Getting all your real estate contacts in order is the 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.
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. Try grouping your real estate referrals into three categories: first-tier, second-tier, and third tier.
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 real estate 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 Organize Your Sphere of Influence to Get More Real Estate Referrals
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 “referral source” may be a useful way to initially identify individuals. It is also important to include all contact information you have for each person in your spheres of influence, such as email addresses, 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 create 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!
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™.
Millennial home-buyers are a big part of the home-buying market. While they’ve gotten a late start in homeownership compared to previous generations, there is now a significant uptick in the number of house hunters who identify as millennials.
This new group of home-buyers requires unique tactics when it comes to marketing yourself to them as a REALTOR®. If you’ve been in the biz for a long time, your old tricks might not work on millennials.
Use these tips to market yourself as a real estate resource to millennial homebuyers.
Be Comfortable Texting During Off-Hours
Millennial house hunters are going to expect you to use text as a means of communication. That doesn’t mean that calling is out the window, but millennials prefer texting to get quick information at their convenience. Not every question requires a long conversation — millennials may see phone calls in response to quick questions as time-wasters.
It also makes sense to anticipate the typical evening and weekend contact from millennials you would typically expect from someone working a job in a standard workweek. Millennials may also be attending college courses in order to advance their careers or chance vocations altogether, so be prepared to work around busy schedules.
Be Active on Social Media
Millennials, like no other generation before them, are getting the bulk of their news online — even through social media. These days, you can follow all kinds of news outlets to get quick updates about what’s going on in the world. Being active on social media is a great way to get in front of millennial home-buyers. Be sure to post about your listings, share what sold, feature open houses and give other real estate updates. Also keep your social media content varied by sharing interesting tid-bits related to home-ownership. Millennials will follow the businesses they frequent in order to stay connected with ongoing events.
Provide Reliable Reviews
Since the internet is inundated with reviews, millennials know they can’t trust all of them. That’s why you need to provide reviews in more than just a written format. If you can get a past client to submit a video testimonial, it will come off as much more authentic than a written review that could have been faked easily.
Not only that, but make sure your business website as well as your Facebook and LinkedIn pages have verifiable reviews. Facebook is now following the online review trend, offering review posting to its users.
Be an Educational Resource
A great way to promote yourself to millennials is to be a real estate resource for them; position yourself as a voice of authority in the industry to increase your clout and gain their trust.
Millennials will engage through experiential learning, so give them just that. You can host events at your office or at a local restaurant or pub as a networking opportunity for newcomers to the area to get to know their local real estate agent. Or you can offer first-time home-buyer classes in person or online. Sessions like these give your audience a taste for the kind of expert advice you can offer.
Be Consistent With Your Real Estate Newsletter
One of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with home-buyers from every generation is through consistently reaching out with your email newsletter. Millennials in particular are accustomed to this kind of communication from businesses dealings, and they typically subscribe to a variety of email newsletters as a means of accessing deals or keeping up with offerings from their favorite businesses.
Providing bimonthly e-newsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with millennial home-buyers. If you don't have your own real estate email newsletter yet, click here to get started with HomeActions™.
A year-round steady flow of customers is the Holy Grail of real estate. Without it, you end up staggering from deal to deal praying you’re going to meet your monthly goals.
Is your business where you want it to be?
These are nine reasons why prospecting may not be working for you:
1. You think prospecting is something you’re supposed to do when you don’t have listings to sell or buyers to show homes to.
Prospecting isn’t something that takes time away from listing and selling, it’s what you have to do to get listings and showings. Skimp on marketing and you won’t have a pipeline of deals to work on next month.
Marketing should go out consistently and automatically.
2. Failure to properly identify prospects.
10 percent of your contacts are actively selling or buying. 90 percent are still prospects because they may know someone who’s looking to buy or sell.
Stay in front of your former clients. Make it easy for them to find you when they’re ready to do another real estate transaction.
3. Boring them with advice about buying and selling homes.
Unless your marketing is going directly to potential first-time home-buyers, stay away from sharing home buying advice. The 90 percent of your client base that isn’t actively involved in a transaction doesn’t need home selling and home buying tips.
Compelling content speaks to homeowners.
4. Not prospecting enough.
How much contact is too much? We know from our customer-focus research on email marketing that once a month is not enough and once a week is too much.
Once every two weeks is enough to keep you top-of-mind without being annoying.
5. Marketing via snail mail.
The Internet, not the mailbox, is the starting point for today’s home shoppers. Using snail-mail makes you look old-school.
Reach prospects where they are with online communication via newsletters, emails, web links and webinars.
6. Networking only in the virtual world and not in the real world.
It’s important to take every opportunity to network in person.
Go to Chamber of Commerce breakfasts, do a booth at local fairs and festivals and teach an adult education class for first-time home-buyers or investors.
7. Keeping your business cards in your pocket or your desk drawer.
If you’re not giving away 100 business cards a week, you’re not working hard enough on prospecting. When you give people your card, they often give you theirs and it’s going to have an email address on it. When you exchange cards, mention that you have a newsletter about home ownership that you’ll send them.
8. Thinking a lead service or a free email marketing newsletter will do it all for you.
A lead service or a free email marketing newsletter won’t do all your prospecting for you. Any number of services sell lead information about expired listings, people who’ve inquired about foreclosures or online home shoppers.
Those lists can be out of date, of questionable quality, and in the case of email newsletters from places like Lowe’s, available to every agent in America.
To differentiate yourself, you need exclusive marketing lists and quality newsletter content.
9. Taking shortcuts to build your contact database.
The best email contacts are the ones you gather yourself one potential client at a time.
Building year-round deal flow doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take consistent effort. To fill your deal pipeline:
Build a database filled with people who know you.
Form partnerships with companies who can help you share exclusive content that highlights your real estate expertise.
Get out in the community to raise your visibility.
Lee Sowers, Sales and Marketing SVP of HomeActions, helps Realtors® enhance their prospecting and build relationships to increase sales. Sowers knows what it takes to successfully market to commercial and residential real estate customers.