Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Take Care of Your Best Source of Business FIRST

The number one source of business for the top-producing agents in the country is repeat and referral business through their spheres of influence. It makes sense to get a system in place now that ensures regular follow-up with your most important people. Top producer Judy Markowitz of Flushing, NY, calls these people her VVIP's (Very, VERY Important People).

The simplest method I know of that really works is to call your sphere quarterly and mail at least monthly. Mailing can take on a variety of forms, from added-value postcards that offer people discounts on local services or even free items (top producer Janet Parsons sends a card at Valentine's Day for each person to get a free rose when they visit a local florist), to an e-newsletter with market updates and useful tips on preparing a property to show, for example.

When designing the monthly mailings, always keep in mind that the piece must bring value to the consumer. In addition, you may choose to place a call to action on the mailout to get a higher level of engagement with your sphere (e.g., ask the consumer to update their email with you and offer to enter them into a drawing for a dinner certificate or other valuable item).

More challenging than the monthly mailing for most agents is the quarterly phone call. Most people don’t do an Hour of Power daily for the following reasons:
1. They don’t schedule the time.
2. They don’t know who to call.
3. They don’t know what to say.

Break your sphere into manageable bites. If you’re going to call quarterly, then do it over ten weeks and take three weeks off each quarter. This will give you the space to factor in vacation time and not have to worry about the calls getting done!

Steps to making the Hour come together:
#1 – block off time on your schedule each day, Monday through Friday. You may need 30 minutes or two hours, depending on the number of calls you'll be making each day (see #2). Real estate legend Allan Domb is still making 100 calls a day, and he is so disciplined that he can make that happen in 90 minutes when he's focused.
#2 – take the number of total people you have in your sphere (past clients & customers, and best referral resources) and divide those calls first by ten weeks, and then by five days in a week. For example, let’s say your sphere is 500 people. That’s 50 a week, or just ten a day.
#3 – people need to know two things when you call: that you’re still in the business, and that you care about them. Whether you’re leaving a voice mail or reaching a live person, these two items remain key. So anything at all you communicate that lets them know you’re still active in real estate and that you truly care about what’s in their best interests will work.

If you're still doubting your ability to follow through, find an accountability partner to hold you to the commitment.

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