Does this sound familiar: You get a lead through a paid service, a guest at an open house (when they were allowed) or a visitor to your website. You give them a call or send them an email to establish a connection, but when you reach out, your calls went unreturned or the lead told you they were just browsing and weren’t actually ready to buy or sell right now. Now comes the tricky part. Do you continue reaching out to them even though they’re not ready to make a move or do you forget about them and focus instead on someone who is ready now?
According to these REALTORS®, creating connections and cultivating relationships with leads is just as important as working with a client who is ready now. In the case of these REALTORS®, they nurtured those relationships, and that resulted in sales down the road.
A $100 Contest and a Million Dollar Sale
After a couple years as a REALTOR®, I wanted to reach out to my neighbors with a newsletter to be their real estate consultant and offer information on the Alhambra housing market, events in Alhambra, and a contest to engage neighbors. After I started SUZ’S NEWS, I skipped a month, so the following month the contest doubled to $100.
A sweet elderly couple won, so my son and I went to their home to deliver the winnings. They invited me in and said their son warned them about REALTORS® and claimed I was going to get them to sell their home. I told them I just wanted to meet them and to be a resource should they have any questions.
A year later, the husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he wanted to get his properties prepared for his family. I worked with a trusted title rep to put everything together for him and his family. A few months later, his wife called to see if I could help get one of her vacant units ready and find a tenant.
Within a year of the husband’s passing, the wife also passed. The leery son called me, thanked me for not taking advantage of his elderly parents and said his parents left instructions for them to have me sell their properties; two duplexes, one triplex, one eight-unit property and the family home.
– Suzi Dunkel Soto, REALTOR®, Keller Williams
Kindness Goes a Long Way
I had a referral from someone whose mother was on extended care. The house was vacant and located in Orange County; but the trustee lived in Maryland. Since the house was vacant, we offered to keep an eye on it for her and we sent our assistant over once a week for a quick property check.
After a few years, the owner passed away, but the home had a lien while the trustee and her brother were in litigation.
For approximately six years we helped the trustee with myriad of issues from flooding to rats to pool service problems, and everything in between. Although we didn’t handle the problems ourselves, we did serve as a resource and help the trustee find vendors.
The litigation finally ended, and the lien was released. The listing agreement was just signed – nearly eight years after I received the referral. Sometimes just being helpful and kind to someone who needs it goes a long way.
– Cristal Drake, Team Leader, Drake Real Estate Team
From One Birthday Card to Nine Referrals
I have been in the business for about 15 years and never thought that I would have much success because I tend to be more introverted. My initial training was with Keller Williams and my biggest takeaway was to just keep “touching” anyone and everyone that you know on a regular basis.
Since I am not a huge social media participant, and I hate to call people, I had to rely on who I already knew. Over the years, I had acquired a Christmas card mailing list, so I wrote a letter to everyone on the list – former classmates, co-workers from previous jobs, people I met on vacations, etc. My letter explained they could help me succeed in my new career by providing referrals.
One client who I met in my first year of business is the father of someone I previously worked with. Although I haven’t had a transaction with him directly, he has referred four of his employees, three of his children, and two of his in-laws. And, of course, I now get their referrals too.
I think it was all because I’ve sent him a birthday card each year since I first met him, which was only for one hour. Of course, his whole family continues to get birthday cards from me and little special treats every now and then. Maybe someday I will even get to sell his home!
– Michelle Fry, REALTOR®, Fry Home Team