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October 30, 2018

Working with Almost Now Clients

In this article, I’d like to go into more detail on how to follow up with the “almost now” clients I mentioned previously when I talked about “now” clients. 

Moving Quickly

These are the people you’re running around helping today. You know who they are and what to do because they’re in your face. As you read this, they’re waiting for your next email or call because they want to get moving quickly.

We also talked about “past” and “future” clients.  Past clients are those who have closed a transaction with you at some point in time.  For most agents, the majority of their marketing efforts are geared toward future clients—to “attract” them to your business.

But your “almost now” clients exist in a nebulous world between your “now” clients and your “future” clients.  You definitely know who they are.  You’ve met with or spoken to them.  They have indicated that they are interested in working with you—but not right now. Perhaps in three months.  Perhaps in six months.  Perhaps in a year or two.

Diving Deeper

So, let’s go into further detail.  I want to show you some specific tactics to handle your “almost now” clients, some of which may convert them into “now” clients much sooner than anticipated.

First, I’d like to introduce you to the Potential Income Tracker, or PIT.  The PIT is a form that manages your “almost now” clients.  It is your one-stop overview of all the people to whom you need to send information.

On the PIT, you enter:

•    Name of “almost now” client

•    Type of client (buyer or seller)

•    Area desired

•    Average home price they’re willing to accept or offer

•    Potential value

Understanding the Value

That last item is critical.  Potential value represents the amount of money you look to earn from your role as an expert agent—or lose if you don’t follow up with these people. When you know the value of an “almost now” client, you are motivated to do your best for them.

I suggest that every Monday morning, the first thing you do when you get to your office is take out your PIT.  Take a long look at it.  Then ask yourself:

“What kind of follow-up can I provide that will move this client closer to taking action?”

The great thing about sending information to your “almost now” clients—as opposed to just your “future” clients—is the personalization factor.  You already know what your “almost now” clients want—because they told you! This gives you a huge advantage.

Your “future” clients are people you haven’t met yet.  You don’t know what they want so you have to craft information that highlights your expertise—seeking the clients that match your niche.   But with “almost now” clients you can tailor each mailing to exact specifics.

For example, let’s say your “almost now” client wants to buy a rambler priced in the $500,000 to $550,000 range in Bellingham within the next year.  Send them an email that says:

“Hi, Diana and Tom.  Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been out previewing this week and I found two homes that fit exactly the description you gave me.  I know you said you’re not ready to move yet, but at least these give you an idea of what’s out there for when you’re ready. Here they are:

[Add a link to the listing here.]

“If you have any questions about them, feel free to give me a call.”

See how simple this is?  No hard sell.  You’re just giving them a piece of information that they otherwise may have never had—based on their specific wants.

Doing this also gives you another bonus: feedback. They may respond by saying:

“Denise, those are nice but not exactly what we’re looking for.  We were hoping for a larger yard with a big deck for entertaining.”

Now you’re armed with even more information about what to find for them, and you can refine your search.

This is so much better than sending just a generic listing with photographs…or not sending them anything at all because they’re “not ready yet”.  This approach shows them that you’re thinking of them and what they want, not to mention the fact that you’re putting in time and energy previewing properties for them.

But if you really want to move someone from “almost now” to “right now”, don’t stop there!  Buyers especially want more information on appreciation rates in the neighborhood they’d like to move into.  Dig for it!  Find the statistics for them.  Show them that you really were listening to them.

The Power to Impress

Trust me, when you send a 5-year appreciation analysis to an “almost now” client, based on their criteria, you will impress them.  They will remember you.  Because so few agents do this, you will stand out in their minds.

Buyers also want to know about any new changes in the neighborhood.  Research zoning laws, new developments, retail expansion plans, school committee meeting updates, and anything else about the community you can think of.  Then send it to them.

For sellers, send updates on any recent sales in their area.  Include information on market time, initial asking price, final selling price, and any special circumstances pertaining to the sale.

Whenever there’s a pending sale in their neighborhood, send an email to notify them. They’ll love having their own private “news reporter” covering what their neighbors are doing.

The key to it all is to keep your “almost now” clients informed.  The tool that helps you effectively track your “almost now” business is the Potential Income Tracker. This is a tool you need in your business right now.

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