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How To Start Every New Year With New Clients

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A great way to start the year out with new clients is to make a meaningful contact with all of the people you worked with in the previous year.   Here is a simple and very effective way to do that.

It’s called the “Tax Helper System” and it goes beyond a simple thank you (which every agent does and your clients already expect).  Agent Steve Sofka uses this system to do something unexpected for his clients — saving them time and getting more referrals in the process.

Here’s his step-by-step system…

STEP 1:

Every time you close an escrow…whether you are representing the buyer OR seller…make 2 copies of the HUD-1 closing statement.

STEP 2:

Put them in an envelope along with a copy of a personal letter.

If you’d like a ready-to-use letter to send that also programs your clients to send you more referrals…

Click here to learn more about our 3-Steps Ultimate™ program where you’ll get 131 proven marketing promotions to personalize and use in your real estate practice.  No one else has ready-to-use marketing tools (like this pre-written Tax Helper Letter) that have been tested by thousands of agents from all over North America.

STEP 3:

Put the closing statements along with the letter in an envelope, address it to your clients.

Make sure you use their NEW address, and put the appropriate postage on the envelope!

STEP 4:

Take the envelope and put it in a box and collect them all year long…

In January, take your box with all of the addressed and stamped envelopes you’ve accumulated through the year and put them all in the post office.

Side Note: By putting the postage on as you go, it eliminates your having to have one big lump sum for postage – as long as you use the Forever Stamps that work even when postage prices go up.

STEP 5:

Wait 2 or 3 days after you mail the packages and then start calling all of the clients you just mailed to. Your conversation should go something like this:

Introduction: “Hi John, A few days ago, I put a package in the mail to you and I was just following up to see if it arrived yet.”

Reinforce why you sent package: “You got it… that’s great! I heard from so many clients about not being able to find that paperwork… so I like to send it to save you some time and as another way to say ‘thanks’ for working with me.”

Transition to question: “It was a pleasure working with you and I find other great clients come from my past clients. Who do you know that who is considering buying a home or selling their home in the next 6 to 12 months?”

You will be amazed by the responses (and referrals) you will get for your thoughtfulness!

The referrals will come either on the first phone call or later if you continue to follow up with a helpful & valuable real estate newsletter each month.

Use this “Tax Helper System” along with the letter and follow-up phone script (very important) in January to start each year strong.



What do YOU do each January to start the year strong?

Email us to share it with the Agent Inner Circle® community. Or…

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The 12-Month Marketing Plan

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bottom after you’re done reading this article…

If you’re feeling lost with how to make next year better, here’s a very simple way to create a plan of action for your marketing.

It’s a 12-month planning calendar (on 1 piece of paper) that organizes your marketing activity by month and category.

You can create a more detailed marketing plan if you like, but this will help you get started.  Plus, it’s a great “quick reference” for what steps you can take to grow your production.

Take 30 minutes today to:

  1. Reflect on this past year — identify where your business came from in the last 12 months
  2. Download this 1-page template — fill in your best opportunities to get clients in the coming year
  3. Put your marketing plan in a place you’ll see each day as a reminder to follow-through

You can click the example image below to download a blank template:

What’s YOUR best strategy for creating a marketing plan?

Click here to leave a comment or email us to
share it with the Agent Inner Circle® community.

 

The Referral Power of “Recognition and Appreciation”

Have you ever noticed that most people are “Recognition and Appreciation” starved these days?

Think about it. We’re all so busy and involved with our own personal lives, we hardly ever take the time to recognize and appreciate those around us.

When was the last time your boss really recognized you? When was the last time your spouse said, “I’m so lucky to have you in my life”?

When was the last time anyone acknowledged you exist on this earth?

Everyone wants to feel special. Mary Kay Cosmetics created such a strong “Recognition and Appreciation” program, they’ve created a “cult-like” environment in their organization.

If you’ve ever sold Mary Kay, you know what I’m talking about. They treat their sales associates special, with gifts at nearly every level, awards, and even a Pink Cadillac for outstanding production.

Their associates are bonded to them like super glue, because they’ve realized the “influence power” of recognizing people.

