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Hang on to Past Clients

Hang on to Past Clients

Each client is important — even previous ones. To help generate new business, maintaining relationships with previous clients may be one of your keys to success. Here are some reasons to maintain these connections and suggestions on how to make them stronger.

In the frequently crowded real estate market, maintaining a thriving client base is essential to the growth of your business. And while there’s no denying that winning new clients is crucial, strengthening your connections with past clients can be just as important.

Why maintain relationships with past clients?

Converting leads into actual clients can take a great deal of time and dedication. So once you’ve invested so much effort into building a relationship with a buyer or seller, why not keep in contact to see how you can help meet their future housing needs?

Just because a client has sold or purchased a property once doesn’t mean they won’t be looking to buy or sell again later. Here are just a few of the reasons why previous clients may need your services:

  • They are moving due to important life developments like career changes, family considerations or shifting priorities.
  • They are looking to purchase a second home or vacation property.
  • They are seeking future investment opportunities.

In addition to helping previous clients directly, you can also receive valuable referrals from past buyers or sellers. A successful transaction can mean a boost in your business, especially when previous clients offer their trusted opinions and references to friends, family and associates.

How to reconnect with past clients

Recognizing the value of your past buyers or sellers is just the first step in maintaining your connections with previous clients. Once you’ve selected whom to follow up with, here are a few ways you can reestablish and develop your relationships:

  • Notify past clients of recent sales or listings.
  • Send personalized postcards letting them know you’re still available to assist with their housing needs.
  • Mail cards for special occasions such as holidays or birthdays.
  • Distribute an email newsletter.
  • Follow up with thank you greetings.

You may also want to consider friendly reminders for other services you can assist with such as helping past clients protect their investments with an American Home Shield® Home Warranty Plan.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

How Home Warranties Can Help With Low Inventory

How Home Warranties Can Help With Low Inventory

From time to time, you’ve probably noticed a dip in the number of homes listed for sale. During times like these, when there is greater competition amongst buyers vying for fewer homes, savvy buyer agents know that successful closings are more crucial than ever.

In addition to driving up asking prices, a low-inventory market can lead buyers to stretch their budgets to cover higher down payments. This can then lead to buyers having little leftover to cover the cost of unexpected household repairs, resulting in a lack of confidence in closing the sale.

Here are some tips on how a home warranty can help you and your clients during a low-inventory market:

Offer budget protection for buyers

An AHS® Home Warranty Plan can help protect buyers’ budgets, which can help give them the confidence they need to proceed with their transactions.

Extend quality service through reliable service contractors

The AHS service contractor network features more than 13,000 experienced professionals. This knowledge can help reassure first-time or relocating buyers in new communities that a qualified, reliable resource is available when covered items break down.

In addition, AHS service contractors have in-depth knowledge of home system and appliance repairs. They also routinely deal with refrigerant capture, regulations, codes, new computerized equipment and other situations that can be difficult for even ardent DIY homeowners.

Provide convenient home warranty purchasing options

At AHS, trusted service and valuable protection can also be renewed annually, so buyers can receive continuous coverage on their appliances and home system components if they choose.

Here are some ways that AHS Home Warranties can also help listing agents:

Promote long-term client relationships

AHS helps real estate professionals build the kind of long-term client relationships that lead to referrals and repeat business. One such way is by sending professionals service request notifications for additional client touchpoints.

Help listings stand out from the competition

American Home Shield offers real estate professionals free marketing materials such as sign riders and open house supplies. These resources can help draw attention to and differentiate listings by informing potential buyers the home has an AHS Home Warranty.

Real estate professionals can also use AHS Home Warranties as part of their concierge service model to distinguish themselves from the competition. For example, they can pay for seller’s coverage or the entire warranty as part of the service they provide.

Buying agents can also benefit from working with AHS. Here are just a few reasons:

Help mitigate risk management issues

Retaining a signed acceptance or waiver of home warranty coverage for each buyer may help mitigate potential risk management issues.

Assist with client relationships

AHS Home Warranties support repeat and referral business by helping to build happy client relationships, even communicating paid service requests to agents for another client touch point.

In addition, when a covered malfunction occurs, buyers will call AHS and not their agent, which may help protect the client relationship, the agent’s commission, and frees the agent to move on to the next closing.

