content resources by posting them to all your relevant online avenues and you’ll always be the first thought when referral opportunities pop up.
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While it’s certainly true that some of your leads will be generated by word of mouth and referral source connections, that doesn’t mean your lead generation strategies should only be a skeletal effort.
As a professional, you understand that investing a bit of effort behind a worthwhile initiative can help it gain momentum. The same can be said for lead generation.
There are three basic strategies you can use to scare up more lead generation:
1. Feed Your Beasties
Your website, blog, email campaigns and social media marketing all work together to feed lead-generating content to your clients, prospects and referral sources. These access points help interested onlookers find your business and give “tire-kickers” an idea of the benefits they’ll get when they connect with your business.
Take the following steps to move prospects from cold to qualified:
Provide relevant and engaging content that connects with your target markets
Amplify your content through multiple access points, such as your blog, website, email messaging, social media and other online channels
Include calls to action in your messaging
Maintain consistent communications to create repetitive touch-points
Experiment with a fresh approach as needed – be willing to try something new
The key to successful nurturing is to consistently position your content in front of your onlookers.
2. Feast Your Eyes On Your Metrics
Without the reporting and metrics tools behind your efforts, you’ll never know who is responding to your marketing. You’ll also miss out on determining which content is garnering the most interest. Metrics and reporting pull double-duty by helping you connect with nurtured clients and prospects while also giving you a feel for what’s resonating with your audience.
3. Pursue Your Lead
Frame out a system for maintaining consistent communications, and include clear calls to action in your messages. Your efforts truly begin building momentum when you tap into the results generated by your marketing and proactively follow up on your warm leads.
Identify your rainmakers, offer incentives based on achievement and build a system of lead follow-up accountability into your strategies.
Using the example of an email campaign, your marketing and lead generation workflow could resemble a plan following these basic steps:
Gather contact information for your clients, prospects and referral sources and create a marketing list
Create email messages with informative, timely information that will be of use to your target markets
Launch your message and monitor readers clicking on content that has a direct tie-in to your service offerings
If possible, set alerts on such content to inform your rainmakers as new leads come in
Follow up via phone or email to contact your warm leads and begin a conversation that may segue into a new opportunity for your firm
Granted, these are simplified tips, and there is some work involved in launching and maintaining strategies that consistently generate warm leads. However, today’s professional marketing options are endless. It is often possible to outsource a number of the steps along your prospect’s journey.
Consider which steps your firm would like to maintain in-house, and which would be more efficiently handled by a third-party resource. With a little push behind your marketing and lead generation initiatives, you’ll be scaring up more new opportunities in no time.
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If you’d like your real estate email marketing to start bringing in more new opportunities, you’ll need to turn your messages into attention-getting emails full of click-worthy content.
Here are three quick tips to help you dazzle new prospects and keep existing clients enthralled.
1. Improve Your Subject Line
Before you can generate a lead, you’ll need to get readers to open your emails. The email subject line is your opportunity to make a good first impression in the inbox. Leverage it properly, and you’ll entice more readers to act on your messages.
Your email subject line should clearly address the needs of your readers in concise language. It should also convey the importance of your message.
Here are some subject line tips to encourage readership:
Explain the actual contents of your email newsletter (don’t pull a bait and switch with deceptive teasers)
Create a sense of urgency using deadlines, dates and actionable words
Use a personalization field to include your readers’ first names
Pull the title of a timely article or important update in your email newsletter and duplicate it as your email subject line
Ask questions and let readers know your newsletter provides the answer
Appeal to your valued readers by including phrasing that makes them feel exclusive, important, or as if they are part of a VIP inner-circle
Mention a numbered series of items that will be covered in your email, such as “5 Quick Tips” or “3 Ways to Improve”
On occasion, use seasonal themes and other fun subject lines to avoid a sense of stale repetition
Your subject line should always clearly represent what readers can actually expect to find in your email newsletter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subject line formats and tones. Watch your open rates to see which approaches are working the best for your messaging.
2. Send Click-worthy Content
Everything you include in your email marketing should have a subtle tie-in to your services. If you want your email marketing to resonate with your target audience, you’ll also need to offer content tailored to their needs and interests.
It can be challenging to strike a balance between communicating your value as a real estate agent while also offering insights to your readers. To accomplish this, consider your client success stories. Why did a recent client need your services? How did your services solve their problem? Were there any note-worthy takeaways from the experience? Answer these questions in an email article, and you’ll have the kind of click-worthy content that converts into new opportunities.
3. Don’t Let New Opportunities Go Cold
Once you have your prospects clicking on content, be sure to reach out to those who have shown interest in your articles. There are a few simple ways you can connect with warm prospects generated through your email marketing:
Send a one-on-one follow-up email
Review prospect click activity to gain insight into probable needs, and then give them a call to determine their level of interest in utilizing relevant services
Enter the reader into a targeted email nurturing campaign that mirrors the topic of the article they initially clicked
When you reach out to any warm prospect, be sure to thank them for their interest in your email newsletter. This conversation-opener will help your prospects make a connection between the follow-up activity and the article they read.
