Too early to think about spring? Not according to Julie Busby. Start now, and get your pipeline in order for a great 2023.

September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.

For the past decade, real estate has been on an upward trajectory, and it has not been necessary for agents to act proactively about their business — plus, there hasn’t been time! However, recently the tables have turned, the market is slowing, and it’s the perfect time to think proactively rather than reactively.

That means that it’s time to start reaching out to your sphere of influence to provide value-added information. It’s time to be an excellent resource in this evolving marketplace. 

Within Busby Group, I have enacted accountability meetings for our agents. We get together once per month to create assignments and then circle back to discuss progress and results.

We recently broke up our tasks into four simple and easy-to-remember buckets, perfect for this time of year:

  • Email outreach
  • In-person contact
  • Social media connections
  • A final holiday push

All of our strategies focus on outreach to our sphere. That’s because, for us, stronger relationships with our sphere lead to more referrals, which in turn leads to more business. Creating and reinforcing existing relationships now, while the market is slower, is the perfect way to proactively prepare for a spring market pipeline. 

Below is a list of the assignments within each of those buckets that will help us round out the year as strongly and proactively as possible.

Email outreach

Find reasons to reach out to your sphere, and keep it simple. Start by sorting your list into those who have either referred to you in the past, or bought or sold at least two years ago. Put those groups at the top of your list — they are the most likely to want to make a change.

Next, task yourself with reaching out to one client every day for the next month. Reach out with a comparable market analysis (CMA), an article on their neighborhood or information on mortgage rates going up or down.

In-person contact

For those who did not receive an email, ask to get together for coffee, dinner, drinks or a phone call — whatever works. Aim for two to three connections per week. These are fun, genuine social interactions, not solely sales-oriented. 

Social media connections

I strongly believe in choosing one social media channel and sticking with/investing in it. For us, it is LinkedIn. We have found so much success connecting with and then messaging new and existing contacts through this platform.

Regardless of which channel you choose, go through and make sure you have connected with every past client. Once that is done, start thinking about what your social media strategy for 2023 will look like, and begin planning ahead. 

Holiday push

For your final push, select your top 20 referral partners and repeat clients. For the next month, select five each week to send a gift to: Maybe it is a pie, wreath, card — anything festive that shows that you are thinking about them and investing in the relationship. 

I guarantee that if you stay accountable to your business for the next 90 days in practical, proactive terms, your spring market pipeline will start taking shape.

Julie Busby is the founder and president of Busby Group, and in the top 1 percent of Chicagoland brokers. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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