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A term that’s second nature to every real estate professional, “word of mouth” is officially defined as: “The passing of information from person to person; oral or written recommendation of a product or service from a satisfied customer to a prospective customer.”

Word-of-mouth marketing is all about a natural flow of communication between people. It’s about doing what it takes to earn a good conversation about ourselves and the services we offer, so ask yourself two tough questions:

1. Do people really like “my stuff,” aka, the services you provide?
2. Are people talking about me and my services the way I want them to?

By treating people well, we’ll earn their respect and, hopefully, their recommendation.

In order to spark positive word-of-mouth marketing, you must:

1. Be interesting and unique
2. Make people happy and feel good
3. Earn their trust and respect
4. Be real

Effective word-of-mouth marketing also requires that you conduct a candid evaluation of every client interaction. Ask yourself:

1. What kind of experience did the client have?
2. Was there anything exceptional that happened?
3. What could I have done differently to make it easier for them to tell their friends about me?
4. Did we create something memorable?

With just a few simple, creative ideas, you can create that memorable experience for a client. Try one or two of the following:

1. VIP appointment memo: When you have a client coming into the office, create a VIP appointment memo with their names and the appointment time that gets circulated to the receptionist, your sales manager and whomever else in the office you deem appropriate. This way, when the Morgans show up for their appointment, they are greeted by name and informed that they are working with one of the firm’s best agents—you.

2. The 3-10-30 system: REALTOR® Sandra Nichols from Birmingham, Ala., follows up with clients three days, then 10 days, then 30 days after closing. At the three-day mark, she checks in to see how the unpacking is going and to answer any questions; at 10 days, she asks if they’ve run into any surprises or problems; and at 30 days, she asks them how she can improve upon the process during their next real estate transaction.

3. Hello/goodbye party: Host a small party at the house and invite the sellers and the buyers, as well as friends of the seller in the neighborhood so they can say goodbye and, at the same time, meet the new owners.

Next month, we’ll take a look at how to develop your word-of-mouth network—because the messenger can be just as important as the message.

George “Gee” Dunsten, president of Gee Dunsten Seminars, Inc., has been a real estate agent and broker/owner for almost 40 years. Dunsten has been a senior instructor with the Council of Residential Specialists for more than 20 years. To reach Gee, please email gee@gee-dunsten.com.