“I’m so busy” might sound like a good excuse to postpone marketing for the summer, but…
… you know what will happen if you stop. Your pipeline will empty out. Then you’ll wake up some morning in the fall and realize that you have no listings and no buyers searching for homes. You’ll be unemployed and starting over. Not fun.
I’ll agree, there are some activities that won’t fit your schedule when you have back-to-back appointments all day. For instance, you probably don’t have time to walk around your farm area knocking on doors and visiting with people. In addition, activities such as making cold calls and networking at luncheon meetings are probably not possible right now.
You CAN continue marketing via email, postal mail, and social media.
All it takes is to do a bit of planning, implement a good system, and automate your marketing.
The good part is, you can handle these things in the evening hours, when no clients are clamoring for your attention.
An even better part is that you don’t really have to do it all yourself.
Your late summer and fall business will come from three sources:
• Your sphere of influence
• Past clients
• New leads
People in your sphere and your past clients are important because they might send you referrals AND because they might turn into current clients.
Gathering new leads from outside those sources is important because past clients and those in your sphrere only have so many people they can refer to you. You’ll want some new people.
Following up with those new leads is important because if you let them forget you, they’ll turn to someone else.
Fortunately, you can stay top of mind with all of these people when you set up systems and automate your marketing.
Past clients and those in your sphere already know and love you, so they simply need to be reminded that you’re still there, willing and ready to help when they need you. At the same time, they don’t want to be bombarded with sales messages and requests for referrals.
For them, emails with messages such as the ones in my Event-themed Staying in Touch Letters are perfect. (Unless they’re sourpusses who want you to be super-serious at all times.) Check out the samples on this page to see if they fit your personality.
Automation, in the form of an autoresponder, will ensure that your messages go out on time. All you have to do is load the letters, perhaps add a graphic or two, and set the send date for each letter.
As an added touch…
If your database is set up with enough information, it’s impressive to send a birthday card or a “Happy Home Anniversary” message when appropriate. Just be careful to make those messages sincere. I don’t know about you, but when I get a pre-printed birthday or Christmas card with a pre-printed signature, I’m not impressed. It simply smacks of advertising, not good wishes. Both go straight to the trash.
Hand-written cards do feel more personal and sincere.
Your cards will be more impressive if sent in the mail, so they will take a little extra time. However, you could take one evening a month to get all the cards ready for the next month. Just put the mailing date where the stamp will go.
Automate your prospecting efforts to capture new leads.
You can begin prospecting to a farm area or to a niche market, using letters you’ve written or one of the sets I offer on my prospecting letters page.
Since these letters should go by postal mail, automate your marketing by printing all of the letters at once, signing them, and putting them in envelopes with the mailing date in the corner where the stamp will go.
Use social media to capture even more new leads. Every time you post on social media, invite your readers back to your website. Offer them something such as a free report on buying or selling or access to your market report. Do add capture boxes to your site, so visitor who access your best information will leave their names and email address.
Now automate your marketing to hold on to Internet leads
Whether your new leads come from prospecting letters, website “capture” forms, social media, or a paid lead provider, staying in touch puts you in the best position to be chosen when they’re ready to take action.
When you have email addresses, it’s once again your autoresponder to the rescue. After an initial phone call, email, text, or meeting, you’ll know if they need immediate attention or if you should simply keep providing good information in order to stay top of mind.
If you write a monthly market report, send it to everyone on your list. Even past clients and people in your sphere of influence will likely be interested in how the housing market is doing. And then, either write your own series, or use one of mine to offer good advice and simply stay in touch.
I wrote the “Nurturing Internet Buyer Leads” set in response to a request from an agent who said she had hundreds of Internet buyer leads and simply didn’t have the time to make personal contact with each of them on a regular basis.
The 18 Seller Advice Letters are for people who have indicated an interest in selling in the future. You may have captured their names and addresses via a “What is my home worth” function on your website.
What if you don’t have time to set up these systems?
I know, summer can be hectic. You have buyers and sellers who want to get moving while the kids are out of school. If you have kids of your own, you want to spend some time with them. On top of that, if you live in a wonderful place, you may have out-of-town visitors.
The answer is to hire a part-time assistant or a virtual assistant to help automate your marketing.
Young people looking for summer work (maybe your own kids) might be thrilled to take over setting up your autoresponders, creating and uploading your capture boxes, and posting on social media for you. They could also do the letter and envelope printing for your postal mailouts.
An experienced virtual assistant can do the data entry for both your own databases and MLS. If you’re getting plenty of new listings and don’t have time to think, you can hire someone like me to write those property descriptions.
Either assistant could go through your database to find those birthdays and anniversaries, and your part-time “in person” helper could even address the envelopes for you.
Your assistant can also handle sending “Just Listed,” “Under Contract,” and “Just Closed” mailings. Even if you weren’t the agent involved, you can use those events to generate more business. See how here.
What if your marketing works so well that you don’t have time to follow up or to serve all those new clients.
Get that summer assistant going on things that don’t require your individual attention. Putting up signs, filling flyer boxes, washing your car, and even doing personal errands such as stopping at the dry cleaners, are all tasks that can be delegated.
The bottom line: Keep marketing. You (and your bank account) will be much happier come fall and winter.
Time for marketing & virtual assistant Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Success image courtesy of cooldesign @ freedigitalphotos.net