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Improving Client Loyalty

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Scott’s Thoughts: Client Loyalty
Can you improve client loyalty?
loyalty

“I’ll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty.” –Samuel Goldwyn, film producer

Are your clients loyal to you?

With Oakley Signs & Graphics, I find that a large percentage of our customers are highly loyal, and I prize that loyalty greatly.

But it’s harder to say in real estate transactions. After all, how do you measure loyalty when the average repeat transaction may be once every 5 to 7 years (or longer)?

Well, what about referrals? Aren’t they a sign of loyalty? It seems natural to assume so. But one of the tricky things about referrals in real estate is this: You never know how many referrals you didn’t receive.

Think about it: If someone doesn’t send you referrals, you might assume that they simply haven’t had the opportunity. But what if you’re wrong? What if, the last time they were asked, they said, “Well, I used an agent last year, but I don’t know if I’d recommend him.”

Your mind immediately begins to race: Why? What went wrong? I thought things went smoothly? I assumed the client was happy.

That assumption is the costly one. Sometimes you may overlook or trivialize an aspect of your relationship with the client that was actually a deciding factor in that client’s willingness to work with you again or refer others.

There is some good news here, though: TARP, a research firm that specializes in customer satisfaction, found that in some cases a customer who had a complaint resolved successfully was more loyal than a customer that never had a problem.

Consider: How many times have you recommended a company to someone because when something went wrong, “they took care of me”? We expect things to go right, but we really value it when we know the company has a reputation for taking care of people.

Here’s the take-away: There’s a good chance that if you discover and discuss any problems a client may have had with you during a transaction that they have a higher likelihood of referring business your way.

The key is to have the right conversation. In order to make sure there’s no “quiet disappointment” lurking, you might need to probe a little to get an honest response.

Try contacting your client within a week or two of the transaction and communicate the following:

  • As far as you could tell, the transaction went well, but in the in the interest of self-improvement and client satisfaction you want to ask them some questions
  • Ask them to reflect on any aspect, no matter how small, that could have improved the experience as far as your service/professionalism was concerned.
  • Stress that their honesty is important to you; if there’s any reason they wouldn’t recommend you to someone, you’d rather know now than wonder later.
  • Listen.
  • Regardless of how you view their comments, do not judge their perceptions or go on the defensive; if you made mistakes, simply admit them. In any case, thank them for their honesty.

Yes, it may be hard for clients to be honest with you. No, you may not be able to resolve every issue that clients will air over time. But you will have made an extraordinary effort. Just imagine: If it generates even one more referral or deal per year, isn’t an effort to cultivate client loyalty worth your time?

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In the market for signs soon?  We’d love to earn your business!

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prospects

Driving with Clients

January 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Q&A: Ride Together or Take Separate Cars
The pros and cons of being the taxi…
Q: Should I drive with my clients to properties, or have them meet me?

car keys

A: It’s possible that your office has an official policy on this, so you should check first. However, if it’s up to you, you should take into account these seven questions:

1. Are you prepared to be responsible in case of an accident?
Your insurance company would probably prefer you not drive clients yourself. In the event you’re in an accident, are you sure you have sufficient coverage? It’s a good idea to call your insurer and find out what your policy covers.

2. Does the client want to bring a child along?
Most agents don’t carry a spare car seat for this possibility, and making sure a client’s car seat is properly secured in your vehicle can be a risky proposition.

3. Would it save time to take two cars?
Sometimes you may be showing properties in rural areas or a long drive from your office. Would it be quicker for the client to follow you to the property, so they can take a more direct route home? Remember, your client’s time is valuable, too.

4. Do you have business you’d like to discuss with your client?
In some cases, riding along with a client can be a great time to bond with clients. Since great agents are great listeners, a little time in the car can be a great excuse to learn a bit more about your client on both a personal and professional level. Some agents find time in the car to be some of the most valuable time they spend with clients. You’ll see first-hand the look on their face as they approach properties and drive through neighborhoods. You’ll glean good information about price range and neighborhood preferences.

5. Do you feel safe with your client?
Always, always remember to consider your own safety when it comes to traveling with someone alone. This not only applies to driving with someone alone, but meeting them at an empty house.

