Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Real Estate CMS, do you have one?

Do you have a contact management system in place? How do you keep track of your past clients, your sphere of influence, or your disciples? Sure, there are many pet names out there to call our core group of people. Remember, this group of people is arguably the most important for a real estate agent to continually interact with and grow to ensure a successful and balanced career in real estate.

Obviously, it is not the name you give these folks that is important and surprisingly, it is not the system you use for follow-up that is important. No, the important part is to at least have a system in place. There are all kinds of fancy management systems out there, from the real estate specific Top Producer to the good ol’ pen and paper. Too often, we as agents get caught up in finding the latest and greatest tools out there. We spend hours or days researching, often times it is quite simply procrastination on our part.

Remember, the goal here is to know your peeps and communicate with them on a consistent basis. How you communicate with them is obviously entirely up to you. Some of us throw parties, some of us send emails or printed newsletters. Of course, we can’t forget the recipe cards and calendar magnets as well. Whatever it is you do, find something you are comfortable with doing and ensure you follow through on it, consistently.

Having a central location to store your names and information is critical for the consistency piece of the puzzle. If you have to go to 100 different places or even 20 different places to find email addresses or physical addresses, you will find ways to convince yourself you don’t have the time.

In summary, whether your life is stored completely in the cloud or in a notebook, make sure you have accurate information for all your past clients, friends, family, and sphere of influence. Once you have that information written down and stored in a central location, ensure you have a plan to interact with them on a consistent basis. Remember, the easier you make it on yourself, the greater the chances the list will remain accurate and will grow with you as your real estate business grows.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Improve on Your Past Client Follow-up

I think most of us have had that sleepless night or point of stress where you think to yourself, am I doing enough to keep in touch with my past clients? You may be thinking, "Man, it's been two years, I really need to stop-by Jim's house", or "I wish I could remember to drive by and see them". At some point, if your career is about helping folks buy and sell homes, you've thought about ways to keep in touch with your past clients.

Here's an idea that has worked great for me. Print out a list with all the addresses of the homes you have sold. Leave this list in your car, or, if you're really OCD, plug them into your GPS so the little flag thing will show up on your map as you are tooling around town. You will be amazed at how often your business or personal life takes you within a few miles of a past client. From there, it's simple, stop the car and say hello. Now, your brain will give you 15 reasons to not stop the car. You'll hear voices, "I need a bottle of wine, a pizza, or something to give them." The truth is you do not need any of that. Do you know what you will be bringing these people, your past clients? A sincere hello. Let's face it, that is what most of us in this world want. Just someone to notice us and say hi.

Let's practice, "Hey there Jim, I was just in the area and wanted to stop by and say hello." That's it. Simple and sincere. And the best part about it? They'll know you are being sincere, because you won't be lying. You can really say, I was just in the area and couldn't leave without stopping by quickly to say hello and check on the family.

Give it a shot! Better yet commit to it and email your results to me over the next month. My guess is you will be surprised at how many past clients you can visit within your daily routine. Just remember to actually stop the car. By the third or fourth one it will be like an old habit.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Happy New New Year!!  We hope the holiday season provided a chance to relax with family and friends.  Perhaps it also provided an opportunity to reflect on last year's business.  Many of us start off the New Year with a laundry list of great intentions.  This is certainly a tremendous way to the start new year, but often times the game of life and all of our good ol' habits have us back to our 2010 routine within a month.  If you truly want to see a change, whether it is minor or major, you have to first work on changing the habit.  It can be something small like a different route to a place you go routinely, or a new smart phone to learn, or waking up 20 minutes earlier then you did in 2010.  Whatever you chose, give it three weeks of conscience thought and you'll be amazed how it slips to an almost unconscious habit.  Remember that saying and doing are two totally different action steps. Small, obtainable pattern changes provide the ground work for accomplishing the bigger goal.

Sort of like on my favorite riddles, which I'm sure you've all heard.  "How Do You Eat an Elephant?  One Bite at a Time!".

The video below spells out 4 quick points on what it takes to build your real estate sales and expand your reach.  Give it a quick look, it may help you build your goals for 2011.  Most importantly, good luck! We hope it is a goal accomplishing, personally rewarding year  for each and every one of you.