Provides added value

Let the buyer know they have an option to pay for the home warranty and include seller’s coverage to help protect the home within the time period from contract acceptance to closing. This provides added value to the offer to purchase because it benefits the seller prior to closing with no cost to the seller.

AHS coverage does not require coverage

If the age and condition of currently operating systems and appliances are unknown, AHS Home Warranty coverage becomes more important than ever, since appliance and system inspections are not required prior to issuing the home warranty contract.
For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

Going for the Gold: 3 Things Agents Can Learn from Olympic Bobsledders

Going for the Gold: 3 Things Agents Can Learn from Olympic Bobsledders

If you’re anything like us, you’re channeling the Olympic spirit each and every night. While not every sport gets our blood pumping (sorry, ice dancing), we have been especially excited about watching the bobsledding teams in PyeongChang. Both the male and female teams are so well-synced that they somehow make the mad initial sprint and navigating death-defying curves look easy.

They remind us, quite frankly, of some of the agents and teams we know that make this business look a lot simpler than it is. And as we looked into the sport more, we realized it has a LOT of parallels with real estate. Here’s what smart agents like you can learn from the fastest, most dynamic winter sports athletes around.

Get right back up after a crash

In bobsledding, crashes are inevitable — but watching these athletes get up and make their way to the finish line after a mishap can be more inspiring than even the fastest, most picture-perfect run. After all, do you remember who won the gold in Cool Runnings, or do you remember the painstaking walk to the finish line after the team’s terrifying crash?

As an agent, you’re in the same role as the bobsled pilot. You have to pay attention to signals that could mean a transaction or client relationship is veering off course, then take responsibility to get it back on track. And if you do crash and burn, it’s important to get up and analyze what you did wrong. Did you try to cut corners, or was it the fault of a “slippery track” of workflows that steered you in the wrong direction?

Whether you have derailed the deal entirely or just added a bit more time to your closing path, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow.

Trust your “brakeman”

The pilot may get all the glory, but the “brakeman” is the one who ensures the team crosses the finish line safely and quickly. In real estate, your brakeman is most likely your broker — they are responsible for pumping the brakes when there’s an issue of liability, or when they feel that you may be taking on more than you can handle.

While you may not want to slow down, it’s important to defer to your broker and know that they have your best interests (and your clients’ best interests) at heart. And if you don’t feel that way? Well just like the U.S. women’s team did this year, it may be time to switch to a new brakeman who you trust and respect.

Don’t be afraid to embrace new technology

If you’re a die-hard U.S.A. bobsledding fan, you may know the story of the “Night Train” sled — an all-black sled that the U.S. men’s team debuted in 2009. As the lore goes, the U.S.A. team was given an unpainted, black prototype to test out. They loved the sled so much that they began using it in competitive races immediately, before it could even be painted to represent the red, white and blue of the American flag.

The result? They became the 2009 world champions and the 2010 Olympic gold medalists — the first Olympic gold in 62 years for Team USA.

Certainly, someone must have pushed back against “Night Train,” either because it felt too risky or simply didn’t look “right” for Team USA to race a black sled. But the risk more than justified the reward, and teams across the world have been clamoring for Night Train’s unique design ever since.

As an agent, you’re inundated with new technology offers all the time. Do you dive into these opportunities or stick to business-as-usual? And even if you are happy with the status quo, have you ever thought about what you might be missing?

Within the industry, there’s no more fascinating and cutting-edge technology than geo-targeted predictive analytics. Imagine being able to predict likely sellers from your local market area, then go after them one-by-one until you get the sale. Our SmartTargeting platform does just that — and just like the Night Train sled, it’s rapidly growing in popularity as agents, teams and brokers across the country realize how much (and how quickly) big data and analytics can move the dial.

Reach out for a free demo and learn more about how SmartTargeting can power your business.
For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

Four Social Media Hacks to Boost Your Presence

Four Social Media Hacks to Boost Your Presence

We have all been in line at Starbucks or glancing into our back seat to see a thirteen-year-old gazing into their phone, furiously typing away with their thumbs flashing over the screen in a blur (sometimes with a wry smile or semi eye roll or fierce brow crinkle). And you probably thought, “What in the actual hell is inside that thing that is so interesting?”

The answer is: Social Media.

Why in the world would a forty-seven-year-old, self-admitted tech caveman be writing an article about social media? Shouldn’t we have some twenty-something wiz kid writing this?

