By Stephanie Andre
RISMEDIA, November 10, 2010—Through the tumultuous real estate market downturn of the past few years, one thing has shown very true: getting back to the basics—the fundamentals—is key for real estate agents to keep their business above water…and to even, perhaps, thrive. Keeping front of mind, offering tangible information…these are the actions that will bring clients back to you—and keep them loyal. Another constant of the market: Lowe’s and its Program for REALTORS®, developed through its partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® and its REALTOR Benefits® Program. Lowe’s has never wavered from its original intent with this program—to help REALTORS® succeed, allowing them to stay in touch with clients via a no-cost, online and direct mail marketing program available to all NAR members.
Perhaps more important than ever, Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® has upped the ante, now offering more to its Program members—including its highly successful Inside Out consumer e-newsletter.
Here, two REALTORS® share how Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®— specifically its Inside Out e-newsletter—has helped them continue to cultivate business even in today’s economic environment.
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Houston, Texas-based REALTOR® Richard Wall is no stranger to marketing. A self-proclaimed marketing junkie, the Keller Williams agent has spent tens of thousands of dollars on finding and bringing the best marketing platforms to his business.
“From coaching to agent toolboxes, I’ve done it all,” says Wall, a 12-year real estate veteran. “I’m constantly trying to use the best marketing networks; I probably spend two to three hours per night watching webinars and reading blogs…all in an effort to better service my clients.”
Tired of spending so much time—and not to mention, money—on new marketing programs, in 2009, Wall decided to give Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® a try. He jumped right into the Inside Out e-newsletter, enrolling—literally—thousands of clients. And so far, he has been anything but disappointed.
“I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on the Inside Out e-newsletter—way more than I used to with other marketing devices,” he says. “A lot of people thank me and just think it’s a pretty cool thing they can get from me.”
The Inside Out e-newsletter offers REALTORS® the ability to send an automatic, monthly e-mail to their entire client base. Each e-mail comes with monthly tips on selling, buying and moving; the ability to educate clients about innovative products and projects around the home that yield the highest return; and important home maintenance tips. The e-newsletter also offers periodic coupons for special savings in Lowe’s stores.
“I think what’s important is that it’s one more way to really reach your client base,” Wall says. “A lot of agents are trained to go back to their past clients but very few actually do it, so having a monthly touch point with these people is vital. This is one of the core things you need to do to improve your business. The Lowe’s e-newsletter delivers a quality product each month and there’s really very little, as the real estate professional, you have to do.”
According to Wall, he’s also seeing referrals now as a result of his involvement in Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®. “This is such a great way to add 12 touches every year,” he says. “You don’t have to do anything…and it’s free.
“I can’t say it enough: touching your database is so important,” he adds. “But equally important is bringing them the right information. This is a top program with useful tips and ideas; it’s 10 times better than trying to give them a recipe. Why wouldn’t you use this product?”
Finding the Right Fit
Like Wall, John Sullivan was also looking for the right fit. Downsized out of his executive food-service management job five years ago, Sullivan was looking for a change…and decided on real estate.
“I had relocated 13 times for my career so I thought I would know a lot about real estate,” says Sullivan, a REALTOR® with EXIT Success Realty in Spring Hill, Florida.
Armed with years of customer service as an advantage, Sullivan already knew how to talk to customers and serve them well. The missing piece was a communication tool, which he found about two years ago when he discovered NAR’s and Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®.
“Since finding the Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®, I now use it for all my customers—whether they’re buying, selling or might be in the future,” he says. “And it works.”
According to Sullivan, the positive feedback he receives about the Inside Out e-newsletter is frequent enough for him to know that it’s doing its job: keeping him front of mind with his clients.
“I’ve seen quite a few people out and about…and it’s one of the first things they say to me—that they got the e-newsletter and really like it,” Sullivan says. “They like that I’m affiliated with a company like Lowe’s. They say, ‘Wow, there’s a picture of John. How did he get with Lowe’s?’ That’s very cool.”
Adds Sullivan: “Not a single person has asked me to take them off the distribution list…and why would they? It’s a great program and offers them great information. Plus, the coupons are great, too.”
Laying the Right Foundation
In a good market or bad, Lowe’s has shown that it’s a staunch supporter of the real estate industry and in it for the long haul…whether that means helping REALTORS® connect with their clients or helping educate buyers and sellers to help make their homeownership dreams a reality.
For more information, visit www.Lowes.com.
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