90% of leads are closed between the 2nd and 12th contact and staying in touch has become critical to realtor’s success. Social media and other digital tools have made it easier to do this. You can now get in front of the buyers quickly and stay there all the time.
On the other hand, buyers are struggling to distinguish you from your competitors. There are few who stand out and they are not just relying on the easy channels like emails and social media. They are making it personal and are learning to add human touch by using digital tools starting from the first contact with the buyer to long after closing the sale. Here is how you can do it too.
Before You Meet Them
When interested buyers first fill out your contact form and get in touch with you, call them instead of emailing them.
Even better, use the digital tools to create a personal touch. Use tools like BombBomb to introduce yourself with video emails and messages. You can then see who’s opening your emails, clicking your links, watching your videos, and much more.
You can also use Skype to show homes whether buyers are in the same city or in another country. In fact, Justin Levitch who is the vice president of RealLiving at Home wrote about different uses of Skype in Inman news:
“The first few that come to mind are: increased buyers from overseas, decreased inventory forcing buyers to be more aggressive, and the abundance of affordable technology to bring the buyer an experience that is similar to visiting the property in person.”
This helps both the buyers and the agents. While decreased inventory may not be a problem in this market, you can also use Skype to establish a human touch with your interested buyers. You can use it to build trust.
For example, most first time buyers have the same questions. Set up a skype call instead of discussing this over the phone to educate about what they need (paperwork, cash), when they need to be present on location after making the offer, etc.
Use this opportunity to answer all their questions face-to-face on skype. Walk them through all the things they will need as they move forward. Instead of waiting to get a meeting, make them feel comfortable by making that face-to-face contact first.
Once your buyer has agreed to meet you, Linda Coles (author of Start with Hello and a LinkedIn Influencer) suggests sending them a personalized calendar invite to confirm your meeting. This can be in the form of an email, gmail or outlook calendar invite.
Connect Others And Build A Community
Most referrals happen due to word of mouth marketing and rather than asking people to recommend it, facilitate it yourself. Making it happen.
Use Google Hangouts to get your most recent clients to answer questions for your interested buyers. Instead of a formal webinar, make it easy to have a natural conversation with hangouts.
Invite buyers that are similar to your clients so they can ask relevant questions and get their questions answered. You can do this when the customer first comes in contact with you or at times when the buyer has stalled or is not responding to your emails. Send them an invite to the Q&A with your client with a quick explanation of how it would help them. Make sure you are facilitating the call as the host and building a community around you.
You can then use Wistia, to host this on your site for others to learn from creating another way to interact with interested buyers. Unlike Youtube, Wistia lets you play multiple videos in the same player, transcript for videos (good for seo) and let’s you put in call-to-action.
While Closing The Sale
One realtor even uses Skype to establish human touch when closing the sale:
In another example of how we use Skype, for many transactions where we don’t have buyers and sellers sitting at the same closing table, we also use Skype to have them participate in each others’ closing and this way, they can thank each other “in person”.
and while you have them on skype you can use tools like Docusign to send them documents that need to be signed. Best of all, with Docusign, you can keep track of the all the e-signatures you are still waiting on.
Even if you don’t make the sale, send them a card wishing them luck with their chosen agent. If you know the agent and have professional relationship with him/her, let the buyer know that they made a good choice by selecting them.
Make Asking For Referrals Personal.
40% of buyers rely on referrals from a friend, neighbor or relative to find an agent.
So, don’t be shy about asking past customers for referrals but just saying “if you know someone, please refer them to me” or some version of that will not get you very far.
Instead, ask them to write a testimonial for you. Then send them a handwritten thank you note. Along with a note, send them 3-5 referral cards (post card).
On these referral cards include their testimonial, you contact details and a link to a relevant guide that would useful to interested buyers.
For example, if your client is a young professional and a first time buyer, chances are they know other’s who like them might be first time buyers as well. So, put a link to the guides that answers all the first time buyer questions. Use bit.ly to create a short url so you can track how many people clicked on it.
Check out 6 clever ways to nurture leads with handwritten notes for more ideas.
Stay In Touch
74% of clients will give you a referral if you stay in touch (NAR 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers) and half of all first-time buyers rely on word of mouth referrals.
That makes sense. We know word of mouth is important but we are often not sure how to get it going. One of the best ways to start word of mouth is to stay in touch with your customers long after they have made the purchase. Here are a some of the best ideas on how to stay in touch from Melissa (contributing editor of Realtor’s Magazine):
- Use a postcards to send them reminders about home maintenance, daylight savings and other date reminders. (Use services like Maillift to send it automatically to your past customers.)
- First year after their purchase, send them tax forms with a handwritten letter.
- Connect with them on facebook so you can genuinely develop relationships with your past customers.
- Now that you have connected with them on facebook, this will keep you updated about important events in their lives. Send them cards and gifts on those important occasions like birthday’s, their children’s birthdays, their anniversaries. Get creative.
- Most people usually send holiday cards, but instead stand out by sending them cards like Happy Spring or Happy Home Anniversary.
Digital tools and social media channels are good ways to stay in front to your buyers and build awareness. But, if you want to take it to the next level, next time use these digital tools to create a human touch. Make it personal.
Handwritten notes are the best way to stay in touch and get in front of interested buyers. Set up your Maillift account in seconds and start sending letters to your buyers right away.