Well, the truth is they could teach you more about the deep inner workings of the Facebook algorithm. By the way, Facebook is “soooooo last year” (you’ve got to read that in the annoying teenager voice). However, I am the perfect person to teach you the basics (because it’s all I know!) and what I have learned in the school of hard knocks of social media.

It is really pretty simple, so long as you keep four things in mind.

  1. Find your voice
  2. Use images
  3. Keep it real(ish)
  4. Consistency > creativity

Want to learn more? Scroll your eyes on down the page then.

Finding your voice: The point of social media is, well, to be social. Think of Facebook as a giant cocktail party where you are overhearing snippets of people’s conversations. So be interesting. Share what you are interested in (unless it’s politics, there’s enough of that already). Share parts of your day – the interesting parts, not “in line at Starbucks.” Perhaps something you learned or observed today. For example, here is the highest liked/shared item I posted on Facebook this week.

Picture1

This post beat out hot tub disco lights with my five-year-old daughter and some pretty amazing (in my opinion) motivational quotes. It was just a quick thought, expressing a feeling that we all have felt. And it resonated.

I asked a friend of mine to describe my social media voice and here is what she said: “You’re a hashtag over user, FOMO (fear of missing out) creating, swear word motivational quote using funny man that I look forward to reading.”

Start small, but let your flag fly! Pronounce to the social media world in your own little (or big) ways that you are here. And let that voice of yours shine through. There is someone right now trying to find the way to express exactly what you are going to write and it will resonate.

Use Images: For better or worse, we are visual creatures. So use pictures when you can or even when you can’t. If you look at my “cancel everything” post above, it even looks more like an image than a “post.” Try to do a quick image search to find something that adds to, expresses or brings clarity to the point you are trying to make. Sometimes people don’t want to read, they just want to look. Instagram is proof of that. Use more images to drive higher engagement.

Keep it real(ish):  I hate to break it to you, but there is nothing “real” about reality TV. A friend of mine was on House Hunters once and he was already in contract and just about closed on the house that they “decided to write an offer on” in the show. Insert surprised face here. That big “which one of the three are they going to pick?” part of the show, at least on his, was totally staged. Social media is your own little reality TV show. And it is great to share your successes and even some of the things you’re working on (without being too negative), or little random pieces of your life. But you don’t need to discuss your divorce, for example, and you don’t have to share everything. You can keep parts of yourself, to yourself for yourself.

Consistency is greater than creativity: Oh man, do I think I am smart! I will craft what I think will be the perfect/hilarious/most awesome post in the history of the internet. I prepare to hit the share button with glee as I am pretty sure I am going to break the internet faster than a semi-nude Kardashian. And (drum roll please)… crickets. Nobody cares. And then other times, I will just pound out a quick little thought spontaneously and it is the thing that resonates the most with people. My advice to you is: don’t try to be perfect, just be consistent. It matters more. The more you do anything, the better you get at it.

Go boldly into that dark abyss that is social media. Bring your bright light to the space so you too can be the next SnapChat/Instagram/Twitter superstar. Or at least help remind the people who already know you, like you and trust you that you are alive, in the business and there to serve them.

Boomerang Buyers Should Be a Focus For Real Estate Professionals in 2018

Boomerang Buyers Should Be a Focus For Real Estate Professionals in 2018

Get to know this group of potential buyers and find out how you can best help them by finding out what it is they most expect from you.

As many as ten million Americans were forced into foreclosure when the housing bubble burst. Now, 1.5 million Americans, or boomerang buyers, are poised to re-enter the market. Get to know this group of potential buyers and find out how you can best help them by finding out what it is they most expect from you.

To start, what, exactly is a boomerang buyer?

A former homeowner who has gone through a “short sale,” a foreclosure or a bankruptcy. These individuals have been saving for the down payment and the expiration of the waiting period in order to qualify for a mortgage again.

Who are they, as individuals?

Generally, in their 40s and 50s, these people have worked hard to re-establish good credit. For the most part, they are pretty savvy, understanding that interest rates and home prices have risen in most American markets.

2017- a key year for boomerang buyers.

Why? Seven years have passed since foreclosures peaked in 2010, meaning 1.9 million homeowners who faced owner-occupied foreclosures between the start of the housing crisis in 2007 through 2010 will have met the seven-year period after which the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires derogatory information to be removed.

Motivation is strong.

