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Innovator of Online Real Estate Ideas. What's Cool, What's New, What Works & What Doesn't. Real Estate Effeciencies & The Inefficient Traditional Dinosaur.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back to Basics in 2008

Back to basics....
2008 has come full circle to taking the time to build personal relationships with our leads, customers, past clients and new contacts we make. We have had the luxury of the information highway in all our clients hands and all we had to do was wait for them to call us for help. We still have the information highway, but reaching out and building relationships once again is the key to our success in 2008.

I strongly urge you to regularly contact all past clients and simply tell them what your doing and you are there for them. Surprisingly as it seems, they will not refer friends and family if you do not ask them to do so. In fact in most cases they will over look us also if we are not asking for their new business and referrals. Just letting them know your still alive and well is good, and letting them know of your new services is better, and letting them know how they or their friends would benefit greatly from one of your services right now or the near future is the very best.

Past clients are by far the very best source of new business. If you are not contacting them on a regular basis, you are missing the very best opportunity. Do not settle for an email to them once a month, which is good and better than nothing. Email, mail a card or note, call and even drop over every once in a while. And when you do, make sure to spend at least 50% of any conversation listening to them and their needs. This will allow you to know how you can help them the very most, and they will know you care if they know you are listening. You have 2 ears and only one 1/3 of the time and listen the rest.

Leads in our data bases need to be reached out to in the same way. The days are gone where we can expect them to receive our daily emails, drive by all homes and then call us when they find the "one".

Nope. They need personal information about neighborhoods, mortgage programs, schools, home values, and through building these relationships they will be encouraged and have the confidence to buy. It used to be that a buyer had 20 minutes to decide on buying a home or not. They were not concerned if it was a good investment or schools or anything. Only if they were the highest bidder or not.

2008 we need to be a whole lot more. Buyers are afraid, uncertain, misinformed and have no direction or confidence in buying a home. They don't even know what mortgage options are available in many cases, and may not even ask. So reach out and listen and respond to the buyers needs that are in your pipeline of leads. Do not just wait and do nothing, as I can tell you how that will go for you.

FSBO's are Sellers and Buyers and need a mortgage. 70% of all FSBO's list with an agent that ask for their business. If nothing else, they may need other assistance if they find a buyer, like escrowing, contracts, mortgage needs. I would walk up and meet in person as many FSBO's as you can. It will open doors and if will open our minds to opportunities otherwise missed. Make 2008 the year to personally meet and talk to 6 FSBO's a week. After all, they are easy to find, they are selling a home, and they are eager to hear what you have to offer, and if of benefit to business. What could be easier? I know, I know....doing nothing is much easier:)

Your Sphere of Influence is every one you know or have known. It also can grow by introducing yourself to every one you meet during a day. The cashier, the hair stylist, the UPS man, the Teller, every one. Why not carry a card and hand it to...every one. Better yet, why not make a tri fold card as a mini brochure of your services, and hand it to every one new you meet. If I told you your immediate sphere of influence had 200 people in it, you may not think so. But sit and list every one you know and their spouses and workmates, old schoolmates, friends and family members, and their friends and family members you know. Social groups, church groups, business acquaintances, clubs, kids school, PTA, etc. Do they all know what you do and how they could benefit from knowing? They should! Your sphere of influence needs to know. How many times has someone in your sphere of influence bought a home or refinanced, and said to you.."I didn't know you were in the business"! How simple is that.

I was at the grocery check out when I got a real estate call. The cashier then asked me if I was in real estate and asked for my card, as she was looking to buy. She asked me! What a wake up cal that was. Back to basics and handing my card to every one I meet will put new business on my table for 2008. How about you? If they know, they are more apt to ask you. If you ask them for their business, you will get it every time. Your personal sphere of influence is huge. Put it to work for you.

That's it for now. Let me know if any of this is useful, or better yet let me know if you try any of my suggestions and they work for you. I will pass it on to the rest.

Be safe.....
Jeffrey Bastress