Are you marketing to your referral base 100%?

How do you invest your most valuable asset—time?  What’s the ROI?

Cost-cutting is a mindset for bootstrapping REALTORS®. Gone is the day of diversifying advertising with no analytics. Re-thinking your real estate marketing strategy means eliminating expensive traditional practices (i.e. direct mail) that give you a 2 percent response rate.

Make no mistake, REALTORS® are entrepreneurs. To make a net income in real estate, your marketing costs must be under 7 percent.  As a self-employed salesperson, your livelihood depends upon your ability to close a deal.

Having a startup mentality means identifying the right people and working to earn their trust and permission. “Earn the right to send them a newsletter or a regular update or a subscription to your blog. NOT talk about what matters to you, but to give them information (real information, not just data) that matters to them,” says Seth Godin, bestselling author of “Permission Marketing.”

The upside: Permission is priceless.

“The experienced professionals get most of their business from people who have done business with them already,” says Patricia Kennedy, author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate.

“Because the lender or agent did a superb job, every time the client hears the word ‘move’ or ‘real estate,’ they think of their professionals like you think of Kleenex when you’re about to sneeze.”

Who’s who

Your contact base can be divided into three groups:

  1. A-list
    Clients who have given you a referral at some point in your relationship.
  2. B-list
    Clients who have done business with you but haven’t referred you.
  3. C-list
    Contacts who haven’t done any business with you yet.

Every prospect counts, but not all clients are equal.  By rewarding loyalty, an agent can earn more referrals. Get off the D-list!  Don’t waste your time blogging on the World Wide Web when your sphere of influence promises a better rate on return.

Rewards Points

When it comes to the A-list, communications can’t be automated. Leverage your personal relationship to provide buzzworthy information.  This communication, however, must be anticipated and relevant. Give them a selfish-reason to respond. For example, share any exclusive deals or special offers with your top tier clientele (e.g. tickets to sporting events, concerts and amusement parks; reservations at a new restaurant, discounted hotel stays and deals on family vacation packages). Think creatively.

Bottom line: word of mouth puts you in demand.

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