Communication and Follow-up
According to last year’s Truth About Agents issue, 47 percent of agents say that one to two weeks is the longest amount of time they have gone without communicating with their sellers; only 12 percent of agents said the longest is one to two days. That 12 percent is likely made up of top producing agents.
If a prospective client reaches out to Groth, no matter what platform they discovered a property on, she responds immediately. How – and how often – agents choose to communicate with clients is a key differentiator between top producers and all other agents, she explains.
“People don’t want to wait anymore,” Groth says. “I try to respond to people immediately; if I can’t, then I’ll try and get back to them as soon as possible and tell them to let me know of any questions and concerns.”
The rate that Groth follows-up with clients varies by the status of their partnership. If she has a listing with them, she touches base at least once every two weeks. If a transaction is pending, Groth will update clients more frequently. Meanwhile, if the client is looking for a property to buy, she contacts them at least once a month. Lee calls or emails referrals either every day, once a week or every month – whichever fits that client’s needs – until she gets them as a client. Once they are ready, she presents them with a listing presentation.
In addition to perfecting the art of timing, top producers are also masters of the pivotal “personal touch.” Keeping it personal – referencing the friend who recommended the client, or bringing up an anecdote from a past client – is the method that all top producers agree upon. They’ll also say it’s one of the most draining parts of the job.
“It’s very hard for people to understand what our profession is about,” Lee says. “Most people think, ‘You just want to make a commission and sell my home quickly,’ but there is so much stuff we can’t control – for example, the appraisal and the bank. A lot of times the people don’t trust the professional. If they trust us, the job is easier. When they don’t trust us, it makes our job very difficult.”
Word of mouth is crucial to the success of a Realtor. That’s what Mills tells her team. Top producers are able to remain relevant 12 months a year, every year they’re in the business. Whether they communicate with emails, direct mailings or phone calls, the points of contact must be tailored to each client and the history she has with them. Top producers, Mills explains, avoid sending the gratuitous Christmas card; top producers make themselves memorable.
“You just want to keep your name out in the public and try to get repeat business,” Mills says. “That’s part of the time consumption – making sure your best clients know where you are, that you’re still a top producer and that you’re there for every need that they have.” CA