Everyone you know is talking to everyone they know, right now
It's the most wonderful time of year.
Everyone you know is talking to everyone they know, right now. Friends and family are calling friends and family. People who maybe haven't seen each other in months (or all year!) are catching up to exchange niceties before Christmas.
As an agent (or anyone who cares about their business for that matter), you have an equally wonderful opportunity to make the most of the festive period.
The more opportunities you have to interact with your clients, the better, and the end of the year is literally (literally!) the best time to reach out and reconnect with these people to either get in front of them prior to the new year or ensure you're top of mind during those property conversation that will inevitably arise around the table during a Christmas catch up.
Below, we're going to discuss a process for how we'd suggest you might go about having productive (a key thought here) conversations with your clients as the year comes to a close.
These conversations don't start when you make the call or bump into a client on the street – it starts back in your office as you review details on their property and the conversations you've had with them in the past.
Attention to these details will help you carefully prepare for the call, and help you identify talking points that will help your client understand you remembered them and that you aren't just calling "because". It’s always important to make sure you’ve done your homework so you can ask more intelligent questions and show your clients you care.
Setting the Stage
Now that you’re prepared for the conversation, it’s time to set the stage. Since it’s happening at the end of the year, it’s a great opportunity to review the market activity for their immediate area (keep it solely relevant to what they'd care about) over the past 12 months and discuss how that has affected their own value and how you're the best person to keep them updated come the new year. It's usually at this point that they'll tell you if they're planning on moving, a much better conversation that you asking (like your competitors probably do) "are you thinking of selling/letting in the new year?". Take the conversation naturally from here, ask follow up questions where appropriate.
Depending on what information they've given back to you, you can either recommend a meeting (for a market appraisal) or let them know you'll keep in regular touch to make sure they're as informed as they want to be on their local market.
Once you present your recommendation, give your client or prospect a chance to process and respond. This is how you know if you're now on better speaking terms than before the call, or whether you still have a relatively cold 'agent/client' relationship.
Regardless of whether your client takes action or not, your end-game activity should be the same. Summarise the call in as few words as possible, confirm the appointment or let them know you'll be calling again (and when), and proceed to the most important step – asking for referrals.
The point of asking for a referral on this call isn't actually to get one. If you do, that's a bonus! The point is to make sure they know they have the opportunity to give you one. If they see value in speaking with you they will want to return the favour, and the best way to do that is through providing you with qualified referrals. They may know of someone else with an immediate need or they will think of you first when, at Christmas lunch or on boxing day, someone says they're thinking of moving in the new year.
The added benefit of asking for referrals at the end of the conversation is that it sets the expectation for you to ask again when you next talk to them. Getting into this routine and adding this step to your contact process will be extremely beneficial to your business.
Agents tend to get lazy as it comes to the end of the year. Don't be one of them! Make the most of the easiest time to call and reconnect with the people who could set up your 2019!
With proper preparation, setting the stage, recommending action, and outlining next steps, you'll be surprised at the amount of positive opportunities that arise between now and the new year!