According to Kent Temple, broker/owner of Keller Williams Realty, homeowners who have been foreclosed on, already know what it’s about. They’ve been through the process, which has often been a hellish one, and are willing to do whatever it takes to be able to purchase a home.

How can you help these buyers and help your business, as well?

Naturally, knowing your audience is critical. That’s half the battle. If you’re determined to reach this segment, make sure the content you include in your newsletters and on your website, along with the stories and videos you choose to share on social media, puts a laser focus on your marketing efforts for this group.

Important information to consider.

These “on-the-rebound” buyers need low-payment loans.

According to Kristine Yao of CoreLogic, a blog that “delivers expanded perspectives on housing economies and property markets,” comparisons of the buying preferences between boomerang buyers and non-distressed, owner-occupied repeat buyers show that boomerang buyers are, on average, four times more likely to finance with FHA loans than the latter.”

Boomerang buyers feel “forgotten.”

Print and television marketing tends to favor baby boomers and millennials as the primary targets. Focus on Generation X, and you’ll be one of the few marketers who targets this forgotten segment of homebuyers.

These former home owners are currently renting.

If you’re not already doing so, harness your customer relationship marketing to target apartment complexes, condos and townhome communities in 2018. Be sure to point out the advantages of owning rather than renting and let them know about down payment assistance programs at the local, state and national levels. Incorporate support materials like charts or other visuals showing these potential buyers that they can own a home for what they currently pay in rent. Your preferred lender can help you with these. You can also offer information on getting reliable home warranty coverage for home appliances and system components through American Home Shield®.

At the end of the day, a simple and direct question could be the most powerful message you put across: “Why rent when you can own a home for $800 a month?”

As the millions of potential homebuyers — or boomerang buyers — are poised to re-enter and ignite the real estate market, make sure you’re there to help, and benefit from their motivation to be homeowners, once again.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

Top Real Estate Content Marketing Tips from 9 Experts

Top Real Estate Content Marketing Tips from 9 Experts

The benefits of producing and distributing real estate content are clear: save time, generate more and warmer leads, build your expertise.

But how do you get started? And how do you get more effective?

Here in this post, get answers from 9 experts to this question: If a real estate agent wanted to be more consistent, intentional, or effective with their content marketing efforts, what one tip would you provide?

1 Marc Davison: 10 Content Tips

1000watt.net

1. Think editorially. 
Know your brand, your voice and marketplace and produce content that is always on brand and provides value to your viewer/reader

2. Don’t publish for publishing’s sake.
 Too often, agents feel like they need to make noise and show up so they post nonsense. A meme. A quote of the day. A picture of their food. If your brand is about frivolity, then this is ok. But if you are trying to build a serious brand, post less, say more.

3. Be consistent.
 Pick a niche and focus on it. I read a lot of content on design and branding. If a design blog I read decided to blog about politics or religion of something off topic, I’d leave and most likely never return.

4. Stay within your category.
 This bolts on to #3 but agents who sell real estate should create content that plays somewhere within this category not outside it.

5. Write like you mean it.
 Just because you want to write and like writing doesn’t mean you can write or should. Nothing kills compelling like bad grammar, poor punctuation, bad sentence structure, etc.

6. Design your content like you mean it.
 Blurry pictures. Poor use of typeface. Self-generated arts and crafts like design scream amateurish.

7. Use an editor. 
No great, smart, successful, compelling writer accomplishes that without help from experts. Find someone you trust to run every bit of content through before it goes live.

8. Wait 24 hours before hitting send.
 Nothing you post is an emergency and no one is sitting anticipating your next round of content. Whatever your write, design, create, when you think it’s done, wait a day and revisit it. 99% of the time, you’ll notice things that you can tweak to make even better.

9. Create an editorial calendar so you know what you are going to write and when.
 This helps keep you focused as a content producer and enables your audience to stay with you as you create.

10. Don’t do what you suck at.
 Just because real estate gurus overzealously preach content creation, this doesn’t mean you need to listen to them. They get paid to cheerlead. They aren’t you. If you don’t like writing, or taking photos or creating content at all – don’t do it. Put that energy into what you are good at and invest everything into that. Apple doesn’t create content. They design and build incredible products. It works for them, this advice will work for you too.

2 Katie Lance: Pick a Day

KatieLance.com

One tip for someone who is starting to be purposeful would be to pick a day you are going to publish content and stick to it.