Yet many real estate agents miss out on this valuable way to bond prospects and clients and become their sole choice for real estate services. And with that, they lose the opportunity to truly capitalize on the LIFETIME VALUE of their clients, and never create the Personal Market Share™ required to reach their potential in real estate.

Recognizing and appreciating your prospects and clients on a regular basis is like sending out an EMOTIONAL TRACTOR BEAM that pulls them in, and bonds them to you for life.

Think of all the ways you can recognize your clients and share your appreciation for them. Then watch your client volume, referrals, and repeat business grow and grow.

Want some ideas? OK, try a few of these out in your practice:

Recognition Strategy #1: Recognize Special Holidays in a Unique Way.

I have a long-term client friend who’s a top notch REALTOR® in Orange County, California.

Not long ago, he shared with me a strategy he uses along with his monthly Service For Life!® contact with his Power List™ – and the great thing is…it can also be used as a stand-alone strategy.

My friend…Agent “X”…takes out a calendar and locates a HOLIDAY that occurs each month. He even researches bizarre holidays that most people don’t know about, just so he has something to “talk about” each month.

Then…he goes out and finds some kind of “themed” paper to write a very personal message. Now…notice his strategy has TWO components:

Component #1: He finds a reason (the holiday) for the contact, and uses a “THEME” as a way to capture attention…

Component #2: He creates a VERY personal, warm message that “recognizes and appreciates” his clients…

He then uses the message (on the themed paper) as his cover letter for his Service For Life!® newsletter. What are some of the holidays you could do this with? How about…

Thanksgiving

Christmas & Hanukkah

Easter

St. Patrick’s Day (“make more green with my services“)

July 4th

Halloween

Mothers Day

Fathers Day

Valentine’s Day (I love my clients)

But you can also find unusual holidays, such as “all saints day” or Flag day or Hungarian Pride day.

Here’s an example of just one flyer – I reduced it to fit the page, and I scanned it in black and white, but you can still understand what he does…

AIC_1140_peter_engby_example

By the way, my suggestion for this agent is to personalize the salutation on his letter and hand-sign in blue ink – it will make a bigger impact.

Recognition Strategy #2: The “Recognition and Appreciation P.S.”

This one’s quick and easy, but can make a huge impact. It’s a “take-off” of the Business Card Referral Programming language I’ve shared in earlier issues of Agent Inner Circle™.

The strategy is to use a “P.S.” with ALL of your letters with referral programming that says something like this:

“P.S. I’ve built my business based on the positive comments and referrals from people like you. Thank you for being such a special part of my business. I couldn’t do it without YOUR help.”

Did you notice the power of that message? It not only recognizes your clients for their help with your business, but it ALSO programs them for thinking about YOU for referrals.

Pretty smart, don’t you think?

Recognition Strategy #3: The “Recognition and Appreciation Advertisement”

Twice a year a number of our agents take out special advertising space in local publications to run an “appreciation” ad for their clients.

They begin the ad with a simple statement saying something like the P.S. language you just learned above. Then they list out their clients’ names.

If you don’t have a lot of past clients, you can either, 1) include the names of people who are close to you and can help you in your business (use language that includes “people who support my business”, OR 2) you can list out client names from the past several years – this way the list will be long and impressive.

This little strategy actually does TWO things at once…

First, it acknowledges people in your business – and people LOVE to see their name in print with appreciation attached to it.

Second, when you list out a LOT of names in your ad, it makes everyone believe you’re a very busy (and very good) agent. And that’s a strong message to communicate.

One more thing…if you do a lot of homes advertising in local publications, you can frequently negotiate either FREE space (because you’re a good client), OR you can ask for “remnant” or “distressed” space and get the ad for pennies on the dollar.

Recognition Strategy #4: The “Recognition and Appreciation SPECIAL EVENT”

One of the most effective ways to recognize your clients is by hosting a special event – such as a golf outing or renting a movie theater, or renting a comedy club for an evening.

And…by the way…it doesn’t have to be just with your “Top 20% Power Players™.” It could be for ALL your clients or Power List™ if you like.

You can also incorporate a “recognition” part of the event – and give out simple and inexpensive “awards” (blue ribbons or “appreciation certificates”) to the people who sent you referrals.

