This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.
One of the most basic strategies for real estate success is often one of the most overlooked. Staying in touch with your sphere of influence is the foundation of building and maintaining your business.
When top agents no longer “have to” prospect (but the wise ones still do), it’s because they have mastered the art of staying top-of-mind with the people who already know them, trust them and would do business with them.
Who or what is it?
Your sphere of influence is the people who know you. It is sometimes called your database or contact relationship management (CRM): your friends, family, past classmates, past employers, neighborhood and current and past clients.
Why do you need a sphere?
Once I had a conversation with a group of top agents during which I asked them what was one of the most powerful things they attributed to their success. Without hesitation, most of them said, “staying in touch with past clients.” Then I asked how many people were in their sphere, and I will never forget Annette Mina saying, “997.”
No blinking, no thinking, no checking some database. Annette knew because she knows that her book of business is her business. She knew because that is how many people she markets to every month consistently. That’s just one of the reasons she’s in the top half percent of agents nationwide.
How do you reconnect with your sphere?
Break down your book of business into reasonable numbers per week to connect with every past client at least two times per year. So, if you have 100 people in your sphere, and you contact them twice a year, the breakdown is somewhere in the neighborhood of four calls per week. How easy is that?
Here are five dialogue prompts and scripts that will help you with how to reach out to your database.
Prompt 1: Going through your database
Intro: Hey, George. I was just checking up on you. I was going through my database today and your name popped up, and I had to call and see how everything was going. How are the kids? How’s business? What’s new? (Let the conversation unfold naturally.)
Closing: Awesome catching up with you. Know that I am here if you ever have any questions or if there’s something I can do to help you. Thank you for being a fantastic client.
Prompt 2: Changing market
Intro: Hey Mary, I just wanted to call and check in on you, see how you and your family are doing, and ask if you need anything. With so many changes in the market, I’m fielding a lot of questions from clients and wanted to let you know you can call me anytime if you ever have a question.
Closing: You know, one thing I always recommend is that every homeowner have an updated market analysis every year. Your home is such a significant investment, and it pays to know what it’s worth. I can help with that. Sound good?
Prompt 3: Gift to give
Intro: Hey, John. I just wanted to call and say thank you. It’s no small thing to trust someone with your business — I get that and appreciate it. I wanted to see if you might be home sometime this week so that I can pop by and drop off a small gift for you all. What day works?
Ideas for spring client gifts
- Seeds of Success Put seed packets in a small flowerpot and tie them with a ribbon. Add a note that says, “The seeds of relationships grow when trust is cultivated and cared for. Thank you for trusting me with your real estate needs.”
- Blooming Purchase bouquets of cut flowers or small pots of live flowers and attach a note, “Business is BLOOMING, and I wanted to thank you for your part in my journey.”
- Thank you for your THYME. Get five potted thyme plants and add a note that says, “Thank you for your THYME and always being a valued customer.”
Prompt 4: Special occasions
Intro: Hey, Sarah. I just wanted to call and say happy birthday and wish you a phenomenal year ahead. I hope it’s filled with joy, adventure, and peace. We all could sure use a little more of all three, right? Anything I can do for you? Just let me know.
Intro: Hey, Gale. I wanted to call and say happy house anniversary. Can you believe it’s been __ years since you purchased your home at (address)? How’s everything going there? Have you made any improvements? How do you like the neighborhood?
Closing: You know one of the things I do for clients is to offer a free annual market analysis if you’re interested. That will help you understand what your home is worth in this crazy-changing market. Would you like me to work that up for you?
Prompt 5: Challenging times
Hey, Danielle. I just wanted to call and reach out during these challenging times. It seems some days like the whole world is a little off-kilter, right? So, I just wanted to check in and see what I could do for you, your family, your business — anything, really, I feel it’s crucial to connect with those who matter, and you certainly do. Is there anything I can do for you?
It’s all about intent
One of the most important things to remember when calling past clients is your intent. Are you picking up the phone thinking, “I need to get someone to list their home with me”? I hate to break it to you, but your clients can tell.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, people have a natural “inauthenticity” radar. Don’t call “to get business.” Call to connect, build relationships, call with genuine interest and be genuinely present in the conversation. People will know when an agent is “in it for the transaction” and not the person.
When you come from a place of service versus sales, with a focus on putting your clients’ needs first and foremost, it really is extraordinary what you can accomplish. You will get more business and more sales, but more than that, you’ll also be memorable for your kindness and thoughtfulness.
Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at his website or connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.