It doesn’t matter which day but when you are consistently doing something like publishing a weekly video, a weekly blog, or a weekly Facebook Live – people will start to take notice.

Consistency counts as well as consistently promoting that content across email, other social media, Facebook ads, etc. Promotion is the name of the game!

3 Travis Robertson: Consistency for Success

TravisRobertson.com

Consistency is critical. Most people don’t put out consistent content and, therefore, never get very good at it. This, in turn, keeps them from putting out content. The more they put out, the better they get and the more they are able to create. It’s a flywheel in either direction.

4 Kelvin Krupiak: Narrow Your Focus

EasyAgentPro.com

The reason I see a lack of consistency or intent with respect to digital marketing is the agent either doesn’t believe in its potential or they’re overwhelmed. Now if they didn’t believe in the power of digital marketing I assume they wouldn’t be reading this, so let’s say they’re overwhelmed.

The solution here is to narrow your focus: if you’re trying to figure out blogging, video, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and email marketing all at once you’re going to get frustrated and give up. Focus on one platform at a time and add another into your marketing strategy when you’re comfortable. Get consistent with Facebook: grow your audience there, learn how to post to groups, learn how to run ads, get reviews and testimonials on your Facebook business page. Then move to something like creating video since it’s going to become the most dominant form of media in the next two years. Video can then be used to further increase your success in a medium like Facebook or email.

If you’re going to survive in an industry being flooded with new marketing ideas, tips, and strategies narrow your focus.

5 Kendyl Young: Be Yourself

GlendaleDIGGS.com

It sounds cliche, but there’s no other way to say it – “Be yourself.”

Lean into who you are. “You don’t need to be that outsize personality in order to leverage some of the tools we have in video and social media.”

“Be yourself and be authentic.” (NOTE: this means you have to figure out who you are!)

6 Valerie Garcia: Tell a Story

ValerieGarcia.com

It sound trite, but it’s true: Tell a story!

Don’t just tell me about a product or a service. Tell me how it’s going to change my life, or make me laugh, or solve a problem. Tell me about how others use it or love it or hate it. Tell me about the way I am going to feel if I use it or buy it or live in it.

Going that extra step to take your message to a point where I can relate it to my own life is going to make all the difference.

Every single product, service, or home has a story. As a marketer, it’s up to you to find it and tell it.

7 Justin Stutz: Be Local

PoweredByWest.com

Be local. “When I think about some of the best content I receive from businesses, it’s extremely localized. That’s what’s meaningful to me.”

International, national, and state information is all well and good, but 
”when it really comes down to my business partners, I want them to bring information that has to do with the neighborhood I live in, with the city and state I pay taxes in.”

“One advantage real estate agents have that platforms like Zillow don’t is that they can be local connectors and local problem solvers. That’s just something the big boys are never going to be able to compete with.”

8 Andrew Fogliato: Promote Other People

JustSellHomes.com

“Look for people in your area you can help and promote.”

Match local business owners with common consumer questions to promote the area, promote the people, promote the businesses, etc. Don’t just promote yourself!

When you help and promote others, you get better reach, better response, and better results.

9 Jared James: Start

JaredJamesToday.com

Nobody starts as an expert.

That’s it. Nobody starts as an expert.

Don’t get thrown off by someone you watch who is soooo good at delivering great content or is great on video or whatever. We all sucked at some point. My first YouTube video is so bad that I unlisted it.

Becoming an expert is earned by startingsucking, and then getting better. Effort matters and the more you try, the better you will get. Just like nobody starts as an expert … nobody who quits ends as an expert either.

Get the Guide to Compelling Real Estate Content

A huge THANK YOU to these 9 experts for sharing their tips and insights.

Get more from them – and from 8 others, including:

Chris Smith & Jimmy Mackin from Curaytor
Kelly LeClair from LeClair Real Estate
Michael Thorne from TMB Real Estate
Seth Williams from RETipster
Teri Conrad from Agent Quest
Justin Tucker from West/WFG
Seth Price from Placester

Every one of these real estate content pros answers: How do you define compelling real estate content? and What’s one tip you would provide to someone who wants to be more effective?

To get your guide, visit the BombBomb Blog and enter your email address at the end of the page!

Relocating Clients: Challenges and Opportunities

Relocating Clients: Challenges and Opportunities

With roughly 1.5 million employer-assisted relocations per year, these types of referrals can make a real estate professional’s phone ring regularly, making it an important niche to explore for your business.

