Making calls is what agents do, and there are three main reasons, to find out if they are interested in a listing you are currently selling, if they are currently selling, if they know someone in the market who is looking to buy. With that being said, there are always different calls you can make each week to generate leads, but who are they? These are the 8 sets of people you need to re-connect with.
1. Weekend engagements: On a Monday you should be reaching out to all people you engaged with over the weekend, this should include both vendors and also prospects. The best way to tackle this is to do it listing by listing. You should have told your vendor you will be in touch Monday afternoon with feedback, so call all of your prospects Monday morning and gauge their interest. Discuss the plans for the week ahead, further inspections and repeat visits and when you have these locked in, go back to your vendor with the positive news. You must have something to take back to the vendor, and if your campaign isn't getting the engagement you would like, you need to provide a breakdown of what you suggest should be done differently this week.
2. Vendor updates: After you have gotten the feedback from the prospects over the weekend, you need to take this to the vendor ASAP and you should have a face-face meeting scheduled for Monday evening. In the call, explain the level of interest and how this compared to what you expected, and also discuss the basics behind the suggestions you will cover off in your meeting tonight. Prep them about advertising schedules, inspection schedules, cleaning schedules and go in to full detail at a weekly vendor meeting on the Monday afternoon/night.
3. Past Clients: There is nothing worse than a client who feels forgotten. These clients should be on your list to check in with at no later than every three months. A thirty second call or message is essential to let them know you care. Discuss what was relevant to them at the last time you spoke, if they have just settled and moved in, ask them how it is going and how they are finding the neighbourhood, also ask them if they need any introductions to local providers / suburb information to get themselves familiar with the neighbourhood ASAP.
4. Local owners in the area: This is a tough way to start your week but an essential one. You should be calling a list of the locals in the area where you have had success or recently sold a listing. If you sold a home over the weekend, you should get a list of all houses in that street, and call the owner to let them know the sold price, how much it sold over reserve and how much value people are achieving by going to market now. Offer them a free appraisal and discuss the benefits if they were to choose to sell with you. This should at least lead to a face-to-face meeting to ensure you get the listing when it does come on the market.
5. Local businesses: One of the best ways to full-proof your marketing strategy is to look bigger picture than just the here and now. You should be making sure you prospect at least five local businesses each week and discuss a way you can cross promote with them. It may be as simple as asking to leave your business cards in their office, or getting a sticker that you provide on the window stating, "Our local agent is (Your Name) - This is a great way to build branding and demonstrate you know the local community. You will also be amazed how much this brings in new business as people see you are trusted by institutions that have been in the areas for years. What can you offer the local businesses in return? Craft a custom eDM to customers that relates to a theme that you can highlight them in. An eDM going to consumers about "The best gyms in Stonnington" will definitely get clicks and provide a great form of marketing to the client. If you can get your branding on their platform as well it is a win-win.
6. All vendors that put a 'For Sale' sign up: You should know your local area, and the areas that your office services like the back of your hand. You should be spending some time every week looking at which new homes have come on the market. If there are 15 new homes in the suburbs you service, get your admin team to do some research and get the vendors contact information. This will provide a great cold-call for you to enter saying, "I noticed you are selling, what's the reason for the change and can I help?" Whilst the vendor may be committed to the current agent to sell, they are not committed to any agent to buy, so use the signs as a way to generate a conversation with someone you know has a changing circumstance. (Note: Some people will be selling investment properties etc. so they may not be ready to get straight back in to the market, but it is definitely worth a chat)
7. The people who have been "holding out" for something: At every inspection you should get notes on exactly what it is the prospect wants and what will tip them over the edge to buy. Once you have got a profile in your mind of what it is exactly that they want, sell the property in a way to them that fulfils their needs. If the client has said they need a three bedroom home with a garden, focus on the fact that this listing fulfils their needs by having the space, the rooms and the outdoor area. Focus on all the positive they have been wanting, and manage their expectations by letting them know the things it is missing, but how this pales in significance to what it is they truly wanted in their home. Organise an inspection if this will suit them, and also discuss options about how you could list their house as well. A double win!
8. Prospects for upcoming listings this weekend: Get your next weekends inspections and auctions off to a flyer by engaging the prospects early in the week. By this stage, you will be nearing the end of a campaign for some of your listings so you need to remind the people you have spoken with. Bring out the list of every OFI you have run and go through with a permanent marker to decide if they are worth contacting again. If they are a maybe, then do it. This should also be followed up with an email. The premise of the call is, "I know we chatted throughout the campaign for 123 Eleanor Street, in Brighton a few weeks ago, I wanted to let you know the auction is coming up this weekend, and I just wanted to gauge your interest" This should lead to one of three responses; not interested, mildly interested, very interested. For those in the latter two categories, ask if they want to go through the property again and if they want to review a contract of sale before the weekend. Explain you can also get this over to their solicitor to make the process run smoothly. Be assertive in this, and explain the value and the highlights the campaign has experienced. Once you know if they are interested, either confirm a time to meet again, or explain you will see them over the weekend. Also explain that if they want help in the bidding process that you can easily set them up with a buyers advocate, this is a great way to take the pressure off them and get a representative of theirs to the auction.
These list of calls should be alternated and an essential part of your agent lead generation and marketing at the early stages of a week. Once you have these down pat you can alternate them and use them as a base to build further lists on to. (e.g one week you may do an integrated list of calls to local businesses and vendor updates) There is no hard and fast rule and some will generate more brand awareness for you, whilst others are focused on leads.
About the Author:
Todd Schulberg handles all things marketing for Homely.com.au - Living and breathing property, Todd has a keen interest in the movements in the market and how agents can utilise new tools and technology in order to be more connected. Using all things social, Todd suggests different ways that agents can engage and think outside the square with their marketing approach.