Database Marketing

by Phil Sexton on August 20, 2012

This is my buzzword du jour. I’m not saying database marketing is a new concept, far from it; it’s just the term I’ve found myself using when talking to real estate agents about following up with leads.

Maybe an agent tried 2, 3 or 10 times to follow up with a lead via email and never heard back. I’m always blown away to hear some agents will then disregard the email address and never reach out again. What?!? It’s as if some of these real estate agents salespeople take it personally that no one responded to their emails. If this is you…

Adjust your expectations.

Build your pipeline.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Project_Manager

You have a pipeline of business. The goal is to fill the pipeline with as many potential clients as possible. You’ve heard the concept before – the more people you add to it on one end, the more that will come out on the other.

How you fill the pipeline is up to you. Maybe during an open house, after you finish enrolling in Trulia’s lead program, you create your farm mailers, then map out your door-knocking route so that you’ll have time to take a shower before your networking event begins – I don’t know? But I know your goal is to fill the pipeline as full as you can.

When you get potential clients’ email addresses, make sure and add them to your pipeline – aka database. Never – ever ever? – ever ever disregard the email address! That would be wasting your time and money.

What you do while they are in the pipeline is database marketing. It’s more effective than blast marketing because these are the people that asked to be contacted. A targeted audience.

First thing you need:

A way to keep track of them that lets you easily stay in touch. The well-known ones are Top Producer and Wise Agent, but the other non-real estate specific ones will work too: MailChimp, iContact, StreamSend, etc. If you’re an ARMLS subscriber, you even have freemium access to Real Future CRM (Flexmls -> Products), but I haven’t looked into it deeply enough to recommend it or not.

Do not overthink this step. There are so many possibilities out there that you could spend weeks thinking about which way to go. Don’t do that. If you don’t have one, pick one today. Run with it. Use it better than anyone else.

Second thing you need:

An attitude that your pipeline is full of people that will buy a home, sell a home or unsubscribe. No one should be excluded from the list unless they ask to be. If a lead does not respond to your email, so what? Sales people don’t take it personally. If a lead responds and is out of your area, price range, etc., reply with regret but keep them on your blasts unless they unsubscribe. You never know when their situation will change.

Third thing you need:

Content to share. This is the easiest part. There are hundreds of content ideas for real estate agents online. And don’t forget your Sales Training 101 – ask for the business. (If you never had Sales Training 101, start here.)

If you don’t already have a system like this in your business, start right now. Let’s decide as a group to stop throwing away email addresses just because they don’t respond.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tom Minch September 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

Phil, thanks for the post. Internet leads is a numbers game, you need to follow up them consistently and you’ll get results. In real estate especially, many people are not ready to buy right now and need to be nurtured for months before they are ready.

What’s vital though is calling every single lead (with a phone number) as quickly as possible. Many folks in real estate don’t call internet leads consistently leaving serious money on the table. There is a NAT study that showed around 75% of internet leads work with the first agent they talk to (not agent they got an email from).

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