The Stress Effect

Moving family across the country, away from friends and the familiar and into new schools and neighborhoods, can create a great amount of stress.

Often, during the transition, the homebuyer can feel as if he or she is working from two cities at once. The separation can weigh on family and friends, even if it’s a smart professional step.

As potentially the only “local” these buyers will interact with face-to-face, you can help calm their fears and make them feel more comfortable. You can offer the stability such transitions traditionally lack.

Working with Coordinators

An employer will typically bring in a third-party relocation service to help the homebuyer understand the city-to-city comparison for cost of living and housing, provide counseling and relocation strategies, and assist in the spouse’s job search.

The real estate professional will be responsible for paying a referral fee, but many agents find the fee worthwhile because it’s offset by the freedom of finding and prospecting the client.

Push the Papers

Relocation requires an extra level of record keeping than typical real estate transactions. You might benefit from completing training on relocation policies, procedures and administration. There’s more involved with relocation transactions.  In addition, there is also a particular chain of command and required relocation documents, so get organized and brush up on your professional communication skills.

A Good Prospect

Very often, the real estate professional is the only face-to-face contact for the relocation shopper. You can help reduce their stress by helping them through the transition and introducing them to their new community.

If you play your cards right—and take the time to make your customer feel comfortable and at home—you can win yourself a customer for life. Consider relocation clients as another form of prospecting: the relationship can lead to non-relocation business when everyone involved is satisfied with your service.

Contact your American Home Shield® Account Executive for more relocation-related services and resources available through AHS®.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

How Real Estate Agents can Capitalize on Big Data for Big Results

How Real Estate Agents can Capitalize on Big Data for Big Results

Simple ways predictive analytics can boost your bottom line

Big data powers predictive analytics. As the field grows, these massive data sets propel some of the biggest companies in new, unexpected ways. Netflix reports it saves $1 billion each year by optimizing the predictive engine that recommends content and programming to its customers. Google Translate’s reputation is nearly bulletproof now that its predictive algorithm has been retrained to translate in contextual sentences. Airbnb hosts see a fourfold increase in occupancy rates when they set a rental price within 5 percent of the company’s recommended rate.In short, big companies use big data to make big waves. But what does that have to do with your relatively small real estate business?The truth is that big data isn’t just for big companies — and leveraging predictive technology doesn’t mean you have to scrap your current business model for something built in a hacker lab. Predictive products can help agents optimize nearly everything from mailers and marketing to cold calls and conversational outreach.Here are four ways you can tweak your business (and boost your bottom line) using real estate predictive analytics.

Double your impact in half the time and money

When you send mailers to an entire ZIP code, your marketing costs skyrocket and messaging tends to suffer.

When you narrow your target audience down to just the 10 or 20 percent of your farm most likely to sell this year, you’ll see better results because you’re able to send the right message, at the right time, to the right people: the marketing trifecta.

The hundreds of dollars you’ll save on mailers that never make it past the front door and online ads that never get clicked is icing on the cake.

Don’t just make contact – make a connection

Your prospects can tell when they’re on the communication conveyor belt. They won’t remember or hire you if you can’t initiate a casual, earnest conversation.

With predictive analytics, you don’t just get a list of likely sellers. You get deep insights into why and when people might be ready to list.

This means that you can naturally steer the conversation toward their potential reasons for selling, then reinforce your value as the agent who can meet their needs. The result? Real conversations with real sellers ready for on-point advice on listing their homes.

Boost your confidence because you’ll hear “no” less often

Farming often requires cold calls and knocking on doors — two activities that most agents abhor or ignore altogether. But there’s a stark difference between contacting an entire subdivision where 90 percent of the residents have no plans to move and initiating a conversation with the 10 percent of homeowners most likely to list.

When working with data-backed predictions, agents have higher confidence, as
they experience more receptive responses (and fewer curse words).

Beat other agents to the door

Losing business to competing agents? Predictive analytics can also reverse that trend by unveiling seller signals that other agents can’t see.

As other agents and teams robo-dial the entire neighborhood, you could be well on your way to securing listing presentations for the next crop of local sellers.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

4 Ways to Build More “Client for Life” Relationships

4 Ways to Build More “Client for Life” Relationships

We spend so much time talking about the importance of repeat business and referral business… but the reality is that MOST agents have still not come up with the right way to keep in touch naturally over the long-term. The result?

