Turn Lost Opportunities Into Realized Opportunities: The Need for a Detailed Com
In the last two Zebra Reports I’ve been talking about the idea of Lost Opportunity and what it means to your business. Lost Opportunity business is business you can have, and it is income you should have. Don’t lose those opportunities simply because you didn’t have a plan to keep them in your pipeline. No more Lost Opportunities in 2011!
What’s the one essential thing that I think you must have? A communication plan—as part of your overall business plan—that will solidify your relationship with your past, current and potential clients.
Recently, an agent I work with said, “Denise, I have a basic plan to stay in touch, but I never seem to follow it. What am I doing wrong?” Once we looked at the reasons he wasn’t following it, the answer was right in front of him. He knew he needed a plan, and in the back of his mind he had an idea of what it looked like, but he didn’t’ have any details to guide him.
Most agents have the same problem. They may have a client communication plan in the back of their mind—they may even have it written into a yearly calendar. But if, on any given month, the notation simply says “call sphere”, it is easy to drop the ball. If you don’t know what to say, and if you don’t have details to guide you, your communication plan quickly falls to the bottom of your list. Nobody likes random calls. We don’t like making them; we know others don’t like receiving them. Random calls feel way too much like a ‘sales’ call. You won’t have to make random calls when you have a detailed plan.
Most of us are much better at following a plan. What if, in early January, your communication plan said ‘Call sphere to alert them about the predictions article.” Granted, you have to have your predictions article ready to mail out, but now you have a reason to make a quick call as well. The call sounds like this: “I just sent you my predictions article for the 2011 real estate market. If you have any questions, give me a call. Otherwise, I hope you find my article interesting and helpful.”
If you have to give last-minute thought to what to say, how to say it, or what your message is, the call will simply not be as successful as it might be when you have an actual plan for calling. When you have your plan and the details—even the script, it’s easy.
“Okay,” you say, “but it’s hard to figure out what to send, or what to call about.”
We created the visual chart, below, to make it easy for you to build a communication plan for your entire sphere, including additional communication options for your past and your potential clients.
12 Monthly Real Estate Mailings
Annual Client Review and Client Appreciation Event
12 Monthly Real Estate Mailings – here is an easy formula:
- Six articles a year. These must be real estate specific.
- Four quarterly real estate reports specific to your/their market.
- One annual review
- One predictions article
Weekly Communication for potential clients (less than a year from a transaction) should include market specific data:
Sample items for potential buyers:
- Appreciation rates in different neighborhoods
- Home comparison reports for different neighborhoods
- Video tours of neighborhoods. This is especially important if they are not familiar with all the neighborhoods they might choose from.
- Listing and sold data
All this information helps buyers begin to learn more about the market, learn where the best values are, and calm the sometimes overwhelming feeling new buyers have.
Sample items for potential sellers:
- Regular listing, pending and sold reports
- Days on Market reports
- List-to-sales-price ratios
- Inventory numbers
Not-yet-ready-to-sell clients have to get used to what comparable homes are selling for on the open market. This may not be the time in their life where their real estate will sell for what they want. You have to educate them. Be their expert and provide them with honest, accurate data on a very regular basis.
Send one of these at least once a month, and follow up with a phone call or email the other weeks. Yes, you may even count your monthly mailing to your sphere as communication for one of those weeks!:
Using this plan, and building in the details that you need to keep you on track, you will significantly strengthen your relationship with each person in your database and position yourself as their real estate expert.
Let’s recap. Regardless of whom you need to communicate with you must have a consistent, well thought-out weekly, monthly and annual plan that includes all the details you need to make your plan actually work for you. With a strong communication plan, business will come your way more easily!
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things “real estate”. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.
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