by Danielle Kennedy
Author of “Balancing Acts: An Inspirational Guide for Working Mothers”
You’ve got an e-mail address, Web site, fax machine, and cell phone–enough communications tools to make a pro of any real estate practitioner. But underneath all the equipment, your selling strategy may lack a personal touch.
Don’t drop your Palm Pilots into a trash bin. Continue to love and use all your cool tools. Just remember that the personal touch in business development is the basis of your power.
Handwrite thank-you notes and make follow-up phone calls. (You remember this; it’s when two real voices make a connection.) Delivering a housewarming gift may be more unique today than 30 years ago.
To be productive with a personal touch, try focusing on these eight niches:
Niche 1: Past satisfied customers.
Call them regularly to ask for help in building your future business with leads and referrals. Collect endorsement letters from them, and use their quotes on your brochures, Web site, and presentations. Try this script: “I have an urgent request. Can you put your comments about me and our company in writing in the next 24 hours?” Put a time frame on the request so that you’ll be taken seriously. It’s a fast way to jump-start business.
Niche 2: Open house visitors.
Schedule several back-to-back open houses on a given day. Schedule some weekdays. Customers who frequently transfer may consider househunting work and may prefer to do it during the week.
Open houses are advertising. You get exposure, which may lead to a sale. Share open houses: Send visitors to another salesperson’s property and vice versa. Follow up with phone calls and e-mails.
Niche 3: For sale by owners.
This includes “forced FSBO”–the expired. With this script, introduce yourself to FSBOs the first week their house goes on the market: “I know you’re marketing your own home, but in case your plan A doesn’t work out, may I present a plan B as a possible option?” This niche, if regularly worked, becomes your bread and butter.
Niche 4: Your local business network.
Hold quarterly breakfasts with your board of advisers, a group of professionals who exchange leads because they like and trust one another. Exchange ideas and referrals with them via telephone and e-mail.
Niche 5: Social contacts.
Send e-mails and postage-paid newsletters to associates from your church, school, health club, or volunteer work.
Niche 6: Former acquaintances.
Search the Internet for old friends from high school and grade school and tell them what you do. People like to do business with an old and trusted friend.
Niche 7: Unknown prospects.
Dial for dollars on a regular basis, and include the seven other niches in your calls. A great opener: “This is a shot in the dark, but are you considering investing in . . .”
Niche 8: Your territory.
It takes time to get to know people in your market, so don’t expect an immediate return from farming. Become a specialist on school districts and homes in your area. Customers who sell may keep in touch with old neighbors–who’ll eventually sell their houses. Customers may want your services in their new neighborhood, too, expanding your territory.
Danielle Kennedy is a consultant and speaker on real estate sales and marketing topics. Her books include Seven Figure Selling, Balancing Acts: An Inspirational Guide for Working Mothers, Double Your Income in Real Estate Sales, and How to List and Sell Real Estate in the 21st Century.
This article was published in REALTOR Magazine on: 11/01/2000