Key 1.6 Pro-active marketing to strangers
John Duncan MBA BCA Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (REAA 2008)
With SalesPartner, proactive marketing to strangers is easier than ever and there is built in group management to ensure appropriate materials go to the right people.
There is an important distinction in the databases our clients have built. The difference is between approaches to the met and the unmet (have not yet met) databases. For real estate, an ‘unmet’ database of local property owners may also be called the Business Development Area and sometimes the salesperson’s listing farm or territory.
‘Met’ and ‘unmet’ is jargon and doesn’t mean exactly what it says. In particular, contacts who have only communicated by email or by phone should still be considered members of the met database. It has been proven repeatedly that it is possible to develop business relationships with people you have only met by email or by phone.
The key to using a database to build relationships is the number and quality of the reach you are able to make with your contacts. Gary Keller suggests a program of 33 “touch-points” in twelve months should be planned for met contacts. You could invest in his book for a full analysis and lots of suggestions. We suggest that emailing your selection of the latest listings is an important component for your met database and doing this weekly should provide at least fifty “touches” for your met contacts in any calendar year.
Unmet databases come from business development areas and demographic groups. You should plan to have a large number of names in your unmet database and contact should be by direct mail or door knocking. Some offices will allocate a geographic area of houses for each salesperson to look after. There might be five hundred to one thousand homes in the patch or business development area.
SalesPartner users tend to have between 300 to 1,000 names in their met databases and up to ten times those numbers in their unmet databases. Some create direct mail using SalesPartner letters for their unmet database. Direct mail letters or DL cards work best when kept simple and delivered monthly. This fits in with Gary Keller’s recommendation of twelve points of contact in a year for unmet databases.
We like the concept of sending content to the unmet database once a month. This can be in the form of a newsletter or marketing card with envelopes or labels printed through SalesPartner. Some of our clients get pre-printed newsletters with a blank space for the mailing address and a greeting which is then filled in from SalesPartner by overprinting. For these letters it is possible to use DLE window envelopes.
SalesPartner databases (especially unmet ones) can now be maintained in a manner that complies with the requirements for lower-cost VolumePost direct mailing as established by NZ Post. To qualify for the reduced mail charges you would need to have your data set certified as compliant and be sending at least 300 items to make this step worthwhile.
On a trip to Auckland I discovered a successful SalesPartner user with two copies of the program on different computers. The one with the unmet database had over 20,000 contacts. This system was fired up once a month for a mail out. The other computer was being used for the met database and was in continuous daily use. Both systems were being run under the same license.
You can achieve a similar solution by creating a unique status for unmet contacts within a single copy of SalesPartner. Some salespeople use status 'O' for unmet owner-occupied properties and status 'V' for unmet investment properties. These options are covered in our Z Prospect Listing training courses. NB, SalesPartner uses status 'I' for Initial or Incomplete new listings.
We believe your proactive marketing to the unmet target contacts should be by direct mail. You should not email people you haven’t met even if you have their email addresses. The messaging should be simple and delivered monthly. You can prepare the messages in advance for the twelve months period, have a set day of the month for sending them out, and set the process on autopilot. One of the offers you make should be to include them in the group that gets your weekly selection of the latest listings. IE move them to your met database if they send you an email address. Telemarketing is an alternative to mail outs and can also be managed with SalesPartner database groups.
Consistent proactive marketing is the key to establishing yourself as a real estate resource for potential vendors and for getting in touch with the “real estate orphans”, the opportunities other salespeople and agencies have let fall by the wayside.