A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post that outlined some of things you might want to learn about your contacts over time in order to build deeper and more meaningful relationships. This post generated a lot of questions about exactly HOW one goes about gathering this information.
The key is to view this as a process that you will work at over time. It may sound daunting, but you’ll be amazed at how easily and quickly you’ll start to gather this kind of information once you start to focus on it. Once you master this process, your real estate marketing will become easy and you’ll be a lot more effective.
Do you know what everyone’s favourite topic is? THEMSELVES! People love to talk about themselves and their families, and if you show genuine interest, you’ll be amazed at the information that people will willingly share with you – and are likely ALREADY sharing with you.
Here’s an example. Suppose you need to call a client to follow up on a listing presentation you made a couple of weeks ago. You can open the call the usual way by saying “Hi John, this is Rich calling. I’m just calling you to follow up on our meeting two weeks ago. Would you like to list your home with us at $380,000 or $390,000?” (The good old “assumptive close”! No time for chit chat – get to the point!)
You already know the likely response to this approach. You may get an abrupt Yes or No, but most likely you’ll get something like “I’m in a meeting, can you call me back later?…”
ALTERNATIVELY, you could open the call by asking “Hi John, this is Rich calling. Just wanted to follow up on our meeting two weeks ago. But before we dive into that, how was your weekend?”
JOHN: “Thanks for asking. It was great actually. We were in Kingston with my son Andrew for a hockey tournament.”
YOU: “That sounds like fun. What team does Andrew play for?”
JOHN: “He’s on the Double-A Bantam team with the Markham Waxers.”
YOU: “Well I hope he has a great season. Lots of travel for mom and dad but those games can be a lot of fun to watch.”
JOHN: “They sure are.”
YOU: “John, I’m wondering if you and Nicole have had time to consider the different listing prices we discussed in our meeting two weeks ago.”
So what has this approach achieved? First, you’ve established a relationship and common interest beyond buyer/seller. Secondly, you’ve shown some genuine interest in John as a person, not just a transaction. And thirdly, you’ve learned that a) John has a son named Andrew, b) Andrew is 13 or 14 years old, and c) Andrew loves hockey and plays at the rep level with the Markham Waxers. Not a bad return on investment from *30 seconds* of conversation at the front end of the call!
Now suppose you’re calling John several months later at the end of the hockey season, and you happen to ask “By the way, John, how did your son’s hockey team do this season? Do you think Andrew has a chance to move up to the triple-A Waxers next season?” How do you think John will feel? Impressed? Important? Special? Most likely, all of the above!
So next time you feel it’s too hard to learn about your clients, just remember this little example and what I’ll call the “30 Second Rule”. Do you have 30 seconds to show genuine interest in a client beyond the business at hand? You bet you do!!!