SOI/ Past Client Referral System
There are 3 basic reasons why many agents fail to conquer the most important real estate system to implement – your Sphere of Influence (SOI) and Past Client Referral System.
- They never decide on a contact management or software solution.
- If they have a solution, they don’t enter the contacts, sort and categorize them.
- They over-analyze or never decide what to do or send out each month – thus, ultimately doing nothing for months on end.
So, let’s break it down step-by-step, get this critical system in place and generating business and referrals immediately. The key to implementing this system is to commit to the process and set a deadline to complete each action step, one at a time.
Action Step 1 - Create your list of past clients and sphere of influence. If you have started a list or have it scattered in 2 or 3 places (MLS client, Outlook, other email program, scraps of paper, transaction folders, etc) get it all together in one place. Make sure you have all the vital information on your contacts – names, address, emails, phone numbers, IM names or other social networking contact info. Try these two tools to help you with creating or adding to your SOI list:
Set deadline for completion: __________
Action Step 2 - Decide on a contact management /real estate transaction system. You can choose a program like Outlook to get started and always upgrade to a more comprehensive, real estate-specific program. The important thing is to choose something and just get started! When researching and deciding on the right Customer Relationship Management software for you… consider these features to compare…
- Accessibility (Mobile access, cloud-based, desktop)
- Easy of use
- Price (One time cost vs. monthly subscription)
- Import/Export capability
- Auto drip email campaigns
- Transaction management
- Listing management
- Contact/Client management
REST – Real Estate Success Tracker (www.GetRESTnow.com ) ($399 for single user license)
Highly recommended. Easy to use, more intuitive, not as complicated as many programs.
Single and multi-user options available. You install REST on your desktop/laptop but you can also remotely access from your PDA or another computer.
REST_Assured, hosted option for $34.98/mth
Top Producer, http://www/topproducer.com ($ 39.95/mth). Top Producer is a comprehensive cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and real estate transaction management system. Multiple related products integrate with the CRM module (MArket Snapshot, Websites, IDX, Connector for MLS)
Realty Juggler http://www.realtyjuggler.com ($99/yr Free 90 day trial) Cloud-based CRM, mobile access, real estate flyers, activity/task plans, print labels, letters, drip emails, track production, team support
Wise Agent http://wiseagent.com ($24.95/mth Free 30 day Trial ) Cloud-based CRM with contact manager, transaction manager, doc storage, email drip campaigns, flyers, newsletter, letters, property lists, to do lists, text and email alerts
Respond – a real estate specific application to use with Microsoft Outlook ($399) available through Pat Zaby’s website: http://www.patzaby.com/products/respond/
Other CRM solutions
Real Estate Website – Your Back Office of your real estate website solution may have a CRM component
Email newsletters and email list management options:
Research the solutions and make a decision. Set deadline for purchase, installation and familiarization/training: _____________
Action Step 3 - Input all contact information into selected program. Set aside a few hours and get this task done! If you aren’t going to get to this task any time soon - hire someone to get this job done for you. Computer-savvy people (teenagers, family members, your colleagues’ family members, agents in your office, local high school or community college students) are everywhere – find someone and hire them for this project.
Set your deadline: ________________
Action Step 4 - Sort and categorize your database. Optimally, complete this step simultaneously with the data entry of Step 3. I recommend using the technique taught by Brian Buffini (www.buffiniandcompany.com) to sort your database:
- A+ Multiple transactions or multiple referrals
- A Referred at least one client
- B Haven’t referred yet – probably will when you remind them/show them how
- C You know them/just met them – haven’t sold them a home yet
- D Delete - Not going to mail to them
You can also group your database by other specific categories or contact types (sellers, buyers, farm, past clients, newsletter, prospects, vendors, investors, short sale prospects, etc).
Action Step 5 - Create an Introduction or Reconnect letter with a deadline to mail out.
- The letter should outline what the recipient can expect from this point forward; what services you provide; your client appreciation program; local market updates; annual market analysis of their property; business-to-business resources to name some possibilities.
- If you are a New Agent, ask your broker for an endorsement letter from your Broker – company. The concept here is the SOI member knows that the agent is new and may not have a high level of confidence in their ability or experience yet. The letter reassures the potential client that not only do you get the agent but a team of professionals and support staff.
- For those of you who have not done a great job staying in regular contact with your database, write a “reconnect” letter. Here is a sample letter: Download ConfessionLetter.doc - Brian Buffini calls it a “confession” letter.
Bonus Action Step: Call the people in your database and ask this qualifying and sorting question (Mayor Campaign from Brian Buffini program):
“Oh by the way, if you were buying or selling a home or had a friend or family member who was, am I the Realtor you would refer them to?”
“Who is the next person you know who is interested in investing in real estate? …could benefit from a foreclosure alternatives consultation?
This one extra step will help you immediately sort your database and the major side benefit…you will more than likely generate business either directly or by referral from the activity of all the calls you make.
Set deadline for completion: __________
Action Step 6 - Decide on what you are going to mail or email each month. This is the step many agents get stuck on. They can’t decide on what to send or procrastinate about it or waste time creating their own newsletter or mailout. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Just pick one and do it. You can always modify and refine later.
- Referral Systems for Real Estate
- Current Market Data
- Local or State REALTOR Association
GLVAR has a Consumer Newsletter
CAR has Client Direct – online newsletter
- Most local Title Companies provide excellent market condition reports. This is the information people are most interested in – what is happening in your local market. Be the provider of that information!
- Altos Research http://www.altosresearch.com
- Market Snapshot http://www.topproducer.com/products/market-snapshot.aspx
Action Step 7 – Systemize it! This is the final step and a key to the overall success of the system. It simply means deciding on a day or week of the month that you will actually prepare and send out your monthly mailer or email. Schedule it. Place it on a visible calendar and make it happen. Hire someone to get this task complete for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.
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