One-on-one follow up emails can be used to set up a short meeting. You can leverage these meetings to explore the prospect’s level of interest in buying or selling a home.
You can also send a message to seek out fresh information from the prospect. Ask them if they read the article in order to achieve a particular goal and if you might be able to help them reach that goal.
Nurturing campaigns can also be used to continue nurturing prospects who seem to be “tire-kicking.” Make sure your follow-up communications are as professional as your email newsletter. These messages will continue to build a positive impression of your brand. They will be seen as the digital voice of your company. Even if your prospect doesn’t convert to a new client today, they may choose you at some point in the future.
Continue testing new subject lines and fresh content to keep readers interested in your communications. Follow-through is essential to the success of your marketing. Make sure you implement strategies to track, respond and manage engagement generated by your email newsletter.
CLICK HEREto learn more about lead generation with HomeActions™.
By now, most real estate agents know that social media is a powerful tool to attract leads on a regular basis. How to do it is the next question. As we approach 2019, it requires more than a Facebook and Twitter account that you sometimes post on to have a successful online presence.
In order to be a competitive real estate agent in today’s market, you must implement some tricks of the trade when it comes to social media.
You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to apply good social media tactics once you get started — and delighted when you start seeing more leads roll in.
Don’t Ignore Instagram
Instagram might be something you shied away from in the past because it felt more obscure and less impactful to your audience compared with Facebook or Twitter. That’s no longer the case. Over 100 million people in the U.S. use Instagram, and that number is growing.
As a mobile platform, Instagram is extremely accessible. Users can open it easily on their phones and browse the accounts they follow at leisure. This increased accessibility leads to more likes and engagement on Instagram content, which can ultimately convert to leads.
Also, people are responding more to visual content these days. Instagram is the visual content leader. Every post should feature a high-quality photograph or video. Use this tutorial on how to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Realtors can use Instagram to post breathtaking listing photos, appealing images of the areas you serve and videos and photos from trade shows.
Get on the Video Bandwagon
Video content has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you want to continue to improve the number and quality of leads you receive, look into creating video content. Videos can feature new listings, contests, home-buying webinars — the possibilities are endless. Get creative with the ways you use video and consider the types of content your audience wants to see. This will assist you in making more meaningful connections with new and existing clients.
The 80/20 concept has been around for a while, but now that we’re approaching 2019, it’s more important than ever to adhere to this rule if you want to be successful in your social media efforts.
What you post on social media should be 80% content that benefits your audience, such as blog posts about buying and selling, infographics, etc., and 20% content about your real estate business, such as certain milestones and marketing your services.
Since you’re delivering useful information that will help people navigate the housing market, they will be more apt to engage with promotional items from you when you post them.
Hook Yourself Up With a Social Scheduling Tool
Consistency is key to creating a social media strategy that will increase leads in 2019. You cannot post daily for a month and then drop off the face of the earth the following month when things get busy. Nor should you put out all your content for the entire week on one day. That’s a good way to make sure your content gets lost in the shuffle.
If you don’t have time to write new social posts daily, no problem. There are many social media scheduling tools out there that let you write a batch of social posts ahead of time, and the scheduling tool sends them out when you tell it to.
Popular options on the market are Hootsuite, Hubspot and Sproutsocial
Social media is becoming more nuanced but also more powerful. To continue to attract leads through social media, you need to adapt, just a little, to the ways that it’s changing.
Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.
Getting all your real estate contacts in order is a first crucial step toward consistently reaching your entire sphere of influence. Whether you’re a new or seasoned agent, your referral business is a vital portion of your pipeline.
You can only connect with your current clients, past clients, referral sources and prospects if you have an organized central database of your contacts. Plus, you’ll need to be routinely communicating them.
How Can Your Sphere of Influence Help You In Real Estate?
Your sphere of influence is a network of people you know on one level or another. Think of it like LinkedIn – you have first, second and third-tier connections.
Your first-tier connections are those you know personally, such as a spouse or family member. A second-tier connection could be a colleague, and a third-tier connection might be a neighbor or acquaintance.
Why are these people important to your real estate business? Because they all offer some kind of opportunity for you. Someone in your sphere of influence could be moving or know someone who is moving. Your network offers an infinite amount of referral business.
Who’s In Your Sphere of Influence?
Close family members
Your children’s teachers
Your spouse’s friends
Most agents know how important their sphere of influence is, but few are using it to its full advantage.
How to Quickly Organize Your Sphere of Influence
The simplest way to get your contacts organized is to merge them all into a spreadsheet. Then you can start organizing by what level of connection they are to you: “client,” “prospect” and “refferal source” may be a useful way to initially identify individuals. It is also important to include any all contact information you have for each person in your sphere of influence, such as email address, complete physical addresses, and home, office and cell phone numbers.
As time moves on, you may also decide to tag individuals with additional demographic information based on whether or not they are vacation home buyers, senior citizens, residents of certain trendy districts or neighborhoods, event attendees, or other information that will help you group segments of your contact list together.
