Often in real estate people learn about their friends or family using someone else to help them with a real estate transaction. This is true both for real estate agents as well as mortgage brokers alike. When it happens the immediate reaction of the real estate professional who they did not use is one to be mad and two to wonder why they would choose someone else. The truth is more often than not they did not mean to not use this other real estate professional for the transaction they just simply forgot that the family member or friend works in real estate.
I imagine right now you are thinking this is not true, but I promise it is very true. In real estate the most important thing to think of when with friends, family, leads, and past clients alike is to stay front of mind. This means always making sure you are reaching out in different ways throughout the year. The reality for most real estate professionals is with this type of client is that they think are an easy deal and the person will just call when they are ready. This means with leads like friends and family, they do not pay enough attention to them at all. By doing this someone else in the industry who is not related works them hard like a normal lead and scoops up the deal.
One interesting concept that I like to talk about is how important we are to ourselves vs how unimportant we are to others. It is not to say your family and friends do not like you or better yet love you it is that they have their own lives to concern over. In order to stay front of mind for them you need to make more of a constant effort. A great way to ensure you are doing this successfully is to utilize a CRM and set up reminders/tasks as well as take notes on past interactions. Instead of reaching out once and having a quick conversation letting them know you are in real estate you need to set up a drip campaign to make sure they never go to long without a reminder.
I would suggest at a minimum friends and family should hear from you six times a year and there is no max number if your contact points are done classy. I am not telling you to SPAM your friends and family with auto-emails I am telling you to build better relationships. When doing this not every contact has to be you on a sales call it is more you building stronger relationships While building the relationships the conversation leads to bringing up that you work in real estate. As an example you invite a relative out to lunch and when they ask how life is going you can reply “Things are going great I just closed a house that Uncle Sam sent me a referral lead on it was a smooth transaction and I am very thankful Sam thought of me”. In this example you not only told the person you are in real estate, but you reminded them that other family members are referring you business. By doing it this way it does not come off as an advertisement it comes off as normal conversation and a life update.
Some other techniques that can be used would be to have client/family/friend appreciation events, to mail out sports schedules, to post on social media when sales close or a new listing, to send out free swag, and so much more. I am not saying that you cannot get on the phone and mention you do real estate to them and in fact you should do this but this is a tiny part of the entire puzzle. The key to front of mind is using a mixed media approach where never to long passes without a friendly and subtle reminder exists. If you start using these methods, you will very quickly notice that your sphere of influence will now start referring you business as well as start using you for deals far more often.
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