6. Are they locals, or are they from out of town?
If your client is familiar with the area, having them meet you can be a convenient option. If they’re not familiar with the area, it might be a better idea to have them meet at an easy-to-find location and follow you from there.

7. Is your car clean? Is theirs?
Don’t laugh! The last thing you want is a client landing in a pile of old soda cups and cold french fries. The same goes for pet hair and clutter. If you’re going to treat your car as a place for informal meetings, you should be sure it conveys a professional message.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you… just be sure it’s an informed decision.

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In the market for signs soon?  We’d love to earn your business!

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prospects

Why Buyers Hate a House

January 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

For Your Prospects: Why Buyers Hate a House
10 Things to Look For
house

Since we know educating sellers is a great way to continue to build rapport (and hopefully land a listing), you might find the following template email and link to the article “Top 10 Ways to Make Home Buyers Hate Your House” as a useful way to continue the conversation with a prospect.

Feel free to copy, modify, or tailor this email template to meet your needs:

Dear [CLIENT FIRST NAME],

Part of my job as an agent is making sure your home is primed to attract buyers. As you start to think about your home as an asset you’re preparing for sale, you might find the following article informative:

Top 10 Ways to Make Home Buyers Hate Your House
http://homebuying.about.com/od/howtosellahome/a/buyer_peeves.htm

Please don’t take the title personally. I’m not suggesting your house has the problems listed here, but it will help you objectively evaluate your property by providing a checklist of reasons buyers might not give a listing a fair chance.

I certainly want to give you every possible edge and look forward to talking with you soon.

[YOUR SIGNATURE]

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prospects

Listening is Key to Winning Clients

January 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Power of Listening
The greatest compliment is attention…
listening ear

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” –Henry David Thoreau, writer and naturalist

Want the key to impressing prospects and clients?

Listening.

It’s 50 percent of communication (maybe even more), and yet so few people seem to have the ability to do it well. Meetings are supposed to be productive sessions in which people speak, listen, and discover solutions together. But haven’t we all been to meetings that seem like a room full of people giving monologues? Everyone talking, no one listening.

If you want to truly impress your client, take a tip from Thoreau: The biggest compliment you can give is evidence that you’ve been listening attentively to their needs, fears, and dreams. Every conversation with your client is an opportunity to discover more. Questions are vital components of listening.

Every client has at least one of two problems: 1) They don’t know what they’re looking for, or 2) They know what they want, but they don’t know how to get it. The only way you can help them figure this out is to ask questions and listen intently to how they respond. As a real estate professional, you have the knowledge and skills to help them solve both of these problems.

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In the market for signs soon?  We’d love to earn your business!

Please be sure to visit us at: www.OakleySign.com

prospects

Questions to Pre-Qualify Real Estate Leads Online

December 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Q&A: Pre-qualifying Internet Leads?
Qualify your web leads to save time and energy…

Q: How do I know if my Internet leads are serious buyers?

A: The easiest way to save time and energy following-up with your Internet leads is to pre-qualify them by asking a few questions on your web form.

Here are seven great questions to ask:

1. Are you currently working with a real estate agent?
2. When are you interested in purchasing?
3. What type of home are you looking for? Condo? Single-family? Etc.
4. What is your comfort zone in terms of price?
5. Do you need to sell your current home before buying?
6. Have you been to [YOUR TOWN/MARKET] before?
7. Are you planning a trip to [YOUR TOWN/MARKET] soon?

Optionally, you can also ask about financing– whether they have it arranged, or if they’re paying cash. It might depend on Question #2, when they are interested in purchasing.

As always, give your leads the option to answer these questions by phone, too. Simply add a check-box to your web form which says, “I’d prefer to answer these questions in person, on the phone.” This lets them know that they will be expected to be able to answer the questions, even if they aren’t comfortable answering them on a web form. And by all means: Call them immediately if they have a preference for the phone… response time is key, and sometimes your hot-to-trot prospects are those who prefer phone to email.

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In the market for signs soon?  We’d love to earn your business!

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prospects

The Keys to Killer Curb Appeal

November 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Keys to Killer Curb Appeal, eBookDear Real Estate Professional,

In a competitive market, what gets prospective buyers from the curb through the front door?  Two words:  curb appeal. The first impression your listing gives can be the make or break moment in moving a house.  Even if you think you have the fundamentals of curb appeal covered, this guide can show you a trick or two that will help sell your listings and impress your clients.