The Best Ways to Connect With Your Sphere of Influence
The initial outreach can seem a bit daunting, but simple email marketing tools you can use to get started. One of the best ways to stay top of mind with home-buyers is through consistently reaching out with an email newsletter campaign. Providing e-newsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with home-buyers. Plus, some platforms (like HomeActions™) will even help build your real estate marketing database for you.
How To Ask For Referrals
When you ask someone in your sphere of influence for a referral, mention a recent article in your email newsletter about home prices, for example, and ask your contact if they know anyone who is moving and might be interested in current low home prices in your area. Always be on the lookout for ways to creat new opportunities with the people you meet.
Visit HomeActions.net, and let us help you get organized with a real estate marketing database that we’ll build for you!
Do you want your real estate clients to keep coming back to you again and again? Real estate agents need to employ good client retention practices, and the first rule of thumb is following up after a home sale. Never assume that the job is done after the sale – not if you want those clients to use your services again. Stay in touch. Follow up. Don't let them forget you.
Buyers and sellers want to use the same agent for their next real estate transaction. According to NAR, 88% of buyers say they would use the same agent again.
So how do you make sure that they call you the next time they are moving? Communication. You need to keep yourself top-of-mind with your clients. That doesn't mean you should email or call every day. Chances are they won't use you again if you bombard them. Instead, aim to send them some sort of communication just a couple times a month.
There is an art to following up after the sale, but it does not need to be complicated. Here are some tips for staying in touch with your real estate clients.
1. Send Your Real Estate Clients a Survey After the Closing
Send your clients a quick five-question survey about three weeks after they move into their new home. This three-week time frame is the sweet spot because it gives your clients enough time to get comfortable in their new home. You don't want your follow-up to seem like jusn another chore in the middle of a slew of moving boxes.
Include a personalized note at the top of the survey congratulating them. Ask for some feedback about how they thought the sale went, and inquire if they were satisfied with your service. It may also help to include a housewarming gift with the survey so clients feel as if you were a part of welcoming them into the next chapter of their lives. In most cases, your clients want to hear from you and will be happy to send you feedback.
2. Reach Out to Your Real Estate Clients on Their Birthdays and Anniversaries
Sending holiday cards is a popular way for real estate agents to stay in touch with their clients, but since December greeting cards are so common, they can easily get lost in the holiday shuffle.
Be a little creative when it comes to mailers. Send your past clients a card for their one-year anniversary in their home. No one else will remember that but you, and it's a nice reminder of their milestone. You can also send birthday cards and wedding anniversary cards – even pet birthday cards! If you inject a little fun and creativity into your mailers, this will set you apart from other businesses. Be sure to make everything you send personalized and not generic.
3. Be a Real Estate Resource to Your Clients
More than anything, people will come back to you if you position yourself as a resource to your clients. Be a one-stop authority for everything they need related to their home. Once they move in, be there to provide names of landscaping businesses, plumbers, electricians, roofers and more. You can even create a referral network of local businesses who will mention your services when you mention theirs.
It's also important to let past clients know about other home sales in their neighborhood, information about mortgage rates or new developments in their area that may impact property values. Your past clients will recognize your expertise and want to hire you again if you possition yourself as an expert and a helpful resource.
4. Get Your Real Estate Contacts in Order so You Can Reach Your Entire Sphere of Influence
You might be surprised to learn how many people you're connected with who know someone considering a move. Your sphere of influence includes your friends, family, current and past clients, neighbors, and everyone you're connected with on email and social media. You should be reaching out to these people on a regular basis to remind them that your services are available and you're a trusted resource for everything related to their home and moving. Make sure you organixe all your contacts into one centralized list and communicate with them regularly.
5. Most Agents Utilize Automated Real Estate Newsletters to Stay in Touch
You can easily stay in touch with your sphere of influence by sending out your very own automated email newsletter. Real estate email newsletters are one of the easiest and most effective ways of reaching past and potential clients. Your newsletter can offer advice about buying a home, home improvement tips or information about your own listings.
An email newsletter is a soft approach to keeping in touch with your sphere of influence while offering them useful content about everything related to home-ownership. It's also one of the best ways to position yourself as a real estate resource and stay top of mind with new and existing clients.
A Real Estate Marketing Opportunity Awaits
Real estate agents are always on the move, so it is understandable that you might not have time to organize all the contacts you have in Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. HomeActions provides a twice-monthly automated e-newsletter to everyone in your sphere of influence by doing the organization part on your behalf. The setup takes no more than 48 hours, and you will be delivered an alphabetical list, organized by where the contact came from (Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), which will be used to automatically send your contacts a newsletter chock-full of great content. Once you have an organized sphere of influence, you can use it however you see fit, such as for real estate farming purposes.
HomeActions offers a set-it-and-forget-it product that you know is delivering your contacts valuable content on your behalf. However, there are tons of options to customize the content as you see fit, and we encourage you to feature your current listings.
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting with your clients after the sale and building more referral opportunities.