Many of us are intently focused on building our prospect databases and implementing effective consumer marketing programs to sell our homes, and rightly so. But we must not overlook another import customer, the outside real estate agent. Studies show that between 63 and 90 percent of new homes sales involve an outside agent. In my own experience as a new home marketing manager, I’ve seen REALTORS® bring as much as 85% of the business. They certainly deserve our attention.
The major difference between marketing to consumers and real estate agents is that with agents, you are not only selling a lifestyle, you are also paying their bills. Agents want to do business with someone they trust and can rely on to be fair. It’s important to establish a strong rapport with the top agents in your area if you want them to be your champions and keep bringing buyers.
Here are some tips to staying top-of-mind with REALTORS®:
- Establish and grow your REALTOR® database. Use your home builder CRM tools to segment your lists, keeping REALTORS® separate from prospects with a different Sales Rating. You can even group them according to who has brought repeat buyers, who specializes in relocation, who is a neighborhood expert, etc.
- Implement a separate email marketing campaign. Email REALTORS® regularly, keeping them abreast of the latest releases, pricing, availability, successes and bonuses or commissions. (For tips on how to create an awesome marketing email, download Lasso’s latest white paper.)
- Connect on social media. REALTORS® use Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest and other social channels to network, gain referrals and market their services. Find them, follow them, occasionally like a status or post a comment, and share meaningful information in order to make a connection. (Be careful not to over-sell. People connect on social networks to be social, not to be sold to.)
- Develop personal relationships. Reach out to the agents you know with a personal email, letting them know news and updates, and asking them to keep you in mind when they have a buyer. Keep notes in your CRM system, just as you would for a prospect, to remember birthdays, favorite sports teams, and other preferences.
- Foster a sense of exclusivity. Since REALTORS® can bring up to 90 percent of your business, show them the red carpet! Hold special preview events or regular luncheons just for the brokerage community. This will generate a buzz among them that will spread to their buyers.
- Say “Thank You.” Once a deal has closed, thank them for their business with a phone call, email, personal note, or thank you gift. Your actions will stand out and reinforce your appreciation, encouraging them to bring more buyers.