April 4, 2007

Put Your Marketing on Auto-Pilot

by Irene Nash

Here’s something I learned during nearly eight years of full-time real estate: Treat every client like an investment that will generate compound interest, and you’ll be amazed at how business comes back to you over the years.

I’m mentioning this because I see so many agents, experienced and new, who make the same mistake I did – getting so caught up in the day to day operations of real estate that they let contact with previous clients fall by the wayside.

Remember Beth Kobliner’s book, Get a Financial Life? I still remember reading that book in my mid-twenties and seeing the graph that shows what happens when you invest small amounts of money consistently (key word, there) from the ages of 18 through 30. The graph line starts out rising slowly, then, as time goes by, shoots higher at an exponentially increasing rate.

(Hey, wouldn’t we all like to see our business incomes take that kind of upswing?)

But, the results are depressingly less dramatic for people who started investing even at twenty-five. It left me with a huge sense of a missed opportunity. After all, you can accumulate a lot of things in life, but one thing you can’t get back from anyone is time.

Well, guess what: Your relationship with your real estate clients is much the same. Every current and previous client is a potential gold mine, with the power to generate income for you over the years through referrals and future real estate transactions.

But here’s the catch: You have to do a few things to make that happen!.

Be their expert. Think about what it is that they need, and then consistently provide it to them in a way that establishes you as the go-to person. And remember this:

1. Content is king.
2. Consistency is crucial.
3. Unless you are a HUGE exception to the rule, consistency will require automation!

You may struggle with this last concept for years, as many of us control freaks do (because no one could possibly communicate with our clients as well as we could if we did it personally, of course), but the end result is usually the same – communication falls by the wayside nearly entirely.

So bite the bullet. Whether you’re an experienced agent who has been “getting around to it” for years, or new to the business and planning for long-term success, invest in your relationship with your clients now, and make it consistent by putting it on auto-pilot! In a few years you’ll look back and be glad you did.

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