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

Q: What methods are most effective in keeping the lines of communication open among current clients and potential customers?

A: Communicating with past and future clients is key when it comes to success in the real estate industry.

Aside from having a website that’s updated on a consistent basis, real estate professionals must be getting in front of their sphere of influence by promoting upcoming open houses, homes they’ve recently sold and those that are currently on the market.

If you’re looking to make this the month you jumpstart the rest of your year, take some time to put a process in place so that you can promote your open houses well ahead of time. While sidewalk signs and balloons are great for capturing drive-by visitors, getting your business card into the hands of everyone that walks into the open house may foster connections that will lead to more listings down the road.

Real estate professionals can also keep the lines of communication with clients and potential customers open by distributing items they can use around the home. From calendars, sports schedules, seed packs, holiday cards, postcards, jar openers, kitchen measurement magnets, American flags, etc., real estate professionals can keep themselves top of mind by attaching their photo and contact information to a variety of items.

Taking this one step further, real estate professionals can take advantage of door hangers—complete with a detachable business card—to quickly spread the word to local customers that they’re happy to help them buy or sell a home.

Specific neighborhoods or towns can even be targeted via a monthly postcard campaign, which will go a long way toward helping prospects associate your name with a specific message. Featuring a recently listed or sold home on a consistent basis may be just the nudge a prospect needs to respond to a message that a postcard delivers.

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