Will your clients hire you the next time you buy or sell your home? Are you sure?

After closing, 70% of sellers say they would “definitely” use their agent again — but only 25% of repeat buyers and sellers actually do.

We aren’t here to lecture you. Creating one client for life relationship is tricky enough, and aiming to keep in close touch with every client you’ve ever had is nearly impossible. Still, there are a few low key ways to ensure that you don’t break a bond that could end up paying off — both in business and in friendship — after you walk away from the closing table.

Below are four tactics you can employ to create more long-term, business-boosting client relationships.

1. Rank your clients

You ask for reviews and testimonials after you close, but do you ever bother to ask yourself how much YOU liked working with a client? If you want to focus on creating “clients for life,” then the first step is to wean out the clients who you have loved to work with. Not only will you be excited to keep in touch with them over the years, these people are also more likely to recommend other like-minded friends and family members to you in the future.

Consider adding a “Client Rapport” ranking to your CRM. After each closing, rank the client from 1-5. Anyone who scores at a 4 or 5 should be who you focus on as you create your “Client for Life” relationships.

2. Offer special treatment

You can continue to send the same refrigerator magnet to every person in your sphere, but think about upping the ante for the “4 and 5-ranked” contacts in your database. Consider hosting a VIP wine and cheese event for past clients who love to mix and mingle, send young families a coupon to the local Six Flags, offer up a gift certificate to your past buyer’s new favorite neighborhood restaurant on the one-year anniversary of their home purchase.

By showing you care about them, remember their interests and are willing to spend money or time on them after the sale, you’ll be reinforcing a bond that can continue to grow even as you move further and further away from their initial transaction.

3. Watch for social cues and keep in touch with personal outreach

Many (and maybe even most) clients hire you as they are on the cusp of major life changes. Whether they are prepping to expand their family, downsizing after the kids move away or simply shifting to a neighborhood that better suits their long-term needs, the reason for their move can act as the primary way you keep in touch for the first few years after the sale.

Comment on their baby announcement on Facebook (or better yet, drop by with a branded swaddle blanket or onesie after they have settled into parenthood). Call to ask how their kids are enjoying the teachers in their new school. If you see that a coffee shop has opened up in their new condo building, ask if they would like to meet up for a cup of joe, then ask how they’re settling into their new neighborhood.

As the years go by and you get to know more about them than just their reason for moving, you can settle into a more natural conversation groove. But for the first few months or years after you work with them, don’t worry about focusing on the “safest” conversation topic around — their reason for moving (and hiring you) and how that decision is working out.

4. Give them an easy way to review and refer you

Many agents are afraid to ask for referrals directly, because it can feel awkward and aggressive if not done in the right way. And while most have a way to generate testimonials or reviews, a lot of the platforms that promise to “syndicate” these reviews are clunky; they require an ironclad login and clients may feel turned off having to sign up for a site they never plan to use again. In the age of cyber security threats, not many people want to open up new accounts that require their email and other contact information.

When it comes to asking for reviews and referrals, it can be helpful for agents to ask for client feedback that:

  • Doesn’t require a login
  • Can be syndicated across the web
  • Can be used to generate a review, testimonial or one-to-one referral
  • Is sent on behalf of the agent, but doesn’t come directly from the agent’s email address

Agents who need such a service can peek at Reach150, a newly acquired client feedback and referral management system from SmartZip. Reach150 is a lowkey, no-nonsense way to automate your requests for referrals and reviews — and you can even turn your positive testimonials into marketing content to help win even more business over time. Get more details on Reach150 here.

Hear from SmartZip clients about how they use SmartTargeting and Reach150 solutions.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

CMLS 2017: Three Sides to Every Story

CMLS 2017: Three Sides to Every Story

Last month, our CEO, James Dwiggins, traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the Council of MLS Annual Conference. The event was a great place to meet MLS executives and learn about the issues that define the real estate industry. On day one of the event, James took to the stage with Rebecca Jensen, CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data, and Gregg Larson, CEO of Clareity. They had a candid discussion about the industry and how to strengthen the relationships between brokers, agents, and the MLS, so we can better serve an increasingly complex marketplace.

Check out the video below and see what these leaders in the real estate industry are discussing when it comes to the future of the MLS. Tune in to hear the concerns of our CEO regarding consolidation of MLSs, the challenges around a lack of data standardization, and much more.