With this report on curb appeal, you’ll learn…

  • What makes curb appeal a high-value improvement over interior renovation
  • Simple checklists to ensure you’ve maximized the appeal of each listing
  • The seven zone approach for flawless home presentation
  • Seasonal and night time tips for preparing your clients’ homes

From neighborhood drive-bys to relocation prospects viewing photos of your listings online, can you really afford to have a home not looking its best?  This is a great guide to walk through with new clients as you prepare their listing for market.

Get your copy of The Keys to Killer Curb Appeal instantly delivered to your mailbox. Just fill out the form below.

Cheering you on to greater success!

Scott Levitt
Scott Levitt
President
Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.
FreeHelpForRealEstateAgents.com

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prospects

Winning Tactics to Increase Real Estate Referrals

July 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This brief audio clip explains what you’ll learn in this free eBook:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Fill out the form to download this eBook now.

Dear Real Estate Professional,

As any veteran agent will tell you, a good portion of their business comes from referrals they’ve received from past clients and members of the community.  Is there anything sweeter than hearing the phrase, “A friend of mine said I should call you…”?

This guide teaches you how to increase the number of real estate referrals you receive.  The systems presented here are used by real-world agents and taught by business coaches from all walks of life.  While some of these tactics are controversial, I’m sure you’ll find fresh ideas here that you can apply to boost your real estate income this year.

You’ll learn…

  • How to get referrals without asking for them directly
  • The valuable differences between leads and referrals
  • The correct timing for asking for referrals with your clients
  • How to develop a client-focused mindset when asking for referrals
  • The value hyperlocal blogging can have in creating “indirect referrals” for your business

Download this guide on generating real estate referrals for FREE. Get your copy instantly. Just fill out the form below.

Cheering you on to greater success!

Scott Levitt
Scott Levitt
President
Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.
FreeHelpForRealEstateAgents.com


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prospects

Craigslist Crash Course for Real Estate Agents

May 28, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

This 47 second video explains exactly what you’ll get with this free eBook:


Download this eBook.

Dear Real Estate Professional,

If someone told you there was an easy, free way to put your listings on a website which received literally millions of visitors each month, wouldn’t you at least consider it?

Well, there is such a site, and it’s called Craigslist. (http://www.craigslist.org)

We were surprised to find out how many real estate agents have heard about Craigslist, but didn’t know anything about how to use it (or how it can even be effective in driving traffic to an agent’s website!).  That’s why we put together this free guide.

This helpful guide will give you a “crash course” in how to use Craigslist to market your listings and help drive traffic to your website.

You’ll learn…

  • What is Craigslist and what can it do for me?
  • How to use Craigslist to sell real estate
  • How to create the best Craigslist ads
  • How to post:  Five easy steps
  • The rules that make the difference between a successful posting and a bad reputation
  • Essential Craigslist safety
  • Plus: A free web-based tool to extend your ad power beyond Craigslist!

Take this quick crash course on Craigslist real estate listings today for FREE.  Get your free copy instantly.  Just fill out the form below.

Cheering you on to greater success!

Scott Levitt
Scott Levitt
President
Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.
FreeHelpForRealEstateAgents.com


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prospects

7 Types of Prospects You Should Target

May 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This 57 second video explains exactly what you’ll get with this free eBook:


Download this eBook.

Dear Real Estate Professional,

If you want to make more money as an agent, then you need to know about SURE THINGS…

To succeed in today’s down real estate market, every real estate professional needs to look for the “sure thing.” By targeting “sure thing” prospects, you can find the opportunities you need to succeed in the real estate marketplace.

Remember: Your Prospects ARE your Profits.

As great real estate agents develop strategies for marketing and lead generation, they are always thinking about what’s ahead and who absolutely must buy or sell a home.

One thing is clear, if you don’t take advantage of these sure fire strategies, someone else will.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your free copy of our powerful (and popular ebook) by filling out the form below.

Cheering you on to greater success!

Scott Levitt
Scott Levitt
President
Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.
FreeHelpForRealEstateAgents.com


Share this via email with someone in real estate!

In the market for signs soon?  We’d love to earn your business!
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Free Help for Real Estate Agents