With changes in technology happening almost daily, a big question on the minds of many agents and teams is, “How can I avoid a technology disruption in my business?”
The answer is actually quite simple: Elevate your relationships.
Most agents begin their business highly connected to their Top 50 or SOI, also known as their sphere of influence. As we mature in our business, we become more “efficient” and often turn to technology, automated services or team members—or none of the above—to stay in touch with our business’ core group.
A healthy real estate business is 60-70 percent referral-based. Teams and agents spend a fortune trying to find the next buyer or seller via pay-per-click or other paid service, and neglect to spend any time or money on maintaining the relationships and partners they have now.
If elevating our key relationships is paramount to our business stability and growth, how do we go about doing that?
We use a program called Top 50. Simply put, Top 50 says we identify the 50 people in our lives who know, like and trust us. We then schedule one “meaningful contact” with them monthly. A meaningful contact can include coffee, breakfast or lunch; a personal visit; or inclusion in a group activity such as a paint night, wine tasting or cooking demo.
Each visit is based on building your FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams) database for the client. Contact should always be about the client. When the conversation slows, most people will ask about you and your business. This gives you the opportunity to discuss all the families you’ve been able to serve in real estate.
Many are concerned that 50 people isn’t enough; however, the goal of the Top 50 program is 86 sides referred and 50 sides closed. So, if you’re closing less than 50 transactions per year and want better people to work with, elevating your relationships with the Top 50 program will surely help.
One more thought: People who have been in business or in the area a longer time will find a large number of people above their Top 50. We can elevate these relationships, too, using a four-contact SOI program. Regular touches or contacts might be a custom agent/team birthday card with a $1 scratch ticket and a seven day follow-up call. Then, send a branded House-A-Versary card for all past transactions (make sure you include both sides), invite the clients to your Thanksgiving pie giveaway and be sure to add them to your address list and mail out holiday cards.
Using specific action plans to stay in touch with and elevate relationships within your market is the key to stability and the growth of your business. Remember, you should spend at least as much on keeping your current clients and business as you spend on trying to find new ones.
Nearly three decades of real estate experience—including 15 years of coaching with Verl Workman—has made Jim Knowlton one of the top agents in the country and one of the most popular coaches on the Workman Success Systems’ team. In addition to serving as director of Coaching for Workman Success Systems, Knowlton also owned and managed several real estate franchises, earned numerous awards for his performance and continues to lead a Keller Williams mega agent team in New Hampshire today. Contact him at Jim@WorkmanSucceSssystems.com. For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.