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#413115 - 09/20/12 06:39 PM #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business?
agentca Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 172
Loc: CA
I'm curious to know if what other agents consider their biggest challenge. I know as California Realtor myself my number focus is on prospecting and lead generation. BUT I do also spend a considerable amount of time on trying to build repeat/referral business. I've noticed that it is the foundation of most if not all successful agents.

My question is what type of customer retention services do you use such as newsletters, past client drip campaigns, market update emails etc. I am currently using a newsletter system that sends out a basic home improvement/real estate market update information monthly but am looking for something more personalized and creative to peak interest. I've had clients tell me they read it but haven't had many referrals or past clients calls as a result of it. I've thought of setting up a drip campaign and customizing the emails that get sent out but think that involves WAY too time.

What are you guys using and what are the results, problems, missing features and things that are producing results. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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#413124 - 09/20/12 10:03 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: agentca]
super realtor Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 05/01/05
Posts: 8596
Loc: georgia
Are you asking for the referral in your newsletter??

Unless you ask even if they read the newsletter monthly they will not refer!!

Ask,ask,ask

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#413152 - 09/21/12 02:36 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: super realtor]
Dodger52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 266
Loc: Montana
I have had a different experience than Super, I get better results from not asking for the referral. It may be my conversation style, or just my personality but if I keep the conversation about the customer I seem to get better results. If asking doesn't work, try not asking to see if that works.

I try to keep extensive notes about each buyer, their plans for the home, and their concerns. When I talk to them I can ask if they replaced that water heater, or got the new deck finished.

Newsletters and drip programs are great, but if you can personalize the message its better. A quarterly email with market activity for the neighborhood, can probably be setup through systems you already have. Most importantly pick up the phone, talk to them! I talk to past customers at least twice a year, some I talk to more.

I should point out that while I don't ask for business, I always offer my services.


Edited by Dodger52 (09/21/12 02:37 PM)
_________________________
Dodger52 (Chris)
Prudential Montana Real Estate
www.MT-RE.net
www.facebook.com/MissionValleyMTHomes

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#413174 - 09/21/12 07:48 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: super realtor]
agentca Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 172
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: super realtor
Are you asking for the referral in your newsletter??

Unless you ask even if they read the newsletter monthly they will not refer!!

Ask,ask,ask


I do ask for referrals from my past clients and sphere. Although I tend to play towards my strengths and that being that I myself hate feeling like I'm being constantly asked to use a particular person for services or being sold to. I keep this in mind when sending out my "newsletter" but it's a good point, closed mouths dont get fed!
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#413175 - 09/21/12 07:54 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: Dodger52]
agentca Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 172
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Dodger52
I have had a different experience than Super, I get better results from not asking for the referral. It may be my conversation style, or just my personality but if I keep the conversation about the customer I seem to get better results. If asking doesn't work, try not asking to see if that works.

I try to keep extensive notes about each buyer, their plans for the home, and their concerns. When I talk to them I can ask if they replaced that water heater, or got the new deck finished.

Newsletters and drip programs are great, but if you can personalize the message its better. A quarterly email with market activity for the neighborhood, can probably be setup through systems you already have. Most importantly pick up the phone, talk to them! I talk to past customers at least twice a year, some I talk to more.

I should point out that while I don't ask for business, I always offer my services.


what are some of the methods you use to contact past clients/customers. While I know a relationship is formed throughout the transaction there seems to be a "reason" for communication at that particular time. Do you call to "just check in" or on holidays? I'm curious to know how agents are doing it and how I can improve on my current methods....
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#413180 - 09/21/12 08:49 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: agentca]
Dodger52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 266
Loc: Montana
More often than not, I start the conversation with "We haven't talked in a while, I wanted to see how things are going for you." I refer to my notes and ask about their hobbies, kids, grandchildren, whatever they shared with me through the transaction that was important to them.

I tag my contacts with their hobbies and interests, so when there is a classic car show in town, I have an excuse to call my "car guys" to see if they are showing their car. Call your hunters after hunting season to hear how they did. Call your DIY folks to see how their projects are coming along.

If you don't have extensive notes, start taking them by the second call to a past client you will have something to refer to in the conversation. Most people like to talk about themselves. If they think you like to talk about them too, they will find an excuse to talk to you.

This works for me because I really like to know whats going on in their lives. If you are more of a business focused kind of person you might use a different approach.
_________________________
Dodger52 (Chris)
Prudential Montana Real Estate
www.MT-RE.net
www.facebook.com/MissionValleyMTHomes

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#413183 - 09/21/12 09:13 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: agentca]
agentca Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 172
Loc: CA
great point Dodger! I like the note taking and attention to client detail. This is a sure way to earn clients for life. Do you have any reminder system that pops up to let you know some of the notes or info you've taken on them or do you just call on your database every 60, 90 days??? What system do you use to manage your contacts??

thanks for the input.....
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#413250 - 09/23/12 06:24 PM Re: #1 Challenge as an agent...acquiring clients or Repeat/Referral business? [Re: agentca]
Dodger52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 266
Loc: Montana
Sorry for the delay, it has been a busy couple of days. Currently I am looking for better CRM software. I am pretty sure if I switch I will still keep looking, after all these years its become a habit. There are 100's of programs out there, and a lot of them are pretty good. You can do a search on this forum for CRM and find a lot of information.

So for now I am still using a combination of MS Outlook and some excel spreadsheets. I wouldn't suggest this combination if you are not already using it, its archaic and has a long learning curve, but I have been using it so long its habit/automatic for me.

My program is pretty simple, every home buyer gets a call 30 days after closing. (they may get more calls, but they never get less) I take the total number of past customers in my database multiply by two, and divide by 52, the number left is how many I call per week. I have a morning time slot and an evening time slot set aside for these calls. I may call more but never less (you can see a theme here). I look through the local newspaper, and the different community calendars every Monday morning so I know whats happening in the area. Each client/customer is tagged with their interests and I call them according to whats going on in the area. Some weeks I get my calls made just off this information other weeks I don't have any matches so I work backwards off my list and talk to the ones that have gone the longest without a call.

Have the contact information open while you are on the call and add to your notes as you talk to them. I got pretty good at taking notes and talking on the phone during my coaching days it takes a little practice, but it becomes natural pretty quick.

I don't use reminders, because I make my calls every week. I do however try to get my calls made before my scheduled time slots. I feel like I can take that time off and relax if I have my work done.

Most people get three calls a year, but all get at least two. Because its not a lot of calls per week its easy and its something you just do. When left my first market I was calling 400 past customers twice a year. That may sound like a lot but it works out to 3 calls a day, not a big deal at all. Currently I do not have many past customers, I just started in this market in March of this year. I still schedule 5 calls per week, and I call someone, even if I don't have past customers to call.
_________________________
Dodger52 (Chris)
Prudential Montana Real Estate
www.MT-RE.net
www.facebook.com/MissionValleyMTHomes

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