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Today’s Ask the Expert column features John Bunker, marketing director for

Q: How can I successfully stay in touch with my sphere of influence during the spring selling season?

A: As we make our way through our 30th year in business, it’s important to look back on some of the tried-and-true methods real estate professionals continue to find success with when it comes to staying in touch with those in their sphere of influence.

First and foremost, let’s take a closer look at cold calling, and how real estate professionals can use this method to their advantage in 2017. Cold calling is instrumental in helping to build up your contact list, and getting started is as simple as creating a phone list of your farming area. Not only should this list include phone numbers of the individuals you’ll be calling, but their names, as well. While it may seem like an insignificant detail, asking for someone by their first name typically indicates that a call is coming from someone they know.

It’s also important to remember that when getting on the phone with a prospect, your No. 1 objective should be to build rapport while setting up a consultation to provide them with the help they need to reach their real estate goals. This can be done by simply inquiring as to whether or not their needs fall under the scope of your services. Once you determine that they’re thinking of selling their current home and buying another property, take the time to walk them through the benefits associated with working with you as their real estate professional. And be sure to remind them that you’re ready and willing to meet with them face-to-face should they be interested in speaking with you to go over the details of buying or selling a home with you at their side.

When picking up the phone to make cold calls, your every word should provide value and help to the person on the other end of the line. If you have real conviction in the value of your offer—and genuinely want to provide value—then there is nothing to fear. In the end, remember that a cold call is simply a conversational check-in to see if the person on the other end of the line could use a helping hand.

In addition to cold calling, real estate professionals across the board have found continued success by taking advantage of the numerous items we offer to stay in touch with those in their sphere of influence. Now that spring has officially sprung, it’s time to start thinking about this year’s upcoming football season, and how to best take advantage of one of America’s favorite sports.

By playing off the enthusiasm of fans across the board, football season is a prime time for real estate professionals to get their name and contact information into the hands of local fans all season long. Incorporating football schedule cards into your marketing and communication strategy is a simple way to get your information into the hands (and onto the refrigerators) of local fans in your market area. Affordable, timely and easy to order, you’re certain to score big with these football-friendly tools in your market area.

These handouts produce results. Not only do consumers hold onto them for the duration of the season, but they share them with others—and sometimes even ask for more. This is a winning combination for any real estate professional in today’s competitive market. Real estate professionals can also make use of their downloadable PDF counterparts on their Facebook business page. From there, they can offer to mail one to anyone who didn’t receive one, adding them to their mailing list at the same time. In addition to mailing these items to your farming area to keep yourself top of mind among clients and prospects, you can also order magnetic versions, and even use them for giveaways at open houses, local sports bars and grilles and community events. It’s truly a win-win.

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