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relationship_managementIn today’s real estate world, we all receive a LOT of marketing in the form of blast emails, postcards, and other types of mailers. Most of us probably hit the Delete key or toss those mailers in the trash without even looking at them. I used to do that too … until my “ah-ha” moment last spring at a Ninja Selling installation.

The Ninja system teaches that people will be most inclined to work with people they know, like, and trust and who they are “in flow” (i.e. recent and regular communication) with. I am not an extrovert and have a small inner circle, so getting people to know, like and trust me always takes some effort. I had an “ah-ha” moment during the Ninja installation I attended when they assigned us a daily homework to write two personal notes and make 10 calls to people we wanted to be “in flow” with. Eek! TEN calls! While trying to brainstorm who I should contact, I absent-mindedly went through a pile of mail I hadn’t read yet. It was then that I recognized an opportunity to open some doors with people in my outer sphere whom I wanted to bring in closer.

When you receive an email blast or postcard from someone, you can assume that they KNOW you, or at least know OF you. One thing I received was a postcard from a real estate company outside of my service area that included some market statistics on their community and reminded me that they would love to service my referrals. The design was clever and the stats were well-presented, so I thought (ah ha!)… why not call or email the sender a quick note to say I appreciated being included on their mailing list, compliment them on the design and content of their marketing piece, and then ask a question about the statistics?

Everyone likes to receive a compliment, and most people are happy to acknowledge and answer a question about their area of expertise. I sent the email and then BAM! Within an hour I received a reply – they were flattered I had actually taken the time to look at their mailer and comment on it. They answered my question about the stats, and we kept the conversation going through several emails back and forth – ending with “Hey, let’s have coffee at the conference next month!” The next time I saw the sender in person they were eager to connect, and I have no doubt that we will trade some referral business back and forth in the future.

So … trash into treasure! I took something I would normally have tossed in the recycle bin and turned it into a vehicle for starting a relationship. This is a very sustainable way to develop and maintain relationships because it is so easy to do – all you have to do is open your email and your mailbox, or spend a few minutes on social media, and take notice of what people in your sphere are doing.

People LIKE to receive compliments. People will TRUST you if they know that you are genuine in your interest. People want to stay “in flow” with those that make them feel valued. So the next time you are inclined to hit that Delete key or throw a pile of mail in the trash, pause and take notice, and then take a moment to pay a compliment and/or ask a question. Use that to begin a genuine conversation, and you will be on your way to starting or maintaining a relationship.

Take-ways:

  • Take the time to go through your email and mail and notice things – only requires 10-15 minutes per day at most. This goes for posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc… too.
  • Comment or compliment sincerely – be genuine! If you think their Facebook post or mailer is silly or boring, wait for another opportunity.
  • Find ways to keep the dialogue going – ask questions, dig deeper.
  • Make this a regular practice, and strive for 10 contacts per day – it’s so easy!

Pam is a member of the LeadingRE Advisory Council, leadership group of top business development, relocation and corporate services directors in the organization who offer their talent and feedback to the LeadingRE management team on various programs and initiatives, mentor other members, and who serve as ambassadors for the network regarding the various tools and benefits available.

To learn more about Colorado Landmark Realtors, visit www.coloradolandmark.com.

To learn more about the LeadingRE Advisory Council, visit http://leadingre.com/Leadership.

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