April 08, 2016

5 Ways to Prepare Your Network for the Busy Season


As the weather warms up and people get past their giveaway piles after massive spring cleaning marathons, they turn to making big decisions like buying a new home or making a move. Spring fever sets in, and all of a sudden, your busy season has arrived. Are you prepared for it? There's a dramatic spike in people looking for new homes in the spring and summer months, the best thing you can do is take advantage of that spike.

Prepping your network for the spring and summer busy season goes well beyond making sure you have your listings published and your ads plastered on your favorite bus stop benches. You'll need to be ready to assess your contacts, network, and leads that you've been keeping warm all winter (right?) and take advantage of all that spring fever and move them into that crucial buying stage!

Read on to start prepping for the real estate busy season...

1. Qualify your contacts

Not everyone in your network, or even on your list of contacts will be joining on the buying frenzy of this time of year. So, before you go and blast everyone with the same email newsletter with a calendar of your open houses or all of your new listings, take the time to segment out your contacts. The best way to do it at this point is segmenting by how qualified they are.

The couple you sold a house to last year? Sure, you want to keep in touch with them, but what're the odds they will be looking to buy again this spring? But the family who swung by that random open house you hosted back in December who said they would be on the market to move once the kids were out of school for the summer, sounds like a very hot lead for this busy season.

2. Send out educational material

Make yourself an indispensable and valuable resource. We know you're chock-full of useful knowledge on the home-buying and real estate process, but are you sharing it with your network, leads, and clients? It's a great way to warm up any potential cold leads in your pipeline with a simple sharing of a thoughtful or relevant resource or article on the home-buying process, or even information on a neighborhood they had expressed interest in.

Invite them to give you a call or make yourself available for any questions they may have. Not only does this get your contacts' attention, but it's a great way to get a pulse on what people are looking for and what information they may need, thus informing what type of resources you can put together to give out in the future!

3. Prepare your own personal brand

A picture's worth a thousand words...and a biography with that picture is worth even more. Understand that when your potential leads and clients are looking for a Realtor, they want someone that they'll get along with and one who can help find them exactly what they're looking for or want in a new home. If you're just a name with no picture and no quick biography, how can those potential clients understand who you are?

Take the time to update your LinkedIn or any public social media profiles, and then go ahead and check where all of your listings are housed online. If you have a profile there, make sure your profiles are all up to date with your accurate information. All of your up to date social profiles are also a great place to start sharing your relevant and helpful real estate tips. Not only will your potential leads find your lovely face and biography, but they'll see how valuable your insights are and start learning from you before they even pick up the phone to call you.

4. Make a promotional plan

We get it, this is actually the busy season...and you're pretty darn busy. But it doesn't mean that you should start ignoring any type of promotion or continuing to reach out to your network. If this isn't your first rodeo through the busy season, then you know what it takes to take full advantage of it, and what type of content resonates with your leads and buyers. But because it's the busy season, you'll want to automate as much of these processes as you possibly can to free you up for all the selling you're going to be doing!

Utilize a a tool like Buffer or HootSuite that allows you to schedule out your social media posts for the week ahead in one fell-swoop and schedule some time out once a week to get those done and over with. Then identify and write up the emails you'll want sent out throughout the season and yes these go out to your well-segmented out contacts. Automate your flow of emails through a CRM or other comparable tool, so you don't have to continuously worry about sending out the right email at the right time. Keep in mind, this isn't a replacement for all of your correspondence. You'll need check your emails and respond to anyone who's reached out, and the same goes for any responses on social media, but without having to worry everyday about sending out emails and Facebook posts, it'll become a much more surmountable task.

5. Ask for referrals

Yes, we know you're busy with inbound leads, but don't be afraid to tap into your network to get a few more referrals. This is the year of referrals, and agents expect that 49% of their leads will come from referrals in 2016. So, what's the harm in reaching out to your cold leads or the rest of your network in the off chance that they may be able to pass along a name or two of some folks who are in need of an agent? It feels like almost everyone knows at least some one that's 'on the market' or 'looking to buy.' Take advantage of your network's network and keep this in mind when you're segmenting out your contacts (back in step 1) and create a list of folks who may no longer be a qualified lead but could throw a couple referrals your way. It's all about keeping that sales pipeline healthy and full throughout the entire sales cycle, so when you find yourself zooming through the busy season, you've got some cold leads waiting for you to keep warm all winter.

Get busy

Now what? Take a deep breath and get ready to take on the busy season and all the sunshine that comes along with it. Following through with automating where you can, while maintaining your personal connections with your potential leads in clients will keep you sane through the season. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, your clients are buying their future home from you, an incredibly personal purchase. Create a relationship with these folks and make yourself available as a valuable resource and watch as the leads come pouring in...you'll have a full pipeline of referrals and leads ready for you come the Fall.