For many real estate agents, we find that the term ‘long-term’ nurture is more of a reason not to call someone than it is to call someone. For example, if a prospect isn’t ready to sell today, we tend to put them into a long-term nurture paddock and what that usually looks like is a regular email and a quarterly CMA, which more often than not is either not done or not done in a way that is personal to the customer.
Here is the thing. The goal of a long term nurture isn’t to get people to sell their homes. The idea is to talk to them, about them and to do it regularly. Why would we want to do that? To establish a relationship. Why is that important? Because, eventually, that person will have a request for service from a real estate agent. And if you already have the relationship, you probably already have the business.
Moreover, those people live in the community where you sell. They interact socially with many other property owners and people like them. You can only expect to be referred when you have earned that privilege via a long-term relationship.
Remember the property owner community where you sell real estate are the ones who decide the number one agent is – through the power of their choosing an agent. They also have the power to fire everyone in your organisation from the CEO down.
Every day you have the opportunity to connect to property owners and to deepen the relationships that will cause you to have listings in the future. Through this long-term nurture strategy, Rita has identified the best people for you to connect with today, all you have to do is contact them.
It doesn’t matter if you call, text or email them – so long as the information is personalised. So, before you make a call – think about what that person might need from you. Most homeowners are curious to see where the market would place their property, so you could offer them a desktop appraisal.
But you can’t just ask that all the time, can you? Because a rigid conversation plan or script over and over is not really sufficient. The goal is to stay in front of your customers in a way that creates value, not interruptions.
“Hi, it's Sarah from Delta Real Estate. I drove past your place on Smith Street and it made me remember when you guys moved in. I was curious about how you all are going? … Would you be curious to know what the property might be worth today?”
“Hi, it’s Sarah from Delta real estate. I’ve grabbed your file out as I’m hoping to get to know some property owners in the area and see if I can help in any way. Are you still at 12 Smith Street? If you don’t mind me asking, when did you buy that property? 7 years wow. Things have changed a little bit around here since then, in fact, I’ve just finished a suburb report which had some fascinating insights – I might pop in your letterbox over the next few days then if it is alright, and I’ll just give you a ring every now and then when something changes the game in the local market. Before I go, is there anything else I can do for you while I have you on the phone?”
“Hi, it's Sarah from Delta real estate. We spoke a couple of months ago and I’m really just checking in to make sure you are up to date on the local market. The news has got some people worried and I probably want to just be a voice of reassurance for local homeowners…What we are seeing, is that it takes a bit longer for buyers to get finance these days but we work with them and although it takes a bit more time, it hasn’t really affected demand. People still want good homes in good areas. ”
There are times when you have nothing to “say”. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t connect in a way that is personal. Here is what you are going to do. Head to your favourite property news site – try the portals, try the Newscorp, or if your agency had a good blog go there. You can see I found this article for Brisbane’s North Side this week:
So instead of calling, I'm going to click the email button. There is a pretty standard email template and I’m just going to add this text: “I saw this article showing Brisbane’s Northside is hitting goals and I thought of you guys. Hope you are still enjoying Bevan Street, let me know if I can help with anything: https://www.domain.com.au/news/brisbanes-most-affordable-houses-are-all-on-the-north-side-new-research-says-790029/
See, by sending a personal email 2 things are going to happen. 1. They are actually going to get it because it isn’t trapped in their junk email and; 2. Forget about email newsletter open rates – this is a personal connection – they might even write back!
A few times a year there is likely to be something going on in the neighbourhood, in the office or in the calendar that could prompt a conversation. One example could be if your office sponsors a local sports team. If they have an important game, you could simply invite your client down to the game. If you have a charity that you support, perhaps they are having a Christmas fundraiser, you could call your owners and simply let them know that you are helping out the charity by letting all your clients know about their work and the opportunity that exists for them to get involved – no pressure. If it is tax time, you might want to call and see if a market appraisal of their property would be helpful for when they go to see their accountant. Be creative, be relevant, be human, be helpful.
Remember with long term nurturing, the goal is to make friends and to stay in touch so after a few calls, none of this should feel uncomfortable. If you haven’t been in touch with the property owners in the database for a while, just remember – people who own property do want your service. Their mortgages normally represent extra hours they worked, holidays they didn’t take or kid’s soccer games they had to miss. They want to know that all of that was worthwhile and you can help them enjoy homeownership by keeping them up to date with a regular temperature of the local market.