Real Estate’s Most Important Four Letter Word is “Next,” not “Sold”
“Sold” is good but “next” is equally important for ambitious REALTORS® who strive to keep their pipelines flowing at full speed. The good news is that finding and executing a balanced approach to maintaining relationships with current client bases and converting those touch points into future real estate transactions requires much less time and effort than we think.
For the past several years, one flexible, easy-to-use social media platform, combined with the nation’s only REALTOR-owned data and reporting platform, has proven to be a simple, low cost marketing solution where output far outweighs input.
“Facebook has always been a great place to establish and build relationships,” said Susan Nicolson, a REALTOR® with DPR Realty, Peoria, Arizona. “But until I came across RPR [Realtors Property Resource], I didn’t know how much I could use the site to feed my pipeline.”
Susan has a bonafide touchpoint system, reaching out to friends, clients and prospects through a series of Facebook posts that speak to each. For example, posting upcoming community events to an Orlando-based network who might want a second home in Arizona, or vice versa. She even has groups for horse owners, moms, and friends of former employer, Marriott Hotels (which, according to Susan, generates a great number of referrals). Each gets Susan’s special formula of posts that spark interest in buying or selling a home.
Yet, in 2011, when RPR came out with its own secret sauce of MLS and public records data, as well as its unparalleled demographic, psychographic, quality of life, economic, and neighborhood data, Susan jumped at the opportunity to leverage the two powerful platforms into one easy-to-integrate marketing strategy.
“The cornerstone of my Facebook marketing strategy is simply to use the data in RPR reports to nurture existing relationships and to draw attention from prospects as well as referrals,” said Susan. “And the results have been incredible.”
For just two hours a day, two days a week, Susan sits down to execute her strategy using a carefully maintained spreadsheet.
Step 1: Send a congratulatory Facebook post to former clients and prospects who are celebrating a birthday, wedding anniversary, graduation or otherwise.
Step 2: From the same spreadsheet, identify former clients who are approaching the two-year anniversary of purchasing the home. She then reconnects with the homeowner through Facebook with a post that reads, “Happy Home Ownership Anniversary! I can’t believe it was two years ago. I loved working with you and your family!”
Step 3:Create an RPR Property Report for the homeowner, which includes the Realtors Valuation Model® (RVM®), to bring them up to speed on how the home’s value has either increased or decreased.
Step 4: Email, snail mail, or personally deliver the report. Then follow-up with a phone call, asking the homeowner if they’ve had time to review the report, letting them know that she can refine the value of the home (using RPR) based on improvements they might have made or changes in the market and send an updated report. She can also offer to send an RPR Seller’s Report which includes area comps.
“Using RPR on a set schedule with different touch points along the way shows my clients that I care about their investment and what’s going on in their lives,” said Susan. “It’s the reason my clients keep coming back year after year.”
There is somewhat of a science when using social media to generate new business. In all, follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your posts should focus on that individual’s or group’s interest; the remaining 20 percent should include information related to your real estate business, such as new listings or open houses.
For example, using the demographic, economic and quality of life data found within RPR will help meet that 20 percent goal. Susan can dive into the RPR platform and come up with a variety of indicators that might spark interest from someone who wants to move to Arizona, or she can run similar datasets for an area surrounding a new listing and post that to Facebook.
Think of it as similar to the Mad Libs™ we played in the 60s and 70s. The word game used a template to build a story, much like the picture a REALTOR® wants to paint of her marketplace or listing.
Check out these samples of how your Facebook campaigns might look using RPR’s neighborhood data. Notice each example closes with a distinct call to action. And don’t forget, Facebook fans like curb appeal. Include a good quality photo or image in your posts.
RPR School Reports––an in-depth portrait of student populations, testing outcomes, parental reviews, and ratings––also come in handy when trying to attract attention from referring agents or those considering a relocation. Susan says she uses the national data within RPR, like the School Report, to work both sides of the relocation equation.
“I’ll get a lead off Facebook from someone who isn’t in my MLS area,” she said. “And because I have access to RPR, I can still send them the information they need and find them a Realtor in that area. Then I’ll take a referral fee on it.”
About Susan Nicolson
Serving the Northwest Valley since 2003, Susan Nicolson specializes in residential sales, corporate relocation and investment properties. Susan joined DPR Realty, LLC in 2006 and found the perfect match to her unwavering commitment to providing superior real estate services that are always in the best interests of her clients. She proudly serves her industry by sitting on the board of directors for the West Valley Women’s Council of REALTORS® and by participating as a voting member on the West Maricopa Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs & Public Policy Committee. She is also an RPAC Sterling contributor and donates her expertise to the often unseen political efforts that protect property rights, home ownership and the real estate industry.