And here’s the great part: When all the other people see how you recognize others with your awards, they’re getting the message that they should send you referrals – and it happens without you saying a thing!

Try it sometime and watch your clients bond to you and feel motivated to send you referrals, word of mouth and repeat business.

Recognition Strategy #5: Monthly Contact “Recognition and Appreciation”

The more you can recognize and appreciate people who support your business with referrals and word of mouth, the more you stimulate that behavior.

That’s why, in our monthly Service For Life!® real estate newsletter, we provide multiple places for you to recognize and appreciate your clients and those who support you and your business.

This way you don’t have to worry so much about HOW you’re going to use this powerful strategy in your business.  It’s DONE FOR YOU ALREADY just by subscribing.

But we went even further than just “Recognition and Appreciation” programming.

“Service For Life!®” was engineered to include 7 Psychological Elements designed to bond people to you.

We also designed it with COMPELLING ARTICLES, TIMELY ADVICE and interesting “INVOLVEMENT DEVICES” to ensure it captures attention, and gets opened and read every month, and nurtures a profitable relationship with those who receive it from you.

We then included 14 DIRECT RESPONSE OFFERS into the newsletter to practically force qualified prospects and clients to CALL YOU for real estate services; in most cases before other agents even know they exist.

If you’re using it already…try some of these “add-on” recognition and appreciation strategies you just learned here.

If you’re not using it already, you can get on board RIGHT NOW.  Just check out www.ServiceForLife.com.

We’ll help you get started on the road to real estate success…and support you every step of the way.

How To Bring Back Old Clients And Get Immediate New Business

Here’s a very cool system for reactivating old clients, generating referrals, and building your Power List.

Many agents I know have a drawer full of old clients they simply forgot.  Life gets busy and before you know it, it’s been months (even years) since you last contacted some of your clients.

That’s why I created the “Re-Acquaint Letter System”…

This is an easy way to get back in touch and harvest referrals and repeat business from your network, and this  letter has worked for hundreds of agents all over the world.

I’ll give you the letter to use and also give you an example of a Referral Coupon.  This coupon is designed to work much like a “bounce-back” type of coupon that restaurants and retail stores use. The very same strategy will work for you if you just give it a try.

How To Use The “Re-Acquaint” Letter System…

STEP 1: Create a LIST of your past clients and friends, friends, family, and acquaintances

Narrow your list down to the people you’ve not contacted in the last 6 months.

STEP 2: Send them a personal LETTER

Here’s a pre-written letter for you to use and make your own.

(click the image to download as a word document)

red-arrow-curved-downrightRe-acquaintLetterImage

STEP 3: Give your Power List a meaningful REASON to get back in contact with you

Use a “Referral Coupon” that goes with this letter, like this…
red-arrow-curved-downleft
ReferralCouponImage
They may or may not use it, but it’s a stand-out way to remind them that you work by referral.

(IMPORTANT:  This coupon is designed to give a discount to the END-USER only.  In most, if not all states, it is illegal to directly compensate any unlicensed person for sending you business.  This coupon only makes a discount offer to the end user, NOT to a person sending you a referral.)

STEP 4:  FOLLOW-UP with regular contact (at least monthly)

Agents tell me they start getting calls within a few days after this letter goes out.  But you can also follow up by phone 7 days after sending the letter.

Going forward, you’ll want to keep in contact in a meaningful way.   I’m not talking about pumpkin seeds or calendars here.

You can use my Service For Life!® real estate newsletter system or your own monthly contact, just make sure it’s something your Power List sees as a “welcomed guest” rather than an annoying pest.  And make sure it gets out every month

This is very important.  For every 100 people on your database, 14 of them will buy or sell a home in the next 12 months.  And that doesn’t include the Referrals they could be sending you.

Don’t continue to leave this gigantic hole of lost revenue in your business by not following up at least once a month.  This “Re-Acquaint Letter System” will help you get back in touch with your clients.  Then you have make a commitment to not lose touch again by following up with your network each month with welcomed and valued contact.

[Ed note: Would you like to use a marketing system that costs nearly $0.00 and can bring you a steady flow of quality, motivated buyers — even during this slow economy?  Then click here to learn about one of the highest-return, lowest-cost marketing strategies you’ll ever use in your real estate practice.]