Intuitively, we all know when we’re off the radar, we’re not on our clients’ minds. At the same time, every real estate agent knows that referrals and returning clients are some of their strongest sources of business. So, how do you stay connected? How do you stay on their radar?
I will begin with a well-known marketing principle – the Law of 7 Touches. Under this theory of thought, it takes seven meaningful touches to make a lasting impression on someone. In today’s marketplace of over access to everything, we may, in fact, need more than seven touches. Look at Twitter – it is a constant stream of updating statuses. One tweet is irrelevant 10 minutes – or in some cases one minute – later. The world – and your prospect – has moved on to the next latest blurb. In this overly saturated world, the marketing world has accepted that this number is somewhere around 12.
So what differentiates between a meaningful touch and a normal, entirely unremarkable touch? Running through a networking event and talking at everyone for a moment is not sufficient. You need to make a lasting positive impression at least 12 times to remain relevant in the eyes of your prospective client or prospective referral source.
- Here are some easy and meaningful ways to reach out to your network:
- Host a seminar and invite contacts to attend.
- Call up your former clients and check in with them; see how they’re doing.
- Attend a local networking event and make a point to listen to others.
- Attend a networking event in the industry you serve – ask attendees questions about their needs, their concerns, etc.
- Schedule lunch with an old referral contact and catch up.
- If you see some information on a topic of interest to a client or colleague, forward it on.
A Simple Solution – Newsletters
One of the easiest, and most overlooked, tools in your arsenal is creating and distributing a monthly newsletter. This is an easy way for you to reach out to your entire network at the same time and to keep your name in their mind.
Firstly, when I say newsletter, I mean an electronic newsletter. Like all contact in today’s age, newsletters have gone digital. This is an obvious solution for several reasons:
- No Print Costs – Since this is a digital only product, you can send it out to a never-ending list of contacts (just make sure they opt-in). There is no cost associated with the digital format
- It Establishes a Dialogue – When someone receives something in print, they need to take a few extra steps to contact the advertiser. With the Internet, consumers are able to respond instantaneously to digital communications. Most email marketing companies make it easy to provide links to email and social media. The easier you make it for a contact to share information, the more likely they will share it.
- It’s Easy to Track – With email marketing companies like Constant Contact and Vertical Response, they will make tracking your effectiveness simple. They know who opened your email, who opted out, who clicked through. It’s an easy way for you to find out if the newsletter is working.
- Keeping Them Informed – With a newsletter, you can include information about other marketing highlights you want to share. Did someone just get an award? Do you have an upcoming event? Did someone new join the firm? Consider doing a profile on a different agent each month. It’s another way for your contacts to feel more connected to the firm.
- Keep in Touch – Use the newsletter to keep in touch with former clients. It will reinforce the positive impression you had on them and ensure that you are top of mind if a new issue arises. The more people you have on the list, the further your reach. There is a direct correlation between the size of your contact database and the size of your bank account. Make sure that you have a system in place to capture all contacts – prospects, clients, referrals, leads, etc.
By sharing pertinent information with your network of contacts, you will ensure that you are at the top of their mind. The more valuable and relevant you make the information, the more positively they will think of you. By giving them information that is relevant to their needs, then they will see you as a constant asset to them. It is a long road of small interactions, but by focusing on creating a solid relationship with your network you will benefit in the end.
There are a growing number of skeptics in the marketing world, who question the effectiveness of email marketing. Whenever someone comes to me and tells me they’ve issued newsletters, but pigeon-holed them as ineffective, I know they’re doing something wrong. Here are some cardinal mistakes that you need to avoid: (1) not sending the newsletter frequently enough – an annual newsletter isn’t enough; (2) your newsletter is too long – people are busy, get to the point; (3) not checking the effectiveness of the newsletter; and (4) the worst sin of all, running promotional, uninformative content.
The benefits are obvious and the risks nearly non-existent. I highly recommend you start your monthly e-newsletter campaign as soon as possible.